Lawyer: If you take something that you have good reason to think is someone else's property, that is stealing, and st...

Aidyn-Carlson on May 29, 2019

Explain all answer choices please

So this is about necessary and sufficient conditions. Can some explain how the answer choice is correct and how the others are wrong

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Ravi on May 29, 2019


Happy to help.

The lawyer's argument is flawed because he's saying that since one
condition that's sufficient for doing something wrong wasn't
satisfied, then the necessary condition (being wrong) isn't met. We
know this is faulty logic.

He's basically saying

A - >B
not A - >not B

As we know, this simply isn't right.

(A) says, "confuses a factual claim with a moral judgment."

Even though saying that stealing is wrong is a moral judgment, the
lawyer does provide support for making this moral judgment, so in
doing so, he's not confusing a factual claim with a moral judgment.
(A) is descriptively inaccurate, so it's out.

(B) says, "takes for granted that Meyers would not have taken the
compost if he had good reason to believe that it was someone else's

The problem with (B) is that the lawyer in the stimulus does not make
any assumptions regarding whether or not Meyers would've taken the
compost. Rather, the lawyer is discussed what really happened, so (B)
is out.

(C) says, "takes a condition that by itself is enough to make an
action wrong to also be necessary in order for the action to be

(C) is right on the money. The lawyer in the stimulus makes the
assumption that in order for Meyers to be wrong, it is essential that
he stole. This is precisely what we'd anticipated, so it's the correct

(D) says, "fails to consider the possibility that the compost was
Meyers' property."

Based on the context of the stimulus, it's very evident that Meyers
didn't own the compost, so (D) is out.

(E) says, "concludes that something is certainly someone else's
property when there is merely good, but not conclusive, reason to
think that it is someone else's property."

The problem with (E) is that the argument does not make a conclusion
about whether or not the compost definitively belonged to someone
else; rather, the argument discusses whether or not it was wrong for
Meyers to take the compost. Thus, we can get rid of (E).

Does this make sense? Let us know if you have any other questions!

tomgbean on January 10, 2020

The answer choice is the contrapositive of the tricky.

alannadels on April 24, 2022

I am confused with the wording of the correct answer. Specifically this part "to also be necessary in order for the action to be wrong." Could someone explain this please?

Emil-Kunkin on April 26, 2022

Hi Alannadels,

This is basically a roundabout way of saying that the author mistakes a condition that is sufficient for one that is necessary. The first half of the answer choice tells us that the author takes a sufficient condition, and the part you highlighted "to be also necessary for the action to be wrong" is to say that the author mistakes the condition as necessary.