Attacks on an opponent's character should be avoided in political debates. Such attacks do not confront the opponent...

Fiona on September 10, 2020

What is the generalized principle here?

My paraphrase was that "we should not pay attention to attacks on character." I thought B would apply to this because viewers should follow the principle, too. What would be the proper description for this principle? Thanks!

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Shunhe on September 13, 2020

Hi @lsatstudier1,

Thanks for the question! So you’re taking the wrong approach here, which might be what’s confusing you. We’re not looking for what the principle in the argument is. We’re looking for a principle that we can add to the argument to get to the conclusion. In other words, this is basically a strengthen with sufficient premise question, and the premise we’re strengthening with is a principle. But the principle isn't one that's already in the stimulus; it's what we're trying to add to get us to the conclusion.

So what’s going on in this argument? We’re told that attacks on character should be avoided. Why? The attacks don’t confront the argument and just cast doubt on the moral right to be on the debate. Something that might help here is something that connects this premise with the conclusion. Take a look at (C), which says that debating techniques that don’t confront every argument should be avoided. If that principle is true, then since attacks on an opponent’s character don’t confront the argument, they should be avoided! And that links our conclusion to our premise and thus is the correct answer.

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

Fiona on September 15, 2020

Thank you I understand now!