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#16 - Essayist: Wisdom and intelligence are desirable

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I understand that this is a can not be true question type. I incorrectly chose answer B based on the last sentence "in my own experience, the people I meet have one or the other of these qualities but not both". Can you please explain this question to me and why answer D is correct and B is incorrect?
Steve Stein
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This essayist says that in his or her own experience--that is, everyone that the essayist has met--has been either wise or intelligent but not both.

If the essayist's statements are true, then (D) cannot be possible, because according to the author's statements, there is at least one person who is either wise or intelligent. (B) is possible, because we don't really know anything about "most people," just the limited number that the essayist has met. Thus, since (B) is possible, according to the statements of the author, but (D) is not, (D) must be the right answer to this Cannot Be True question.

I hope that's helpful--please let me know whether this is clear--thanks!

Steve Stein
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Thank you for your reply!
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I'm have a bit of trouble with this problem. Mainly because we have two conditions in which the necessary conditions are negated ( the not both rule ). So how can B could be true ?

I though if A :arrow: B Or B :arrow: A meant one one of the conditions could occur or they could both not occur. So I am deeply troubled with answer choice B .

1) wisdom and intelligence are desirable qualities.
2) intelligent :arrow: does not imply wise
3) wise :arrow: does not imply intelligent
4) I have met people that have one or the other, not both.

Thank you
Jonathan Evans
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Can you please clarify? The answer to this question is D, which is true by virtue of the fact that this essayist has met people, some intelligent and others wise. D therefore cannot be true.

With respect to B, the only evidence provided is the anecdotal observations of this essayist ("In my own experience"). It's quite possible that many or even the majority of people are both intelligent and wise.

I hope this helps.
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How would you diagram (C) and (D)? For 'In my own experience, the people I meet have one or the other of these qualities but not both' would this involve biconditional reasoning?

(C) Possibilities: Wise and Not Intelligent, Not Wise and Intelligent
(D) Possibilities: Wise and Intelligent

So (C) would be a Must Be True? And I am struggling to understand how to diagram these. If for answer (D) no one is either wise or intelligent does this mean that this violates the 'but not both' part of the stimulus?
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Hi Dear LSAT masters:

I found this question a very good example to understand either... or and Neither ... nor. While I wrote out the detail, I wonder if anyone would double check for me please?

P1: I :dbl: ~W
Because it is a biconditional, hence it needs to be broken down in two ways:
(1) ~I :arrow: W
1. ~I :arrow: W
2. ~W :arrow: I
3. W & I (but the author explicitly said not both, hence this possibility is eliminated)
MBF: (4 Could be True, 1 Must be False)
(2) I :arrow: ~W
1. I :arrow: ~W
2. W :arrow: ~I
3. ~I & ~W (but the stimulus provides a biconditional, this possibility is also eliminated. Because regardless of which sufficient, ~I and ~W situation just cannot occur.

A. People :most: ( ~I + ~W ). This can be further devided into :most: ~I (Possible), :most: ~w (also possible)
B. People :most: I +W (could be true answer choice, hence eliminated) same as answer choice A, further divide into :most: I, :most: W. both possible answer choices.
C. ~(W+I) => W → ~I (No A is B = A is ~B = ~(W + I) coincides with the premise 1, hence eliminated)
D. ~ (~W → I) => ~W + ~I
I arrived this conclusion by breaking it down as following:
No A is B = A :arrow: ~B
either Wise or Intelligent = ~W :arrow: I
B = (either wise or intelligent)
~B = ~(either wise or intelligent)
= ~(~W :arrow: I)
= ~W & ~I
E. People :arrow: (I + ~W) (could be true answer choice, hence eliminated)

Correct? Thank you in advance for your instruction! Looking forward to hearing back from you!
Brook Miscoski
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Hi gen,

The best answer to your request is that no one should ever approach this problem in the manner you have written out, at least as far as writing down elements or painstakingly breaking them down in this fashion. Instead, we can cut through this by seeing that the essayist has made a fairly simple set of claims and has only given us a brief report of his experience. We're asked to pick the choice that contradicts his experience.

A. Since the Essayist can't know "most" people, this is consistent with his experience.
B. Since the Essayist can't know "most" people, this is consistent with his experience.
C. This is consistent with the Essayist's experience (see third sentence).
D. This is impossible, since the Essayist has met people who are intelligent or wise. Correct answer.
E. Again, this is consistent with the Essayist's experience since there are many people he can't know.

I wasn't sure whether you meant to suggest this problem as a conditional drill. My feeling is that since the problem is much simpler than that, it does not make sense to use this as a drill. The answer choices do involve set concepts, but again, the Essayist's experience being infinitesimal in comparison with reality at large, and he having made no claims beyond his experience, you are looking for a simple contradiction.