One child pushed another child from behind, injuring the second child. The first child clearly understands the differ...

shafieiava on December 11, 2019

Mapping

Is it possible for an instructor to show how you might map/diagram this question to keep the principles straight in your head?

AndreaK on December 14, 2019

Hi @shafieiava,

I think we should try breaking down this argument so that you can see the relationship between premises and conclusion better.

Premise: One child pushed another child from behind, injuring the second child.
Premise: The first child *clearly* understands the difference between right and wrong
Conclusion: if what was done by the first child was intended to injure the second child, it was wrong

Keep in mind, the conclusion is conditional. I think thatâ€™s probably what makes this question tricky for most people. We want to strengthen the idea that *if* what was done by the first child was intended to injure the second child, then it was wrong

Which one of the following most helps to justify the reasoning in the argument? (think of this stem as asking us to strengthen)

A) We know from the second premise that the child understands the difference between right and wrong, so letâ€™s just take that part out of the answer choice for the ease of clarity since we know that condition has been met.
An action that is intended to harm another person is wrong â€”â€”â€”> X (what we took out for clarity, which has been met)
*Only if* gives us a necessary condition. Though that condition has been met via the second premise, meeting necessary conditions isnâ€™t doing much for us like meeting a sufficient condition would. We want this answer choice to be written the other way around to strengthen the argument.

B) We know from the second premise that the child understands the difference between right and wrong, so letâ€™s just take that part out of the answer choice for the ease of clarity since we know that condition has been met. Without that, it reads: It is wrong to intentionally harm another person.â€ Keep in mind, we donâ€™t know if the first child actually did push the second child intentionally. But if he did do it intentionally, then with this answer choice, we know it was wrong to do so. Remember, thatâ€™s the conclusion weâ€™re trying to strengthen is â€œif there was intention, then it was wrong.â€ Bingo!

C) Again, remember the conclusion is conditional. We want to strengthen the argument that â€œif there was intention, then it was wrong.â€ Therefore, this doesnâ€™t do what we need. We're trying to prove the action was wrong if it was done with intentâ€¦we donâ€™t actually know if it was wrong.

D) The part that says â€œâ€¦and did not think about whether the act would injure the other personâ€ is not addressed in the stimulus. We are looking for intention instead. We are also looking to strengthen that conditional conclusion, â€œif there was intention, then it was wrong.â€ We canâ€™t strengthen with this because a key part of it is not addressed by the stimulus.

E) Because we know the child does know the difference between right and wrong, this answer choice isnâ€™t triggered and doesnâ€™t apply to our situation.