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#18 - New Age philosopher: Nature evolves organically

PowerScore Staff
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Complete Question Explanation

Flaw in the Reasoning. The correct answer choice is (E)

The “New Age philosopher” in this stimulus presents a sophisticated-sounding argument whose flaw becomes clear when the philosopher’s logic is simplified:

    Premise: ..... Nature evolves organically, holistically, and non-linearly.

    Conclusion: ..... Thus nature is best understood through reasoning that is organic, holistic, and non-linear.

Without justification, the philosopher assumes that because nature has those attributes, the best understanding of nature would come from a style of reasoning with those attributes. This is the flaw in the argument.

Answer choice (A): This answer choice presents the conditional flaw of mistaking a necessary condition for a sufficient condition. Since this is not the flaw found in the philosopher’s argument, this answer choice is incorrect.

Answer choice (B): The stimulus does not reference the overall structure, but rather three specific attributes, so this cannot be the correct answer choice.

Answer choice (C): This distinction is not required by the argument, so the failure to make this distinction is not a flaw.

Answer choice (D): There is no effort made by the politician to see the interconnected as separate, so this cannot be the flaw inherent in the philosopher’s argument.

Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. The philosopher assumes, without justification, that the best way to understand nature is with reasoning that displays common attributes.
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Hi PowerScore Staff,

I chose Answer B on this, largely because i couldn't identify a Prephrase, and B and E looked similar. Any idea on what a good PrePhrase might be, or how I could tell these apart? It just seems like B is accurate: it does discuss overall structure (holistic=overall?)

Who Ray
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Hello Deck!

According to the philosopher, scientists do not use "organic" reasoning to understand nature; therefore, the philosopher cannot have overlooked the possibility that some people do not use reasoning that is similar to the phenomenon. Additionally, the word "identical" makes this a particularly dramatic assumption and that should make you skeptical.
I would rephrase this stimulus with an analogy like,"when thinking about paintings, should i only think in 2 dimensions? How would I explain depth?" and then attack the ACs

Who Ray
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Hi, what's the point of the second sentence? Saying it can be best understood as a whole. That sounds like a premise. And science as the conclusion presented it doesn't do that... so this reasoning is sound from what I can see. You can just look at this premise and the conclusion and it works out.
Brook Miscoski
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The second sentence is an additional consideration, so, yes, a premise. The argument then leaps from the idea that because nature can best be understood as a whole, the best understanding nature excludes step-by-step reasoning. That is a conflation of the phenomenon--nature--with the reasoning used to understand the phenomenon.

The way for you to spot this leap under LSAT time pressure is for you to take notice when there is a gap in language or concept. The stimulus leaped from "understanding" to "reasoning," and it leaped from nature to the way we study nature. Those kinds of leaps are often addressed by the correct response, in this case, (E).