LSAT 90 – Section 2 – Question 12

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT90 S2 Q12
PSA - Find the rule +PSAr
+Harder 146.031 +SubsectionMedium

This is a PSA question.

The argument begins with the conclusion that some of the rare pygmy bears should be moved from their native island to the neighboring island. Naturally, we wonder why. The rest of the argument supplies the premises. First, we learned that they are at risk of extinction owing to habitat loss. Second, we learned that the neighboring island is the only place that has a similar habitat. Hence, moving them is the only viable chance of saving them from extinction. That's a sub-conclusion/major premise. The main conclusion is the first sentence. We should move them.

This PSA question is just like most other PSA questions. The argument presents a P and arrives at a C. Our job is to find in the answers a P → C rule or bridge.

We can say something like if an action is the only viable method of saving an endangered species, then we should take that action. Keep in mind that PSA answers can be stated very specifically or very generally. Overinclusiveness is not a problem for this question type.

Correct Answer Choice (C) gets the job done. It says if a species is in danger of extinction, whatever is most likely to prevent the extinction should be undertaken. The premises trigger the sufficient condition because the rare pygmy bears are explicitly said to be at risk of extinction. The conclusion satisfies the necessary condition. Moving them to the neighboring island is the only viable chance and therefore it is the most likely way to prevent extinction. Therefore, it should be undertaken.

Answer Choice (B) can be eliminated on the basis of its logic alone, as is commonly the case for wrong answers on PSA questions. It says rare animals should not be moved from one habitat to another unless these habitats are similar to one another. This stipulates a necessary condition on the movement, not a sufficient condition on the movement. That's a problem for us because the conclusion wants to move these animals. Do the Group 3 translation on the logical indicator “unless.” If the habitats are not similar to one another, then the animals should not be moved. Satisfying the sufficient condition here only allows us to draw the conclusion that these animals should not be moved.

Answer Choice (E) can be eliminated because it's too weak. It's better than (B) in the sense that there is no logical issue. It says if an animal's original habitat is in danger of being lost, then it is permissible to try to find a new habitat for the animal. That's fine, the premises satisfy the sufficient condition, which allows us to draw the conclusion that it is permissible to try to find a new habitat for the pygmy bears. But that doesn't mean we should do it. Permissible doesn't imply should. This is too weak.

Answer Choice (A) says some species are more deserving of protection than other species. This is a truism. Which species are more deserving of protection than others? We don't know. Even if we did, what manner should the protection take? Again, we don't know.

Answer Choice (D) says the rarer a species of plant or animal is, the more that should be done to protect that species. This allows us to draw conclusions about preservation priorities. If we know that the rare pygmy bear is rarer than, say, the panda bear, then according to (D), we should afford priority and do more to protect the pygmy bears. But how is this relevant to the argument? We’re not concerned about whether we're doing too much or too little for the pygmy bears in comparison to some other endangered species.

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