Ms. Sandstrom's newspaper column describing a strange natural phenomenon on the Mendels' farm led many people to tres...

Timur on March 25, 2015

Clarification

Answer choice A does not address whether Ms. Sandstorm could have reasonably expected the the column would lead people to damage the Mendels' farm - isn't that the missing assumption?

3 Replies

Melody on March 27, 2015

This is a strengthen with sufficient premise question. Remember that a sufficient premise is sufficient for a conclusion, if and only if the existence of the premise guarantees or brings about the existence of the conclusion. Therefore, we need to find the premise that 100% guarantees the conclusion. The way you want to attack these answer choices is two-pronged. Ask yourself, does it strengthen? If it doesn't, then cross it out and continue to the next answer choice. If it does strengthen, however, then ask yourself whether or not the premise guarantees the conclusion.

Conclusion: Ms. Sandstrom should pay for this, if she could have reasonably expected that the column would lead people to damage the Mendels' farm.

Why? Because Ms. Sandstrom's newspaper column describing a strange natural phenomenon on the Mendels' farm led many people to trespass on and extensively damage their property. And the Mendels claim that Ms. Sandstrom could have reasonably expected that the column would lead people to damage the Mendels' farm.

Answer choice (A) states: "One should pay for any damage that one's action leads other people to cause if one could have reasonably expected that the action would lead other people to cause damage."

Does this answer choice strengthen the argument? Yes.

Answer choice (A) states that if one could have reasonably expected that the action would lead other people to cause damage, then one should pay for any damage that one's actions leads other people to cause. We know that the Mendels claim that Ms. Sandstrom could have reasonably expected that the column would lead people to damage the Mendels' farm. Thus, according to answer choice (A), Ms. Sandstrom should pay for any damage that her actions led to, i.e. the conclusion.

Does this premise guarantee the conclusion? Yes.

Answer choice (A) is diagrammed:

(A): CRE ==> PD
not PD ==> not CRE

The Mendels claim that Ms. Sandstrom could have reasonably expected that the column would lead people to damage the Mendels' farm.

P: CRE

Thus, if we take answer choice (A) to be true, we are guaranteed: "PD," i.e. that Ms. Sandstrom should pay for the damage.

Hope that clears things up! Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Adam on March 29 at 03:10PM

What is the difference between A and B that makes B the incorrect answer?

Jacob on March 29 at 10:20PM

Hi @Adam-Estacio,

There is a key difference between answer A and answer B that makes A the right answer.

Answer B says: One should pay for damage if . . . “one EXPECTED that the action would lead other people to cause that damage.”

That means that it is a subjective test: did this particular person actually expect the action to lead people to cause damage?

Answer A, in contrast, says that one should pay if “one COULD HAVE REASONABLY EXPECTED” . . . etc.

This is an objective test — could one have reasonably expected this damage, even if this particular person did not expect it?

We have no information in the passage about whether Sandstrom actually expected the damage. But we do have information about the Mendels’ claim that she COULD HAVE reasonably expected it. And that is why answer A is correct!

I hope that helps. Please let us know if you have further questions.