Human beings can exhibit complex, goal–oriented behavior without conscious awareness of what they are doing. Thus, me...

Timur on January 20, 2015


Could you please explain what makes A correct?

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Melody on January 20, 2015

Here we have a strengthen with necessary premise question. Remember that a premise is necessary for a conclusion if the falsity of the premise guarantees or brings about the falsity of the conclusion. First we check to see if the answer choice strengthens the passage, and then, if it does strengthen, we negate the answer choice to see if its negation makes the argument fall apart. If the answer choice does both those things then it is our correct answer.

Conclusion: "merely establishing that nonhuman animals are intelligent will not establish that they have consciousness."

Why? Because human beings can exhibit complex, goal-oriented behavior without conscious awareness of what they are doing.

What's the issue here? We have no evident relationship between "intelligence" and "complex, goal-oriented behavior." There is a gap between the two and our correct answer will help fill this gap.

Answer choice (A): "Complex, goal-oriented behavior requires intelligence."

Does this strengthen? Yes. We have essentially filled the missing piece to bridge the premise to the conclusion.

If complex, goal-oriented behavior requires intelligence, then we can diagram like so:

(A): CGOB ==> I
not I ==> not CGOB

We know that complex, goal-oriented behavior does not require conscious awareness. So we could say that at least in some cases we can have complex, goal-oriented behavior without consciousness:

P1: CGOB-some-not C
not C-some-CGOB

We can now connect "P1" with (A) like so: not C-some-CGOB ==> I to conclude: not C-some-I, i.e. some things that show intelligence do not show consciousness.

Thus, our conclusion"merely establishing that nonhumnan animals are intelligent does not establish that they have consciousness--is strengthened, since we know that some things that do show intelligence do not have consciousness. Therefore, we cannot use intelligence alone to prove consciousness.

Negation: Complex, goal-oriented behavior does not require intelligence.

Does the negation break down the argument? Yes.

The negation of (A) essentially breaks down the link between "intelligence" and "complex, goal-oriented behavior."

Thus, we have no reason to conclude that merely establishing that nonhuman animals are intelligent would not establish that they have consciousness. We no longer have a reason to hesitate on inferring that showing intelligence can establish consciousness--thereby breaking apart the argument.

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