Some people have been promoting a new herbal mixture as a remedy for the common cold. The mixture contains, among oth...

Selin on June 27 at 05:48PM

Could you please explain why A is correct?


1 Reply

Shunhe on June 27 at 09:55PM

Hi @Selin-Deldag,

Thanks for the question! Let’s take a look at what this argument is saying. There’s this new herbal mixture as a cold cure, apparently. But then a cold sufferer says let’s assume it works. Well, if it did, then people would use it. But people aren’t using it, so it doesn’t work.

Now we’re asked for the method of reasoning that the cold sufferer is using. This is something that we can pre-phrase before we go into the answer choices. Clearly, this takes the form of an if-then argument. What the cold sufferer is doing is following:

Works —> People use
~People use

Therefore, ~Works

In other words, they are using a conditional statement and a negation of the necessary condition to get to their conclusion. Knowing this, we can go into the answer choices. And that’s what (A) says. If the claim (the medicine works) were true, then it would have consequences that are false (people would use it, but people don’t actually use it), and so the original claim is false. That’s the reasoning used here, and that’s why (A) is the correct answer choice.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.