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#10 - Philosopher: People are not intellectually well suited

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Hi there, thank you for your help! I really appreciate it!

June 2001 LSAT, Sec 3 LR, #10:

I chose the right answer A. However, I feel that D is also very attractive. When I read D again, I found that it is less attractive. However, re-reading wasted my time :( I don't wanna this happen again :(

Could you explain why D is wrong?

Thank you so much!

Jacques Lamothe
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Hi Sherry,

It's great that you were able to pick the correct answer out of your contenders after re-reading D! Re-reading the answer choice might use a little bit of time, but there is no problem in using that to increase your chances of getting the correct answer.

The problem with (D) is that the philosopher never takes for granted that everyone who lives in smaller political units will find happiness. The use of "if at all" in the last line of the stimulus indicates that the philosopher accepts there is a chance that a person will not find any happiness. The argument only claims that happiness is impossible in large, bureaucratic societies, not that it is guaranteed to be found in villages.

I hope that helps!

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Hi, I had difficulty ruling out D.
The argument as a whole concludes that people can find happiness, if at all, only in smaller political units such as villages, and supports that conclusion by stating that people are not intellectually well suited to live in large bureaucratic societies.
The argument jumps from making a statement about intellect and fit in society to happiness. I read D not as anyone will find happiness in a small political unit, but anyone can. But if we interpret D as anyone can[i][/i], would that even be a flaw, to say anyone can find happiness in a small unit?
Is A right, because just because people are not intellectually well suited to something doesn't mean they cannot be happy? And/or is A correct because the argument makes a general statement about large governments and then fails to justify why people can only find happiness in small governments?
Thanks for your time
Robert Carroll
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Keep in mind that the stimulus already qualifies its claim about whether people can find happiness in a village - it says "if at all." So it's already allowing that people may be in a village (or something similar) and yet still have no possibility of finding happiness. Answer choice (D) is then wrong because the stimulus did not think those people definitely had even the possibility of finding happiness.

The problem with the stimulus is a lack of connection between "intellectually well suited" and "find happiness". Only answer choice (A) addresses this.

Robert Carroll