## Q3 - John: It was wrong of you

mrudula_2005
Forum Guests

Posts: 136
Joined: July 29th, 2010

First Responder

### Q3 - John: It was wrong of you

Quick question:

So, the principle that Michiko invokes is the second sentence: "People are responsible for the consequences of actions that they voluntarily undertake, if they know that those actions risk such consequences."

This principle written in formal logic, looks like so:
If people know that a voluntarily undertaken action of theirs risks certain consequences --> they are responsible for those consequences

and the contrapositive is:
If people are NOT responsible for the consequences of a voluntarily undertaken action --> they do NOT know that their actions risk those consequences

From this principle (and its formal logic), am I correct to say that we can never judge whether someone is NOT responsible (the sufficient clause of the contra positive)? - that the answer choices cannot say anything that could possibly guarantee that the person is NOT responsible?

because all we know in that contrapositive is what the necessary requirements are to be deemed NOT responsible, but even if an answer choice gave us information that Collen met all those necessary requirements (that is, she did NOT know that her actions risked certain consequences), we cannot know that she is NOT responsible for the consequences of her action, right? (because that would be reversing the contrapositive without negating AND it would be negating the original FL statement without reversing, right?)

thanks a lot! i posed a similar question on a different question a few days ago but haven't gotten a response yet.

thanks!

LSAT Geek

Posts: 619
Joined: April 04th, 2010

### Re: John: It was wrong of you

Right on! The principle invoked by Michiko gives us a condition under which people can be judged to be responsible for the consequences of their actions. IF they meet that condition, THEN they're responsible. But this doesn't tell us anything about whether people are responsible when they don't meet that sufficient condition. So if they meet the condition, they're responsible for their actions, but if they don't meet the condition, they still may be responsible -- we have no idea.

I'm glad to see you struggling and improving with your understanding of formal logic. In a nutshell, as you said, if we're told that

X ----> Y,

the only valid inference we can make is the contrapositive:

-Y----> -X

There's no inference we can make, in other words, that will get us -Y in the conclusion.

In this case, what that means is that there's no inference we can make that will get us to someone NOT being responsible for the consequences of his or her actions.

Nice work!

tzyc
Atticus Finch

Posts: 323
Joined: May 27th, 2012

Most Thankful

### Re: Q3 - John: It was wrong of you

Is (D) wrong because it did not result in risked consequence? (The cat was just surprised and did not got injured or something...) Or is it because of the "even though" part? (Was not in the stimulus)

Thank you

Atticus Finch

Posts: 1261
Joined: March 23rd, 2011

This post thanked 1 time.

### Re: Q3 - John: It was wrong of you

tz_strawberry wrote:Is (D) wrong because it did not result in risked consequence? (The cat was just surprised and did not got injured or something...) Or is it because of the "even though" part? (Was not in the stimulus)

(D) is wrong because it's about whether Colleen is to blame or not, but it doesn't say anything about what she possibly could have done to prevent it. How did she know her brother was going to make a loud noise? She has no agency in this answer choice.

(B) doesn't match in structure. It's saying Colleen is responsible although she didn't know something. In that case, then why is she responsible?

(C) makes it impossible for her to be responsible because the manual wasn't published when her car got stolen.

(E) is about someone not being responsible. It's a false negation of our argument: did everything she could have --> not responsible.

Yu440
Vinny Gambini

Posts: 14
Joined: August 13th, 2018

### Re: Q3 - John: It was wrong of you

Hello,

Is answer choice D also wrong because Colleen's brother's slamming of the door is not an action voluntarily undertaken by Colleen herself? If it had said that Collen allowed her brother to slam the door, would this answer be correct? Thanks!

ohthatpatrick
Atticus Finch

Posts: 4202
Joined: April 01st, 2011

### Re: Q3 - John: It was wrong of you

Yeah, that's what Mary was meaning with "Colleen has no agency". Colleen didn't undertake any action.

I wouldn't even like it if we switched to "allowed her brother to close the door", because
- allowing something = undertaking an action? You could argue yes, but that's dubious.
- even if it did, we would also have to make clear that Colleen knew that allowing her brother to close the door risked the consequence of his slamming the door loudly.