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#18- Principle: Even if an art auction house identifies the

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Complete Question Explanation

Strengthen—PR. The correct answer choice is (E)

The principle presented here is this: if an inaccurate art auction house catalogue description is
a deliberate attempt to deceive bidders, then that auction house is guilty of misrepresentation—
regardless of whether the catalogue specifies that all descriptions within the publication are merely
opinion.

The application of this principle, as presented in the stimulus, is as follows: Healy’s art auction
house inaccurately described in its catalogue a modern reproduction vase as having been made in
the mid-eighteenth century. If the inaccurate description represents a deliberate attempt to mislead
buyers, then Healy’s, the author provides, is guilty of misrepresentation—even though its catalogue
specifies that all of its descriptions are opinion.

The question stem asks for the choice that ‘most justifies’ (or, strengthens) the application of the
principle (finding Healy’s to be guilty of misrepresentation), so the correct answer choice will
somehow show that Healy’s catalogue descriptions must have been deliberate attempts to mislead its
buyers.

Answer choice (A): This is a very clever and appealing wrong answer choice, because it provides
evidence that would provide motive for such deception. Although this choice does point to a
very clear benefit associated with Healy’s inaccurate description of the vase, this answer fails to
specifically strengthen the claim that Healy’s auction house was deliberately attempting to mislead
its buyers.
Answer choice (B): In the determination of Healy’s guilt based upon the principle in the stimulus,
the relevant question is whether Healy’s had intended to deceive its buyers when inaccurately
describing the vase. This intent is all that matters to this question’s analysis, and the question
of whether or not experts, or anyone else, chose to bid on the vase is irrelevant to the issue of
misrepresentation.

Answer choice (C): If the stated policy of the auction house is to avoid the mention of age, then
when they printed the catalogue, Healy’s went against stated policy by referencing the age of the
vase in question. This does not prove, however, that the auction house was deliberately attempting
to mislead its buyers, and thus does not strengthen the case for misrepresentation according to the
principle in the stimulus.

Answer choice (D): As discussed previously, the term “some” is quite vague; it means “at least one.”
So, this choice provides that there is at least one Healy’s employee who thinks that the auction house
should have an expert certification policy. The opinion that such a policy should be implemented
does not bolster the claim that Healy’s knowingly attempted to deceive its buyers, though, so it does
not help justify the claim that the auction house was guilty of misrepresentation when inaccurately
describing the vase.

Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice, which provides that without any basis for
the eighteenth-century attribution of the vase, the auction house described it as such in order to
increase the auction price. This is clear evidence of Healy’s intention to mislead buyers so that they
might bid more.
rneuman123@gmail.com
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I really don't understand what the question is asking here in q 18. Is it asking for you to help the applications' argument by showing how it wasn't meant to mislead buyers? If so, e seems like an opposite answer. But none of the incorrect answers stand out as correct to me either.
Shannon Parker
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Hi there,

Question 18 can be viewed as a strengthen, or assumption type of question. You are applying the set of facts to the stated principle and can be simplified in the following manner:

Premise 1: Art houses who publish opinions of works are guilty of misleading buyers if it is a deliberate attempt to mislead buyers. (In necessary and sufficient condition terms: Guilty ---> Deliberate)
Premise 2: The arthouse Healy's published the opinion that a vase was from the mid-eighteenth century, even though it wasn't.
Conclusion: Healy's is guilty of misleading buyers.

Which one of the following does the author's argument rely on?

You can see from the restatement that in order to be guilty there has to be some sort of deliberateness on the part of the art house. This then becomes a general prephrase of the answer. The answer will contain some statement indicating that Healy's intentionally lied about the age of the vase. Answer choice "E" is the only one that accomplishes this by stating that it was "merely in order to increase its auction price."

I hope this helps sort it out.

~Shannon
HopefulJD
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Hey guys, reviewing this question reminded me of a question that I've been searching for an answer to! The principle gives us a conditional statement, but how would we diagram the "even if" portion on this question? Because the original question that's been on my mind is, does "even if" introduce a sufficient or necessary clause? I figure it's equivalent to "only if", but I just wanted to double check! Thanks in advance for always being a wealth of info, Powerscore people!
James Finch
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Hi Hopeful,

"Even if" is a strange phrase, because while it does contain our standard sufficient condition indicator "if," like with "only if" the other word modifies it in such a way that it is no longer a sufficient condition indicator. But it isn't a necessary condition indicator either; instead, what "even if" indicates is that this is explicitly not a conditional relationship at all, since knowledge of whether the condition following "even if" tells you nothing about the other condition. In this question, the "even if" is telling us that the first part of the Principle is irrelevant to the conditional relationship that follow the comma, which would be:

Deliberate attempt to mislead :arrow: Guilty of misrepresentation

A little bit of humor, given that most of the LSAT is written in a way to mislead test takers, including this stimulus!

Hope this helps!
HopefulJD
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James Finch wrote:Hi Hopeful,

"Even if" is a strange phrase, because while it does contain our standard sufficient condition indicator "if," like with "only if" the other word modifies it in such a way that it is no longer a sufficient condition indicator. But it isn't a necessary condition indicator either; instead, what "even if" indicates is that this is explicitly not a conditional relationship at all, since knowledge of whether the condition following "even if" tells you nothing about the other condition. In this question, the "even if" is telling us that the first part of the Principle is irrelevant to the conditional relationship that follow the comma, which would be:

Deliberate attempt to mislead :arrow: Guilty of misrepresentation

A little bit of humor, given that most of the LSAT is written in a way to mislead test takers, including this stimulus!

Hope this helps!



Yes, that helps a ton! Thank you very much