Based on the passage, it can be concluded that the author and Broyles-González hold essentially the same attitude toward

Sara on November 25 at 02:15AM

Suspending the real world

Am I only supposed to consider the question as it is presented or an I supposed to consider the real world when considering a question? Because it honestly feels like it changes arbitrary.

4 Replies

Ben on November 25 at 03:06PM

Hi SCutter, thanks for the question.

This is a really common question that students have and I'm glad you've brought it up here.

When you are reading a logical reasoning or reading comprehension passage, you should be interpreting it as it is given to you in terms of information provided. That means you should not be bringing in outside assumptions to inform your understanding of the passages. However, this does not mean that you should ignore real-world truths when reading passages. You are expected to examine questions using obvious and common-knowledge information.

I'm going to provide one example: If the passage is discussing people jumping on a trampoline. You cannot assume that they are jumping high, even though that may seem logical. You can however bring in your real world knowledge that gravity exists and that they will not float away. Sounds funny/ridiculous, but we can only bring in absolute, real-world truths to aid our understanding of passages.

There is the other issue of some question types allowing you only to use the information presented in the passage (Must be true, Method, etc.) and others requiring you to bring in outside information (from the answer choices) to examine the stimulus (Strengthen, Assumption, etc.)

Hope this helps, please let me know if you have any other questions.

Sara Monday at 09:58PM

Thank you Ben. That's a helpful perspective. I also have a question about the Argument Completion Drills. As I’m working on the Argument Completion Drills, I often find that I am “flipping” the conclusion with its contrapositive; is it still correct? For example:

Premise:
A>B; contrapositive not B>not A
C>not B; contrapositive B>not C

Conclusion:
A>not C; contrapositive C>not A

Except the answer shows C>not A; contrapositive A>not C as the Conclusion. Am I wrong? And if so, can someone explain how it’s not just the same Conclusion restated? And when do I know when one argument is the conclusion and when it’s the contrapositive?

Ben Tuesday at 04:28PM

Hi SCutter,

The idea is that any given conditional diagram and its contrapositive are functionally identical.

A - > B
NOT B - > NOT A

These are simply two different ways to say the exact same thing. So as long as you correctly deduce the conclusion, and the answer choice presents the contrapositive of the conclusion you reached, you can be happy and confident knowing you have the right answer.

Going back to your example. When you were finding the conclusion, you combined the following conditional chains to reach your conclusion.

A - > B - > NOT C, this would give you what you had: A - > NOT C

But we can just as correctly have gone through this route:

C - > NOT B - > NOT A, which would give us this. C - > NOT A (the answer choice provided)

So I hope you can see, it is all one and the same. Do not worry about distinguishing between diagrams and their contrapositives. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Sara Wednesday at 04:43AM

Thank you Ben. Very helpful