Student: My university recently enacted new penalties for drinking alcohol in on-campus student housing. But the univ...

on December 24, 2019

D vs. E

why is D better than E? Does any changes in the policy matter if previous attempts have failed? I understand the flaw is that the argument is assuming just because past attempts failed, that this attempt will fail, which was what I was looking for in the answer choice. But, the new policy, even if it is different, can still fail like the old policies. The old policies could have been different than the ones before them too. After reading the answer choices and not finding what I was looking for, I decided to look for an alternate cause for why the new policies could be affective, and E seemed right.

1 Reply

Shunhe on December 27, 2019

Hi @tomgbean,

(D) is making a weaker claim than you think it makes. Sure, the new policy could still fail even if it is different. But the reasoning flaw is simply that the student "overlooks the possibility" that new penalties are different in some relative way. The fact that the student doesn't even consider potential differences in this policy versus others, instead lumping them into the same category, is a reasoning flaw.

(E), on the other hand, is wrong because the conclusion concerns itself with only the effectiveness of the new penalties at curbing on-campus drinking. Thus, any other consequences are irrelevant to this particular question. The student hasn't made any reasoning flaws by not considering other potential benefits of the policy, as her argument is limited only to the policy's effectiveness on curbing on-campus drinking. Hope this helps!