Political scientist: Democracy depends on free choices, and choices cannot be free unless they are made on the basis ...

jlivingston1028 on February 20, 2020


With this question when I diagram it I get.... If D, FC If WRO, -FC (contra as if FC, -WRO) If WRO, R C: HL, D ... With this, I understand that he mixes up necessary and sufficient but the wording of the answer choice makes it seem like he's using Democracy in the conclusion as the sufficient and the premise Democracy as the necessary which is why I didn't pick this choice... any tips or clarification you can give me? Also, when diagramming unless I always thought you took the variable after unless as the necessary while negating the variable before unless as the sufficient... your diagram seems to be opposite, am I doing it wrong? I also have a lot of trouble with flaw questions in general and have done all of the practice given, any more help or extra tips you can supply for flaw questions? THANK YOU

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SamA on February 20, 2020

Hello @jlivingston1028,

I think that the problem here is your diagram of the "unless" statement. You described the process accurately, but it seems that you failed to negate the part before "unless."

"Choices cannot be free (no FC) unless they are made on the basis of well-reasoned opinions (WRO)."
WRO becomes the necessary condition.
We negate (no FC) and make it the sufficient condition.

FC - - - - - > WRO

Make sure you understand the concept of negation. It doesn't mean we should always make the statement negative. Rather, we simply reverse it. no FC becomes FC.

This gives us a neat chain of conditions.

D - - - > FC - - - - > WRO - - - - -> RS

Conclusion: Thus, in the Information Age, a highly literate society will be a democratic one.

RS - - - - - > D

As you can see, this mistakes necessary conditions for sufficient conditions. The necessary condition does NOT guarantee the sufficient condition.