# The Jacksons regularly receive wrong–number calls for Sara, whose phone number was misprinted in a directory. Sara co...

MJA7 on November 2, 2014

Question help

Replies

Naz on November 11, 2014

Conclusion: Although it would not be wrong for the Jacksons to tell callers trying to reach Sara merely that they have dialed the wrong number, it would be laudable if the Jacksons passed along Sara's correct number.

Why? Well, we know that the Jacksons regularly receive wrong-number calls for Sara, whose number was misprinted in a directory. Sara let the Jacksons know of the misprint and her correct number. The Jacksons did not lead Sara to think that they were going to pass along her correct number, but it would be helpful for Sara if they did so and of no difficulty for them.

Answer choice (A) states: "It is always laudable to do something helpful to someone, but not doing so would be wrong only if one has led that person to believe one would do it."

So, if something is helpful to someone, it is laudable.

P: H2S ==> L
not L ==> not H2S

And, if it is wrong to not help someone then it is because one has led that person to believe one would do it.

P: W ==> OLB
not OLB ==> not W

We know that it would be helpful to Sara for the Jacksons to give out her correct number, i.e. "H2S," and we know that the Jacksons did not lead Sara to believe that they would pass along her correct number, i.e. "not OLB." Therefore, answer choice (A) helps us infer that passing along Sara's correct number would not be wrong, i.e. "not W," and that it would be laudable, "L,"--which is the conclusion of the argument.

Hope that was helpful! Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Meredith on November 6, 2019

What's wrong with C?

shafieiava on February 2, 2020

I have the same question about C. It seems that it is this same information but just in a different order. On another note, Would you have recommended diagraming for this entire question? If so, how would you have diagramed the stimulus?

Emil-Kunkin on April 13, 2023

Pasting in the issue with C below

@shafieiava, happy to help!

Besides breaking the passage into premises and a conclusion, I would not diagram the argument.

We are looking for a principle that will explain the argument's reasoning, and therefore lead to the conclusion that "although it would not be wrong for the Jacksons to tell callers trying to reach Sara merely that they have dialed the wrong number, it would be laudable if the Jacksons passed along Sara's correct number."

(A) states, "It is always laudable to do something helpful to someone, but not doing so would be wrong only if one has led that person to believe one would always do it."

Does this make sense in terms of the Jacksons' actions? We know that "it would be helpful to Sara" if the Jacksons pass along the correct number, so under the principle presented in (A), we know that this means it would also be laudable. This matches the second half of the conclusion that the passage draws. (A) also tells us that not doing something helpful would be wrong only if someone was misled about the intention to do that helpful thing. However, the passage makes it clear that "the Jacksons did not lead Sara to believe that they would pass along the correct number," so she was not misled, and therefore it would not be wrong for the Jacksons to not pass along the correct answer. This is consistent, so (A) explains the passage's conclusion and is correct.

(C) states, "If one can do something that would be helpful to someone else and it would be easy to do, then it is laudable and not wrong."

Does this make sense in terms of the Jacksons' actions? We know that "it would be helpful to Sara and of no difficulty to them" if the Jacksons pass along the correct number, so under the principle (C) presents, doing so would be laudable and not wrong. This matches the second half of the passage's conclusion- that "it would be laudable if the Jacksons passed along Sara's correct number." However, it does not address the first part of the conclusion. Would it be wrong or not wrong for the Jacksons to not pass along Sara's number? Since this question is left open, (C) does not fully explain the passage's reasoning and is incorrect.

Does that make sense? Please let us know if you have any other questions!