LSAT 9 – Section 2 – Question 15

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT9 S2 Q15
Method of reasoning or descriptive +Method
+Medium 149.526 +SubsectionMedium

We can identify this question as Method of Reasoning because of the question stem: “Maria responds to Lucien’s argument by…”

When dealing with a Method of Reasoning question, we know we are looking for an answer choice that correctly describes the structure of our entire argument. Our correct answer is going to fit the argument exactly. Our wrong answer choices likely explain argument structures we are familiar with, but that simply don’t apply to the specific question we are looking at. Knowing what the right and wrong answers are going to do, we can jump into the stimulus.

Immediately we should make note of the two speakers at play. This means we could possibly be dealing with two different conclusions with different levels of support. Lucien begins the discussion by summarizing the position of the public housing advocates; more low-income housing apartments are needed due to the large number of unhoused people in the city. Lucien concludes this argument is absurd. The first speaker tells us plenty of apartments are vacant in their apartment building, so homelessness must be the result of a lack of desire to work instead of a lack of housing.

Lucien is presenting quite a silly argument. Clearly, the number of vacancies in their and their college's apartments has no indication on the direness of homelessness across the entire city. It could be the case that there are thousands of unoccupied luxury apartment buildings that are unattainable for the unhoused even if they are employed.

Our second speaker points this out exactly. Maria explains that many homeless people actively hold regular jobs. In doing so, Maria undermines the evidence Lucien is using to prop up their argument. Once we have a prediction we can proceed into answer choice elimination.

Answer Choice (A) This is not descriptively accurate. Maria is not questioning Lucien’s personal experiences or suggesting there are not vacancies at Lucien’s apartment building. Because of this we can eliminate answer choice A.

Correct Answer Choice (B) This is exactly what we are looking for. An easy answer to accidentally eliminate, this is the only option that points out how Maria attacks a specific piece of evidence provided for Lucien’s position. Whether or not there is a more specific way we could describe the stimulus, that does not change the stimulus factually aligns with answer choice B.

Answer Choice (C) This answer choice suggests Maria attacks the motives of the first speaker. We can eliminate this answer choice since Maria’s explanation rests on the number of homeless people maintaining jobs rather than the qualities of the first speaker.

Answer Choice (D) For this answer choice to be correct, Maria would need to present a conclusion different from Lucien’s. But all Maria presents us is evidence that weakens Lucien’s evidence. For this reason we can eliminate answer choice D.

Answer Choice (E) Rather than providing a different explanation for a set of facts, Maria provides new information to weaken Lucien’s argument. The introduction of new information is why we can eliminate this answer choice.

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