One should not intentionally misrepresent another person's beliefs unless one's purpose in doing so is to act in the ...

MargueriteHS on July 30, 2020

A v. D

I initially picked A as my answer, but then I switched to D at the last minute. Wouldn't doing something to make someone like you also not be in their interest? To be both questions seem to be correct. Could you explain?

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shunhe on July 30, 2020

Hi @MargueriteHS,

Thanks for the question! So this stimulus is pretty short and tells us that one shouldn’t intentionally misrepresent someone else’s beliefs unless you’re doing so in order to act in the interest of that person. Well, this is actually a piece of conditional logic, as evidenced by the key word “unless.” So we can diagram this. Remember that we can think of “unless” as “if not,” and so we can diagram this

~Acting in interest of other person —> ~Should intentionally misrepresent another person’s beliefs

And of course, the contrapositive would be

Should intentionally misrepresent another person’s beliefs —> Acting in interest of other person

So now we’re looking for something that’ll violate one of these statements. Take a look at (A), which tells us that Ann tells someone that Bruce thinks the moon landing didn’t happen even though she knew that wasn’t true. And she wasn’t doing this in his interests, she was doing this to make him seem ridiculous. Well, then she wasn’t acting in his interest! And our first conditional tells us if that if you’re acting in their interest, you shouldn’t intentionally misrepresent their beliefs. So she shouldn’t have intentionally misrepresented Bruce’s beliefs, but she did! So that’s a clear violation of the principle, and (A) is going to be our correct answer choice here.

Now take a look at (D), which tells us that Harvey tells Josephine that he thinks Josephine’s going to be famous someday. He doesn’t actually think this, but he wants to make her like him. Does the original principle apply? No, it doesn’t. Remember, the original principle is talking about misrepresenting another person’s beliefs. So this would be if Harvey was misrepresenting Josephine’s beliefs. But here, Harvey isn’t doing that, he’s misrepresenting his own beliefs! HE thinks that Josephine won’t be famous, but says she will be. So this principle doesn’t apply to this situation, and so (D) doesn’t violate it and is wrong here.

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