The passage provides the strongest support for inferring that Lessing holds which one of the following views?

Gabriellekaleapauole on June 8, 2019

Problem 1 in the video

I am so confused as to why Answer A in the video for question 1 is incorrect. They follow the exact same lines of reasoning

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Victoria on June 8, 2019

Hi @Gabriellekaleapauole,

It is definitely tempting to select answer choices which use the same language or a similar scenario as the passage. Try not to fall into this trap by mapping out the argument presented in the passage and understanding its exact flaw in reasoning prior to addressing the question stem.

As articulated by the video, answer choice A is not a flawed argument. While both arguments start with a general statement about the students at an institution, there is one important difference. Answer choice A refers to "the students," whereas the passage refers to "the student body." While a subtle difference, this means that answer choice A is referring to individual students at the school - i.e. if you are a student at this school, you take mathematics - whereas the passage is referring to the student body as a group - i.e. the student body as a whole takes courses in a wide range of disciplines.

To illustrate this distinction, let's create a fictional student body for the university. If there were five students in the student body, it is possible that Miriam takes courses only in psychology and the remaining four student each take courses only in biology, Spanish, physics, and mathematics. If this were the case, we could still conclude that the student body as a whole takes courses in a wide range of disciplines despite the fact that each student solely takes courses in one discipline. This is an illustration of the "fallacy of division," as articulated by the video, wherein an argument attempts to make a conclusion about a part of a whole based only on information about the whole.

As we can see, this flawed pattern of reasoning is directly mirrored by answer choice B which states that an editorial board has written on many legal issues and that, since Louise is on the editorial board, she has written on many legal issues. Again, if there were five members on the editorial board, each could have their own area of expertise e.g. tax law, constitutional law, environmental law, family law, and criminal law. If this were the case, the board as a whole would have written on all five of these legal issues even if Louise only focused on one area of law in her own writing.

Hope this is helpful! Please let us know if you have any further questions.

ShannonOh22 on August 15, 2019

@Gabrielle's question is exactly what I'm talking about when I say a more comprehensive lesson plan is warranted for Flawed Parallel Reasoning questions. In the video for Q1, there is no full explanation of what you mean by "fallacy of division" versus "fallacy of composition" fact, the video doesn't make anything about the question any clearer. You basically just read the text out loud, saying "clearly", and "obviously" every couple of words, as though that's supposed to make us understand??

Ravi on August 15, 2019


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Kemp on November 29, 2022

I actually believe this is a flaw in the program. "Students at school", and "student body" have the same meaning. This is just a semantic argument that tries to give two different phrases that encompass "all" a different meaning. How I got the answer right and something I hope other people read is simply this. When I find two different answers with identical structure I pick the more detailed answer. It hasn't really led me wrong yet. Even if there is a difference between the two phrases I personally believe it is impossible for a reader to establish a difference without a quantifier such as all, some, or most.

Emil-Kunkin on December 14, 2022

Hi, I think the term student body does indeed mean students at the school, that said, the flaw is that the student body is the entirety of the school, which does not mean that is true of each individual student