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

Julie on August 6 at 07:34PM

Examples 3, 4 and 9

Hi LSAT Max, I was wondering if someone could give me general advice when it comes to using common knowledge on the LSAT. For example, Questions 3 and 4 for this video lesson required you to recognize that there was counter-evidence being overlooked and a biased speaker in the stimuli. For #3, I chose E, but not because it was overlooking the fact that mammals don't fly. That fact didn't even cross my mind, and I don't even think I knew that before watching the question explanation. So in situations like this, are there any indicators that you would have to connect the dots to assumptions and facts outside of the info. given? Similarly, for #9 I wasn't certain if "intelligent" and "genius" were being used interchangeably. Do you have any advice on how to determine whether a condition is different from others in a stimulus? Thank you in advance for the help, much appreciated!

3 Replies

Ravi on August 6 at 08:23PM

@Julie-V,

Great question. There is actually one type of mammal that flies (the
bat). So, for question 3, it's fine that you didn't choose (E) because
it was overlooking the fact that mammals don't fly.

(E) says, "Since more than 19 out of every 20 animals in the wildlife
preserve are mammals and fewer than 1 out of 20 are birds, there is a
greater than 95 percent chance that the animal Emily saw flying
between two trees in the wildlife refuge yesterday morning was a
mammal."

The argument in the stimulus is relying entirely on statistics while
ignoring a large reason to believe that the statistics are incorrect.
19 of 20 animals on the preserve are mammals, but most animals that
fly are birds. Emily is relying on the statistics about animals while
simultaneously ignoring the fact that most flying creatures are birds.
This is why (E) is incorrect.

Regarding outside knowledge, there isn't any outside knowledge
required for you to answer this question correctly. The error is with
how Emily is using the statistics, and this is given to us in the
answer choice.

For question 4, the issue with the argument in the stimulus is that we
don't know how much we can trust the judgments of the security guard.
The subjective opinions of the night guard to not count as facts that
we can make objective conclusions from.

We see this same pattern of flawed reasoning with (B), as the argument
is making a conclusion based on the claims of the store's competitors.
The store's competitors' claims do not serve as good premises to form
objective conclusions from, so this is why (B) is the correct answer.

With this question, there isn't any need to bring in outside
information to answer it correctly. With the LSAT, you will always
have everything you need to answer the question correctly contained
within the text of the question.

With question 9, one of the big flaws is that the author is making
assumptions about extreme versions of the terms he's using
(nearsighted to "very nearsighted" and intelligent to "very
intelligent"/genius). The author is making an assumption about "very
intelligent" equating to genius, and this is a big leap.

With (D), which says, "John is extremely happy, so he must be
extremely tall because all tall people are happy," it commits both of
the big flaws that are in the stimulus. It has the flaw of confusing
the necessary condition for the sufficient condition and also takes
the terms of the arguments to extremes without any support (with
"extremely happy" leading to "extremely tall").

To determine whether a condition is different from others in the
stimulus, first ask yourself what the condition is referring to and if
it's being compared to anything. If it is (as was the case in question
9), is the comparison warranted, or is the author making an assumption
in equating the terms? Always be critical and skeptical as you're
reading the questions on the LSAT, and it'll help you see the flaws
more easily.

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

Julie on August 7 at 02:02PM

it does make sense, thank you so much for the detailed explanation Ravi! I appreciate it so much

Ravi on August 7 at 06:38PM

@Julie-V, you're welcome—we're always happy to help!