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ohthatpatrick
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Q3 - Many employers treat their employees fairly

by ohthatpatrick Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:02 pm

Question Type:
Necessary Assumption

Stimulus Breakdown:
Conclusion: Using others a means to your ends can be morally acceptable/benign.
Evidence: Many employers treat their employees fairly.

Answer Anticipation:
The straightforward Bridge idea missing is that "If you're treating your employees fairly, you're using them as a means to your own ends in a morally acceptable/benign way."

A more subtle assumption might be "at least some employers use employees as a means to their own ends".

Correct Answer:
C

Answer Choice Analysis:
(A) "ONLY" is too extreme to even think about what this is saying.

(B) "NO" is too extreme to really worry about what this is saying.

(C) YES! If negated, it would say "no employers use their employees as a means to their own ends". That would render the Premise completely irrelevant to the Conclusion.

(D) "Profit" is completely out of scope.

(E) "It is IMPOSSIBLE" is too extreme to keep reading.

Takeaway/Pattern: Extreme words aren't immediate dealbreakers if the Conclusion itself is strongly worded, but this conclusion is "X is not always Y". That means the author only needs to assume "At least one time, there has been an X that was not a Y". Since the author is concluding something so mild, she's not making any categorical assumptions like "only / none / impossible".

#officialexplanation
 
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Re: Q3 - Many employers treat their employees fairly

by DPCTE4325 Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:01 pm

ohthatpatrick wrote:Question Type:
Necessary Assumption

Stimulus Breakdown:
Conclusion: Using others a means to your ends can be morally acceptable/benign.
Evidence: Many employers treat their employees fairly.

Answer Anticipation:
The straightforward Bridge idea missing is that "If you're treating your employees fairly, you're using them as a means to your own ends in a morally acceptable/benign way."

A more subtle assumption might be "at least some employers use employees as a means to their own ends".

Correct Answer:
C

Answer Choice Analysis:
(A) "ONLY" is too extreme to even think about what this is saying.

(B) "NO" is too extreme to really worry about what this is saying.

(C) YES! If negated, it would say "no employers use their employees as a means to their own ends". That would render the Premise completely irrelevant to the Conclusion.

(D) "Profit" is completely out of scope.

(E) "It is IMPOSSIBLE" is too extreme to keep reading.

Takeaway/Pattern: Extreme words aren't immediate dealbreakers if the Conclusion itself is strongly worded, but this conclusion is "X is not always Y". That means the author only needs to assume "At least one time, there has been an X that was not a Y". Since the author is concluding something so mild, she's not making any categorical assumptions like "only / none / impossible".

#officialexplanation


Would the anti-conclusion method not work here? I ended up with C because I was looking for something that said "... using others is still morally reprehensible & harmful"

How are we supposed to know when it's okay / when it's not okay to use this method?
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Re: Q3 - Many employers treat their employees fairly

by ohthatpatrick Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:22 am

To anti-conclude or not to anti-conclude?
That is the weirdest question.

You should appreciate that the Assumption Family is testing two different forms of thinking:
- Find the missing logical links / ideas (IDEA MATH)
- Come up with a Potential Objection (COURTROOM DEBATE)

Consider this argument:
Joe applied to Loyola. Thus, Joe must want to go to a good school.

The IDEA MATH assumptions (we call these Bridge ideas a lot in the books, although they don’t always have to be a bridge)
“Loyola is a good school”
“Applying somewhere is an indication of one’s desire to go there”

These are finite. They only involve concepts that have already been mentioned. We’re just smushing together things that have already been said, or supplying the fact that would trigger one of the laws we've been given.

The RULED-OUT OBJECTION assumptions (we call these Defenders), are infinite.
- Joe’s Dad did not force him to apply
- Joe is not just going to Loyola because it’s local
- Joe was not held at gunpoint and coerced into applying
etc.

If you’re doing an IDEA MATH task, such as Sufficient Assumption or Principle-Justify, then you’re primarily looking for missing links.

If you’re doing a COURTROOM DEBATE task, such as Strengthen or Weaken or Evaluate or Flaw, then you’re primarily trying to conjure up objections (by using the anti-conclusion).

Necessary Assumption is a toss-up task. I never know whether they’ll be testing MISSING LINKS or POTENTIAL OBJECTIONS.

So on a 1st pass, I primarily read for Missing Links/Ideas. If I hear one and it seems reasonable to me that that’s what the problem is testing, then I’m pretty content going to the answers looking for something like that.

If I don’t hear any obvious Missing Links or the one I hear seems too weird to be an answer, then I’ll think through the anti-conclusion and try to come up with a potential objection.

MISSING LINK analysis:
1. What is the conclusion? (Joe wants to go to a good school)
2. In the evidence, did we define each of those terms?
(did we learn about ‘Joe’? did we learn about where he wants to go? Did we get a law for determining whether something is a ‘good school’?)
3. If all those terms have been defined, have they been properly linked and triggered?

POTENTIAL OBJECTION analysis:
1. What is the conclusion? (Joe wants to go to a good school)
2. Given the evidence, how would I argue that [anti-conclusion]?

So the fact that you tried to argue via the Anti-Conclusion is this case is fine, but it suggests that you should have on your radar the fact that reading Assumption questions is often about solving for Missing Links, not about generating creative objections.

Had you been using the Anti-Conclusion, you’d be saying
“Given that many employers treat their employees fairly,
how can I argue that using others as a means to your own ends is always reprehensible or harmful?”

To even make sense of the relationship between these two claims, we'd have to play ball with the author's assumption that having employees amounts to using others as a means to your own ends.

We could argue that “fair treatment of employees is still a reprehensible / harmful way to treat them”. I don’t think (C) is too tempting as a match for that idea.

If we were using the MISSING LINKS mindset, we’d think:
1. What’s the conclusion? “using people as means to an ends is not always reprehensible/harmful”

2. Any new terms? Yes, all of them.
What was “using people as means to an ends” supposed to link up with?
Must be “having an employee".

What was "NOT-reprehensible, NOT-harmful" supposed to match up with?
Must be "treats fairly".

We could predict missing links such as,
"Having an employee involves using people as means to an end"
and
"treating someone fairly is not reprehensible and not harmful"

The 2nd one seems more definitional in nature: we know, we don't assume, that fair ≠ harmful and that fair ≠ reprehensible.

The 1st one is more likely to be tested because you don't automatically think that
"having an employee" = "using people as a means to an end"

Because of how weird that gap is, you're hoping it sticks out like a sore thumb and that you initially see if naming that gap is enough to beat this question. (If not, come back and use the anti-conclusion to consider objections)
 
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Re: Q3 - Many employers treat their employees fairly

by DPCTE4325 Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:29 pm

ohthatpatrick wrote:To anti-conclude or not to anti-conclude?
That is the weirdest question.

You should appreciate that the Assumption Family is testing two different forms of thinking:
- Find the missing logical links / ideas (IDEA MATH)
- Come up with a Potential Objection (COURTROOM DEBATE)

Consider this argument:
Joe applied to Loyola. Thus, Joe must want to go to a good school.

The IDEA MATH assumptions (we call these Bridge ideas a lot in the books, although they don’t always have to be a bridge)
“Loyola is a good school”
“Applying somewhere is an indication of one’s desire to go there”

These are finite. They only involve concepts that have already been mentioned. We’re just smushing together things that have already been said, or supplying the fact that would trigger one of the laws we've been given.

The RULED-OUT OBJECTION assumptions (we call these Defenders), are infinite.
- Joe’s Dad did not force him to apply
- Joe is not just going to Loyola because it’s local
- Joe was not held at gunpoint and coerced into applying
etc.

If you’re doing an IDEA MATH task, such as Sufficient Assumption or Principle-Justify, then you’re primarily looking for missing links.

If you’re doing a COURTROOM DEBATE task, such as Strengthen or Weaken or Evaluate or Flaw, then you’re primarily trying to conjure up objections (by using the anti-conclusion).

Necessary Assumption is a toss-up task. I never know whether they’ll be testing MISSING LINKS or POTENTIAL OBJECTIONS.

So on a 1st pass, I primarily read for Missing Links/Ideas. If I hear one and it seems reasonable to me that that’s what the problem is testing, then I’m pretty content going to the answers looking for something like that.

If I don’t hear any obvious Missing Links or the one I hear seems too weird to be an answer, then I’ll think through the anti-conclusion and try to come up with a potential objection.

MISSING LINK analysis:
1. What is the conclusion? (Joe wants to go to a good school)
2. In the evidence, did we define each of those terms?
(did we learn about ‘Joe’? did we learn about where he wants to go? Did we get a law for determining whether something is a ‘good school’?)
3. If all those terms have been defined, have they been properly linked and triggered?

POTENTIAL OBJECTION analysis:
1. What is the conclusion? (Joe wants to go to a good school)
2. Given the evidence, how would I argue that [anti-conclusion]?

So the fact that you tried to argue via the Anti-Conclusion is this case is fine, but it suggests that you should have on your radar the fact that reading Assumption questions is often about solving for Missing Links, not about generating creative objections.

Had you been using the Anti-Conclusion, you’d be saying
“Given that many employers treat their employees fairly,
how can I argue that using others as a means to your own ends is always reprehensible or harmful?”

To even make sense of the relationship between these two claims, we'd have to play ball with the author's assumption that having employees amounts to using others as a means to your own ends.

We could argue that “fair treatment of employees is still a reprehensible / harmful way to treat them”. I don’t think (C) is too tempting as a match for that idea.

If we were using the MISSING LINKS mindset, we’d think:
1. What’s the conclusion? “using people as means to an ends is not always reprehensible/harmful”

2. Any new terms? Yes, all of them.
What was “using people as means to an ends” supposed to link up with?
Must be “having an employee".

What was "NOT-reprehensible, NOT-harmful" supposed to match up with?
Must be "treats fairly".

We could predict missing links such as,
"Having an employee involves using people as means to an end"
and
"treating someone fairly is not reprehensible and not harmful"

The 2nd one seems more definitional in nature: we know, we don't assume, that fair ≠ harmful and that fair ≠ reprehensible.

The 1st one is more likely to be tested because you don't automatically think that
"having an employee" = "using people as a means to an end"

Because of how weird that gap is, you're hoping it sticks out like a sore thumb and that you initially see if naming that gap is enough to beat this question. (If not, come back and use the anti-conclusion to consider objections)


Patrick, I have to say you single handedly improved my score. Only your methods seem to resonate with me. Are you by chance available for private tutoring? I filled out the form on the Manhattan LSAT website but have yet to receive a response. I'd love to be able to further learn from you!