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#2 - The solidity of bridge piers built on pilings depends

christianitylove
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I don't understand why letter (E) is the correct answer.
It is possible that the pilings of the Rialto Bridge could have been drive deeper even after the standard of refusal had been met.

I thought this would be the wrong answer because it says that Antonio Da Ponte actually had cause the pilings to go deeper than the standard of refusal while letter (E) says the pilings of the Rialto Bridge COULD HAVE been driven deeper. Isn't letter (E) saying that the pilings of Rialto Bridge could have been drive deeper when in reality it didn't?
rpark8214
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Hi,
I understand why answer choice (E) is the correct answer, but what are the faults with (C)? Are we not in the position to infer how strict Da Ponte's standard was compared to other builders of his day? If Da Ponte met the contemporary standard for refusal, while his peers conformed to a different standard (till refusal), could one argue Da Ponte's standard was in fact less strict? Your input is much appreciated!
Francis O'Rourke
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Choice (A) claims that the pilings were unsafe. However the only mention of safety we have is that the bridge met one standard of safety for the day.

Choice (B), similar to Choice (A), seems to misinterpret the information as saying the opposite of what it did: we have some evidence that the bridge was safe, and no evidence that it was unsafe.

Choice (C) relies on knowledge of other bridges. Since the stimulus only claims that Da Ponte met the standards for his day, he may very well have had the strictest standard of his era. We know that the bridge satisfied some minimum requirement, but we do not know how much further Da Ponte went in the "refusal" for the bridge.

Choice (D) seems to contradict the premise that until 1700, bridge pilings were driven to a point of resfusal

Choice (E) is tricky, but picturing what this standard for refusal really is could help us. In Da Ponte's case, this standard was hitting the pilings with a hammer a number of times and seeing how far down it went. Refusal in this case is how resistant the piling is to being driven deeper in the ground.

Da Ponte met his era's standard because the pilings traveled less than 2 inches after being struck 24 times with a hammer. This answer choice correctly infers that it is possible to drive the pilings just a little bit deeper into the ground after the minimum requirement is met.
LSAT2018
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Francis O'Rourke wrote:Choice (E) is tricky, but picturing what this standard for refusal really is could help us. In Da Ponte's case, this standard was hitting the pilings with a hammer a number of times and seeing how far down it went. Refusal in this case is how resistant the piling is to being driven deeper in the ground.

Da Ponte met his era's standard because the pilings traveled less than 2 inches after being struck 24 times with a hammer. This answer choice correctly infers that it is possible to drive the pilings just a little bit deeper into the ground after the minimum requirement is met.


So is there a difference between the contemporary standard for refusal in 1588 and the definition for refusal (prior to 1700, pilings were driven to “refusal,” that is, to the point at which they refused to go any deeper)?
kg70382
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I do not understand why (e) is the correct answer for this Must be True question.

Page 132 of the LRB states that a wrong answer for a Must be True question includes an answer that could be true. It seems like answer choice (e) fits this category, because of the language "It is possible..." and "...could have been...". Based on the explanation on page 132, why isn't answer choice (e) automatically eliminated?

Thank you!
Malila Robinson
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Hi kg70382,
For a question like this you need to match the could be true language in the argument with the could be true language in the answer. For example the first sentence is saying that "largely" the solidity of the bridge depends upon the depth of pilings. The rest of the passage goes on to say that the original standard for depth changed when someone when deeper with the pilings.
This leads to E as the correct answer, because the standard/contemporary depth could change if bridge builders were able to go deeper with the pilings as the passage has shown us.
Hope that helps!
-Malila