Rick Santorum sure has made some controversial remarks lately. But are they logically sound? Regardless of your political leaning, it pays to know how to evaluate the pieces and soundness of an argument. For this week’s post, I’ve plucked a few Santorum gems to help you review logical reasoning strategy. Can you identify the question types, below? Better yet, can you answer them? Answers after the jump! Read more
Like snowflakes of intellectual pain, the hardest LSAT question is different for each and every one of us – it’s up to us to look into our hearts and find the question that is burning a hole through an artery. For me, that was PT45, S1, Q12 – the dioxin question. Oh how we fought, oh how we struggled!
Let me walk you through our relationship.
The conclusion of the argument is that, as opposed to what most people are thinking, dioxin released from a mill does NOT cause fish to have abnormal hormone levels. Why? Two premises are given to support this – and here’s where we had our first fight L: dioxin decomposes quite slowly and when the mill shuts down, the fishy hormone levels quickly return to normal.
At this point, me and question 12 were still on speaking terms, but when I looked at her answer choices, oh the pain! The correct answer – the one that most weakens the argument – states that dioxin actually is washed away pretty quickly from the mill area. Sounds painless enough – until you think about it! How does that weaken that argument? I was lost. Read more
I just saw a good blog post listing vocabulary words that you should have under your belt for the LSAT. Take a look and see if you really know all of them. Thanks for the list, Steve!
Weaken questions can operate in a few different ways. Let’s look at some examples.
Sep 09 Exam, Section 4, #2
Here’s the basic logic given in the argument:
You can always keep your hands warm by putting on extra layers of clothing (clothing that keeps the vital organs warm).
THUS, to keep your hands warm in the winter, you never need gloves or mittens.
This argument is a sound argument – no flaws or assumptions. If you have another option for keeping your hands warm, then you never truly need gloves or mittens.
In this case, the correct answer actually attacks the main premise. The correct answer says that sometimes (when it’s really really cold) putting extra layers of clothing on actually is not enough to keep your hands warm. Notice how this contradicts the premise. So, to weaken an argument you can attack a supporting premise.