The writers of the television show Ambitions could make their characters more realistic than they currently are, but ...

Jason on November 20, 2019

Please explain

Completely lost on how the patterns relate to each other...


Irina on November 20, 2019


The basic argument pattern here is:

If A then B
If make more realistic -> viewership shrink
Not B
Viewership does not shrink/ goes up
Therefore, not A
Not more realistic

(D) exhibits a similar pattern of reasoning:
If executives were responsible, then losses would have been greater
A -> B
Losses were less
Therefore, executives were not responsible

Let's briefly look at the rest of the answer choices:

(A) If failure is due to economic collapse then not fair to blame. There was a broader economic collapse. Therefore, not fair to blame.
Incorrect. The issue with (A) is that the second premise does not actually match the antecedent, the fact that there was a broader economic collapse does not mean that the failure was DUE to this collapse as the first premise requires.

(B) If failure is due to economic collapse then it is not fair to blame. No collapse. Therefore, executives deserve the blame.
Incorrect. This is also a flawed argument that commits a fallacy of mistaken reversal, the proper contrapositive is - fair to blame -> failure not due to collapse. We cannot infer anything from the fact that failure is not due to the collapse as the second premise states.

(C) If responsible then can say what they could have done differently. Therefore, if you cannot say what they could have done differently, then you should not blame them for the failure.
Incorrect. The conclusion is conditional as opposed to the stimulus where we have two premises and a conclusion.

(E) Since failure was due to collapse, it is not fair to blame..
Incorrect. There is no conditional premise as in the stimulus.

Jason on November 20, 2019

Awesome, thank you so much!

Max on March 28 at 05:48PM

Hello, thank you for the responses so far. I am struggling to understand the difference between C & D.

Is C incorrect because of the additional specificity in "should not..."? Is that what you meant @Irina in saying the conclusion is conditional? If it were "then they are not responsible," would that be identical to D?

In simpler terms the logic seems the same in C&D, but I can see why D is the clearest after rereading.

Somewhat thinking aloud but appreciate any response.

Emil on March 30 at 12:49AM

A major reason why C is wrong is that the conclusion is conditional. The conclusion of the original stimulus is absolute (they will not do this) but the conclusion of C is an if-then statement. The conclusion has to match in type. Additionally, the should is an issue. The passage described what is, not what one should or should not do.