Parallel Flaw. The correct answer choice is (A)
This is a classic Mistaken Reversal of conditional reasoning. The stimulus can be diagrammed as follows:
- Prem: Historian Spot trends Can distinguish sig.
Conc: Can distinguish sig. Historian (Mistaken Reversal)
Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice. It contains a Mistaken Reversal (the order of the premises is unimportant in Parallel Reasoning):
- Prem: Fig. of speech Emot. Impact Used by poets
Conc: Used by poets Fig. of speech (Mistaken Reversal)
Answer choice (B): This answer does not contain a Mistaken Reversal (it is close to a repetition if you consider autocrats to be not elected legislature).
Answer choice (C): The premise relationship in this answer is different from the one in the stimulus:
- (note how the arrows go in opposite directions)
Answer choice (D): This is actually valid reasoning, although it appears to be invalid at first:
The arrows are pointing in opposite directions so people sometimes presume this to mean that no inference can be made. However, the reason that this is argument is valid has to do with the soft language of the conclusion. The conclusion simply states that short story writers can be blues musicians. For this to be true, short story writers merely need to possess the necessary condition(s) of a blues musician, so here they must have a deep desire to communicate. Since they have the necessary condition, it is possible that they can be blues musicians (it has not yet been ruled out), and the conclusion is correct. To conclude anything stronger than “can” would be incorrect, but the possibility still exists so “can” is acceptable.
Of course, the premise relationship still does not match the stimulus, so this answer choice does not parallel the Mistaken Reversal presented there.
Answer choice (E): This answer choice introduces a new term/idea in the conclusion, as it tries to relate the fact that a country’s past is never the product of free choice with the notion of people being free. These are different ideas so this does not parallel the stimulus.