Consumer advocate: Manufacturers of children's toys often place warnings on their products that overstate the dangers...

Farnoush on November 8, 2019

Why E and not D?

Hi, Could you please explain why E and not D? Thank you

1 Reply

Irina on November 8, 2019


The argument tells us that product-warning labels should overstate dangers only if doing so reduces injuries. Toy manufacturers overstate dangers to protect themselves from lawsuits, therefore, manufacturers of children's toys should not overstate the dangers.

The argument is flawed because it presumes that just because A is true - manufacturers overstate the dangers to protect themselves from litigation, it means that B cannot be true - toy labels that overstate the dangers do not reduce injuries, whereas it overlooks the possibility that both could be true. A toy label that exaggerates the dangers could both reduce the injuries and protect manufacturers from legal liability, thus the conclusion is invalid.

(E) correctly summarizes our analysis of the flaw because the argument relies on the unjustified assumption that overstating dangers on the label has an effect of reducing injuries only if it the manufacturers intended that a label overstating dangers would reduce injuries. Surely, a label exaggerating dangers could have an unintended effect of reducing injuries even though manufacturers' primary purpose was to protect themselves from legal liability.

(D) is an attractive answer choice but it is important to read it carefully. Note that it is saying:

if a warning overstates a danger, then the warning will fail to prevent injuries,

whereas the argument presumes that:

if a manufacturer overstates the danger to protect themselves from lawsuits then the warning will fail to prevent injuries.

These two conditional statements have entirely different meanings, the argument is not presuming that just because the label overstates the danger it will fail to prevent injuries - in fact this statement contradicts the premise saying that warning labels should overstate the dangers only if doing so reduces the injuries, meaning the argument leaves open the possibility that overstating the danger could prevent injuries in contrast to what (D) is saying.

Let me know if this makes sense and if you have any further questions.