Scientist: Some critics of public funding for this research project have maintained that only if it can be indicat...

Joseph on April 25, 2016

Why is the correct answer E?

Hello, I am lost on this one. Any help is appreciated!

1 Reply

Mehran on May 6, 2016

@Joseph let's break down the stimulus.

"Some critics of public funding for this research project have maintained that only if it can be indicated how the public will benefit from the project is continued public funding for it justified."

"Only if" introduces a necessary condition, so we know that some critics of the public funding for this research project believe:

CPFJ ➡️ IHPB
not IHPB ➡️ not CPFJ

"If the critics were right about this, then there would not be the tremendous public support for the project that even its critics acknowledge."

"If" introduces a sufficient condition, so we can diagram the first part of this statement as follows:

R ➡️ not TPS
TPS ➡️ not R

The second part of this sentence, i.e. "that even its critics acknowledge," allows us to invoke the contrapositive of this principle, i.e. there is tremendous public support for the project.

This contrapositive argument can be broken down as follows:

P: R ➡️ not TPS
TPS ➡️ not R

P: TPS

C: not R

So this information leads us to the conclusion that the critics are not right. Not right about what?

CPFJ ➡️ IHPB

How do you disprove a general principle? You show the sufficient condition can exist without the necessary condition:

CPFJ ➡️ not IHPB

So continued public funding for this research project is justified even if it cannot be indicated how the public will benefit from the project.

(E) states exactly this, i.e. "That a public benefit can be indicated is not a requirement for the justification of the research project's continued public funding."

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions.