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Ryan on July 11 at 02:24AM

Assumption

When the word "assumes/assumption" is present in a strengthen question, does that always indicate that it will be a strengthen with necessary premise question?

1 Reply

Ravi on July 11 at 05:55AM

@RyanSpencer,

Great question. When you see the word "assumes/assumption," the
question could be either a strengthen with a necessary premise OR a
strengthen with a sufficient premise question.

Let's take a look at how they differ.

1) strengthen with a necessary premise questions

These questions typically say things like

Which one of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

Which one of the following is an assumption required by the
editorial's argument?

The consumer's argument relies on the assumption that

Which one of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

Which one of the following is an assumption required by the
researcher's argument?

The key giveaway in these question stems that tell us they're
strengthen with a necessary premise questions is that they all contain
wording that tells us that we're looking for an assumption that the
argument NEEDS/REQUIRES/HAS TO HAVE in order for it to have any chance
at holding up.

Necessary premises are premises that must be true in order for the
argument to hold. In other words, if a necessary premise is false,
then the argument falls apart.

2) strengthen with a sufficient premise questions

These question types typically say things like

Which one of the following, if assumed, enables the psychologist's
conclusion to be properly drawn?

The ethicist's conclusion follows logically if which one of the
following is assumed?

The argument's conclusion follows logically if which one of the
following is assumed?

Which one of the following, if assumed, enables the essayist's
conclusion to be properly drawn?

The conclusion of the criminologist's argument is properly inferred if
which one of the following is assumed?

The key giveaway in these question stems that tell us they're
strengthen with a sufficient premise questions is that they all
contain language that tells us that we're looking for an assumption
that, if true, ENABLES THE CONCLUSION TO BE DRAWN/JUSTIFIES THE
ARGUMENT, etc. In other words, we're looking for an assumption that,
if true, makes the argument valid.

Sufficient premises are premises that, if we add them to the argument,
automatically make the argument valid.

To recap, think of necessary premises as premises that, if false, make
the argument lose. Think of sufficient premises as premises that, if
true, make the argument win (valid).

Notice how assumed/assumes/assumption can be present in either question type.

Does this help? Let us know if you have any more questions!