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Atticus Finch
Atticus Finch
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Q3 - Whether or not one can rightfully

by mshinners Fri Dec 31, 1999 8:00 pm

Question Type:
ID the Conclusion

Stimulus Breakdown:
I have no idea what the argument is actually saying, but we start with an opinion ("whether or not one thing is true depends on another"). It then shifts to a definition, and some implications of that definition.

Answer Anticipation:
Ugh, I hate questions like this. I'm never 100% certain what the author is saying.

Luckily, we don't need to. He opens up with an opinion (determinations about faithfulness and virtue are definitely not facts), then moves on to a definition and the implications of it. A definition will almost certainly not be a conclusion, and neither will implications. Since these later statements deal with establishing things the author believes about the terms in the first statement, I'm pretty confident the correct answer will be that sentence.

Correct answer:

Answer choice analysis:
(A) Looking good. This is the first statement, which expresses and opinion that's backed up by definitions and implications.

(B) Premise. A definition is almost by definition a premise.

(C) Unstated. The argument mentions that no one considers resentment (which is from hatred and animosity) virtuous, but that's only one behavior and someone could still call it that (they'd just be wrong).

(D) Unstated.

(E) Premise/intermediate conclusion. The definition backs this up, but it establishes something that props up the final conclusion.

Know "types" of premises (here, definitions) to get you through the difficult language and structure that sometimes comes up in Analyze the Argument questions.

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Vinny Gambini
Vinny Gambini
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Re: Q3 - Whether or not one can rightfully

by reginaphalange Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:56 pm

I got this right, but had trouble deciding between (A) and (E).
I agree with the explanation above, but what can help us rule out (E)? It seems plausible that the first sentence is a general principle, 'virtue is praiseworthy' is another premise, and together they prove the conclusion that resentment is not a virtue.

Does it come down to the wording 'which is why'? That wording makes 'virtue is not resentment' seem more like an illustrative example, rather than conclusion.
If 'which is why' is replaced by 'and therefore,' would that totally swing the answer to (E)? E.g. 'Whether or not one can rightfully call a person’s faithfulness a virtue depends in part on the object of that person’s faithfulness. Virtues are by definition praiseworthy, and therefore no one considers resentment virtuous, even though it is in fact a kind of faithfulness – faithfulness to hatred or animosities.'

'No one considers' also seems like an LSAT tip that this is not the conclusion, because that makes it sound like a given. But there is still a lot of support for it - a general statement that applies to it, its object of 'hatred or animosity,' the criteria of praiseworthiness that it fails.
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Vinny Gambini
Vinny Gambini
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Re: Q3 - Whether or not one can rightfully

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