LSAT 91 – Section 2 – Question 03

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Type Tags Answer
Curve Question
PT91 S2 Q03
Main conclusion or main point +MC
+Medium 145.724 +SubsectionMedium

This is a Main Conclusion question.

This stimulus contains an argument with many complications. The first sentence is context. Next we get the conclusion, which is the negation of a conditional claim. Finally, we get the premise, which is an analogy.

First, the newspaper columnist tells us that the cause of the current recession is being hotly debated. That’s the context. The “however” signals a transition to argument. She tells us that it is a mistake to assume that resolving that question is essential to improving the economy. This is the standard negation of a conditional claim. It’s not the case that B is essential to A. In other words, it’s not the case that A requires B. It’s not the case that improving the economy requires figuring out the cause of the current recession. Improving the economy doesn’t require figuring out the cause of the current recession. That’s her conclusion.

But why should we believe her? Where is her support? That's the final sentence. And the support is via an analogy. She tells us that corrective lenses were an effective treatment for myopia long before the cause of myopia was known to be genetic. The analogy here is between myopia and the current recession. She is suggesting that even if we don't understand the cause of the current recession, we may still be able to find the solution since that’s what happened in the case of myopia and corrective lenses. So perhaps we may discover the corrective lenses for the current recession long before we understand its underlying “genetic” cause.

If this were a Weaken or Strengthen question, then we would engage with the analogy.

Correct Answer Choice (D) states the main conclusion. One need not ascertain the cause of the current recession in order to improve the economy. In other words, improving the economy does not require ascertaining the cause of the current recession. This answer could have been stated in a number of different ways.

Answer Choice (A) says solving a problem never requires finding the root cause of the problem. This is unstated and unsupported. We know that solving a problem sometimes doesn't require finding the root cause. But never? We don't know.

Answer Choice (B) is so goddamn tricky. It says knowing the cause of the current recession would not necessarily enable people to find a solution to it. In other words, knowing the cause won't automatically give you a solution. That means knowing the cause isn't sufficient for finding a solution. But the actual conclusion is saying that knowing the cause isn't necessary for finding a solution. The test writers managed to use the phrase "necessarily enable" to express "sufficient." Rude.

Answer Choice (C) is the context of the argument.

Answer Choice (E) is the premise of the argument.

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