LSAT 90 – Section 2 – Question 22

You need a full course to see this video. Enroll now and get started in less than a minute.

Target time: 1:21

This is question data from the 7Sage LSAT Scorer. You can score your LSATs, track your results, and analyze your performance with pretty charts and vital statistics - all with a Free Account ← sign up in less than 10 seconds

Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT90 S2 Q22
Parallel flawed method of reasoning +PF
+Harder 146.031 +SubsectionMedium

This is a Parallel Flawed question.

The argument opens with premises that Devan has never been kind nor offered help nor companionship to me. These omissions are taken to amount to a failure to meet the basic requirements of friendship. Okay, so we can conclude that Devan is not the author’s friend.

But the author takes it a step further to conclude that Devan is his enemy.

What kind of flaw is this? False dichotomy. The author assumes that one can only be a friend or an enemy and not both. But the true dichotomy is friend or not friend. And not friend isn’t equivalent to enemy. Not friend is a super-set that contains enemy but it also contains acquaintances, colleagues, strangers, etc.

Answer Choice (A) begins by laying out necessary conditions for being an officer of this club. There are three disjunctive necessary conditions. One must either be a member of two years standing, or a committee member, or have special qualifications. Evelyn fails two of the three conditions. She has been a member for only one year and she is not a committee member. Okay, but does she also fail the third condition? Does she have special qualifications? The argument is silent. It assumes she doesn’t and on that assumption draws the conclusion that Evelyn cannot be an officer. This is poor reasoning but it’s not the same poor reasoning in the stimulus. There’s no false dichotomy.

Answer Choice (B) begins by laying out necessary conditions for a plant to thrive. There are two conjunctive necessary conditions. The plant must be located in a sunny spot and be watered regularly. The argument continues by failing one necessary condition. This spot isn’t sunny. Okay, that’s enough to fail the entire conjunctive necessary condition. We can validly draw the conclusion that this plant cannot be thriving. (B) attempts to fail the other necessary condition but does a bad job of it. The author didn’t regularly water this plant regularly. But that doesn’t mean the plant wasn’t watered regularly. Whose plant is it? Is it true that if the author didn’t water it, then no one watered it? The argument merely assumes so. But thankfully, we don’t care, since the necessary condition has been failed already.

Okay, so at this point, (B) is looking decent. The proper conclusion should be /thriving just like how the proper conclusion in the stimulus should be /friend. A false dichotomy for /thriving is “dead” or “dying.” That’s a false dichotomy because the true dichotomy for /thriving is a super-set that contains “dead” or “dying” or “just limping along” or “doing pretty good,” etc. There’s a whole spectrum of possibilities.

But the actual conclusion is “it explains why this plant is not as healthy as it should be.” That’s not a well-supported conclusion but for a different reason. This conclusion requires the assumption that the plant being “as healthy as it should be” means that it should be thriving. But thriving is a pretty high standard. (B) doesn’t give us any reason to believe that should be the standard.

Correct Answer Choice (C) opens with the premise that this book has been widely reviewed and hasn’t received even one hostile review. From that premise, (C) concludes that all the critics have loved this book. This is the false dichotomy flaw. The author assumes that one can only be hostile to or love the book and not both. But the true dichotomy is hostile to or not hostile. And not hostile isn’t equivalent to love. Not hostile is a super-set that contains love but it also contains indifference, like (not love), and other gradations of feelings.

Answer Choice (D) begins with a conditional that a decision in favor of developing the northern border of the town logically implies that it would be equally acceptable to develop the southern, eastern, or western borders. (D) concludes that it’s possible that at least one of the S, E, or W borders will also be developed. This is a strange argument. The premise has nothing to do with the conclusion. Just because it would be acceptable to develop doesn’t mean that development will take place. Moreover, we don’t even know if a decision in favor of developing the northern border has been reached.

Answer Choice (E) begins with a conditional that if everyone were an author, poet, or academic, then society would come to a halt. (E) then fails the sufficient condition. Few people are poets, authors, or academics. (E) then concludes that society will not come to a halt. This is sufficiency-necessity confusion. It’s the oldest flaw in the book but it’s not the flaw of false dichotomy.

Take PrepTest

Review Results

Leave a Reply