If Blankenship Enterprises has to switch suppliers in the middle of a large production run, the company will not show...

Bnoiman@gmail.com on April 4, 2020

Help with answer B

I got this answer correct, but I'm struggling to make sense of the wording. Can you please help me with this? Not sure how "only" factors into the answer choice.

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SamA on April 12, 2020

Hello @Bnoiman@gmail.com,

Good question! This is a classic reversal of sufficient and necessary conditions, a reasoning error that the LSAT will frequently test you on. However, they often use confusing language in the answer choices that makes it difficult to identify this error.

Premise: If Blankenship Enterprises switches suppliers (SS), the company will not show a profit (not SP).
SS ---> not SP

Conclusion: Blankenship Enterprises did not show a profit (not SP), therefore they switched suppliers (SS).
not SP ---> SS

If you look at my diagram, you will see that the author flipped the sufficient and necessary conditions without negating. The conclusion does not follow the same logic as the premise. Switching suppliers is supposed to be sufficient for no profits. In other words, there could be a million ways for the company not to show profits. We can't conclude that it was due to switching suppliers.

This is where "only" comes in. What if switching suppliers was the only way for the company not to show profits? Then the conclusion would be correct.

Let's break down answer choice B. What is the condition? Switching suppliers mid-run. What is the phenomenon? No profits.