Fremont: Simpson is not a viable candidate for chief executive of Pod Oil because he has no background in the oil ind...

Christy on June 10, 2019

I chose D...

It seemed like it could be the right answer based mostly on my process of elimination, however I admittedly eliminated answer C because I didn't really understand what it was saying. Can I please have an explanation of answer C?

2 Replies

Victoria on June 28, 2019

Hi @Christy-Earls,

I always find these questions to be difficult because the answer choices are presented in such abstract terms. Make sure that you have a complete understanding of what argument the passage is making and fully diagram any statements which use S&N terminology. This helps as you can visually see what the argument is claiming and, therefore, can avoid making simple errors based on confusing sufficient and necessary conditions.

Let's start by going through the passage.

Fremont claims that "Simpson is not a viable candidate for chief executive of Pod Oil because he has no background in the oil industry."

In other words, if you are a viable candidate for chief executive of Pod Oil, then you must have a background in the oil industry. If you do not have a background in the oil industry, then you are not a viable candidate.

Viable candidate - > background in oil industry

No background in oil industry - > not viable candidate

Galindo counters that "an oil industry background is no guarantee of success" because the last chief executive of Pod Oil "had decades of oil industry experience but steered the company to the brink of bankruptcy."

So, before we address the answer choices, what is the flaw in Galindo's argument?

The conclusion of his argument is that Simpson may be a viable candidate because an oil industry background does not guarantee success. However, Fremont did not claim that an oil industry background guaranteed success. Fremont claimed that a lack of an oil industry background means that you are not a good candidate for the position in the first place.

In other words, Fremont is arguing that having a background in the oil industry is necessary for the chief executive job whereas Galindo questions Fremont's conclusion by suggesting that having an oil industry background is not sufficient for the chief executive job.

We can see that this is directly restated by answer choice C: "rests on a confusion between whether an attribute (having a background in the oil industry) is necessary for success (the chief executive job) and whether that attribute is sufficient for success."

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

on April 17 at 01:47AM

That was actually very helpful! Thank you!

I picked E, but I definitely think your reasoning makes more sense!