Flaw question, and the overlap with necessary assumptions

    • March 19, 2016 at 8:31 pm #1606

      Hi, so I’ve been wondering whether there is a difference between more general descriptive flaw questions, and those dressed up flaw questions that essentially follow the same exact thought process as necessary assumption questions. If these differences are there (as I’ve heard), how do you distinguish them? I ask because I’ve noticed that when I dealing with flaw questions that seem to be more descriptive, and less specific to the stimulus, (they address the flaw in a very general way), I tend to do very well. However, when the argument is more directly addressing the stimulus, I tend to do worse. I’m wondering if the distinction I mentioned has something to do with it. Thanks. Still improving, and getting better Mr. Kim! Averaging in the mid 150’s right now, hopefully I can get that pushed higher. Feeling a lot of confidence right now.

    • March 20, 2016 at 8:56 am #1607
      LSAT Dan

      From what you’re describing, it sounds to me like what you could use is more familiarity with the specific flaws that are heavily tested.  The flaw/assumption similarity that you describe is one type of way in which an argument can go wrong, and it sounds to me like that’s one that you’ve either learned very well, or that is just naturally intuitive to you.  When you familiarize yourself with a handful of others (maybe 8-10), you should have a quick grasp of what’s going on with the more specific ones.  For instance, there are certain phrases that signal a cause and effect conclusion when it’s not warranted by the evidence, like, “This shows that X can result in Y.”  Once you realize it’s a cause and effect flaw, there aren’t that many ways in which the answer choice is offered – typically, it will be in either general terms (“infers a causal connection from a mere correlation…”), or it will offer you a specific alternative to the asserted cause/effect: “fails to show that Y may cause X.”

      That’s one example from a variety of flaw types, but the good news is, there aren’t that many of them that show up often.  The more you do (and ask questions about), the more you’ll recognize them when you see them.  A big part of the improvement process is gradually seeing fewer trees and more forest.

    • March 20, 2016 at 11:40 am #1608

      Yeah, but when dealing with that, it seems to be more in my wheel house. However, I don’t see any common flaws in the more specific answer choices that I mention. For example, PT 48 section 1 q 24, and especially question 13, section 4 on preptest 48. These don’t seem to address in general fallacy, they just seem to test the necessity of the argument to me. I’ve read the explanations in both questions, and understand the. However, I’m having trouble figuring out any general fallacy that’s being reached.

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