LSAT 46 – Section 2 – Question 02

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT46 S2 Q02
Must be true +MBT
+Easier 144.676 +SubsectionEasier

The question stem reads: Which one of the following logically follows from the literary historian's claims? This is a Must Be True question.

The stimulus begins with context by stating that Shakespeare could have written love poems attributed to him. We then turn to the author's argument with the indicator "but." The author claims that the dramas attributed to him "evince such insight into the minds of powerful rulers that they could only have been written by one who had spent much time among them." In other words, because the dramas provided such an accurate description of rulers' mental states, the dramas must have been written by someone who had actually been around to witness rulers themselves. The author has introduced "being around rulers" as a Necessary Condition for being the author of the plays. She then says that Francis Bacon spent time with rulers, but Shakespeare had not. Can we draw a valid inference? We can! Shakespeare didn't spend time with rulers, which means he could not have written the plays. Why? Because spending time with rulers is required for being the dramas' author. But if Shakespeare didn't write the plays, who did? The author says Mr. Bacon spent time around rulers, which means he satisfies the Necessary Conditions for being the author. However, by now, you know that Necessary does not mean Sufficient. So while Mr. Bacon may be the author, we don't know for sure. There might be other Necessary Conditions we need to meet to become an author of the dramas that Bacon fails to satisfy.

In an MBT Question, we hunt for any valid inferences we draw in the answer choices. We synthesized the author's claims and drew the valid inference that Shakespeare did not write the dramas and Francis Bacon possibly wrote the dramas.

We can find the inference that Shakespeare did not write the dramas in Correct Answer Choice (E), which also restates the context that Shakespeare could have written love poetry.

Answer Choice (A) makes a mistake by claiming that Bacon wrote the dramas attributed to Shakespeare. That could be true, but we do not know if he actually did. Additionally, (A) claims that Bacon did not write the love poetry attributed to Shakespeare. Why not? We have no rules or conditions about the author of love poetry, only that Shakespeare could have been the author. So Bacon is still in the running for that.

Answer Choice (B) makes the same mistake as (A) by claiming that Bacon wrote the Dramas. So for that reason, it is out. Additionally, we know nothing about the author of the love poems, so we can rule out (B) for the claim that Bacon wrote love poetry.

Answer Choice (C) makes the valid inference that Shakespeare did not write the dramas but makes the invalid inference that he did not write the poems. The author directly states that Shakespeare could have written the poems in the context so (C) is out.

Answer Choice (D) claims that one person could not have written both the love poems and the dramas. If we knew Shakespeare wrote the poems, then (D) would be a valid inference. However, we do not know that Shakespeare wrote the poems, only that he could have wrote the poems. So there is still the possibility that someone besides Shakespeare wrote love poems and dramas.

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