In the first paragraph, the author refers to a highly reputed critic's persistence in believing van Meegeren's forger...

Julie on August 2, 2019

#4 Parallel Reasoning Practice Question

Hi LSAT Max, I had the same question as Caitlin and Ravi's explanation did wonders! However, I'm confused as to why the first sentence from #4 is supposed to be diagrammed as "A -> B". Is "depress domestic steel prices" and "harm domestic steel manufacturers" not two different statements? They sounded similar to me as I read the sentence, but I thought depress would mean a decrease in prices and harm manufacturers would be a separate condition. I realized after that there was only one necessary condition because otherwise I wouldn't have been able to get to answer choice (E), but I'm still wondering why "depress domestic steel prices" and "harm domestic steel manufacturers" mean the same thing. Thank you in advance for the help!

Replies

Victoria on August 2, 2019

Hi @Julie-V,

The way that the passage is written a bit confusingly for trying to diagram it.

The first sentence of the passage claims that "allowing more steel imports would depress domestic steel prices and harm domestic steel manufacturers." In other words, allowing more steel imports would result in both a depression in domestic steel prices AND harm to domestic steel manufacturers. This makes sense as a depression in domestic steel prices would harm domestic steel manufacturers economically.

Remember that you can have two parts to a S&N condition linked together with 'and' as long as you change 'and' to 'or' when writing the contrapositive. Therefore, this statement would be diagrammed as:

Allow more steel imports - > depress domestic steel prices AND harm domestic steel manufacturers
Not depress domestic steel prices OR not harm domestic steel manufacturers - > Not allow more steel imports

The passage concludes that, "since the present government will not do anything that would harm the domestic steel industry, it will not lift restrictions on steel imports." We can see that this directly mirrors the contrapositive.

In this way, "depress domestic steel prices" and "harm domestic steel manufacturers" do not mean the same thing. Rather, the fact that they are linked by 'and' means that they are two components of the same condition as opposed to two separate conditions.

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

Julie on August 2, 2019

This was absolutely helpful, thank you so much Victoria! It was the two components aspect of the sentence that I failed to pay closer attention to

Ravi on August 2, 2019

@Julie-V, let us know if you have any other questions!

Ryan on June 26, 2020

Question: So how do we know when it is two components and thus should be treated as one variable in the diagram opposed to writing two variables (b &c)?