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#13 - Historian: The ancient Greeks failed to recognize that

LSAT Leader
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:02 pm
Points: 49

I don't even know where to begin with this question. I could barely even see the flawed method of reasoning in the stimulus. Im assuming its a flaw in composition? I know that composition flaw is giving an entire group the characteristic just because one part of the group has said characteristic. The stimulus *sort of* feels like that but not entirely. So i went to the questions as best as I could..

I originally C and that was wrong. It seemed parallel to the stimulus. I eliminated answer D which was correct and i do not see that at all. And i couldn't eliminate answer choice E..

So if I could get a little help on this. Why C and E are wrong, why E is right, and what is the flaw in the stimulus if the one i pointed to above was incorrect.

Thank you!
Francis O'Rourke
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
Posts: 474
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:44 pm
Points: 469

Hi PT,

It looks like you are on the right track here. The stimulus tells us that because it is wrong for any individual to have a certain power, it must be at least as wrong for a group of people to have that power.

Choice (D) parallels this perfectly by asserting that because no individual member of a club can afford something, the club as a whole cannot afford that item. This is the correct answer.

Choice (C) lacks any mention of a collective. Instead it tells us that if an action is wrong for any single person, then it must be wrong for any other single person.

Choice (E) does discuss individuals vs groups, so it contains some attractive details. However, the reasoning does not proceed by telling us that if something is true of the individual it must be true of the group. Instead this answer claims that it is possible for every individual to be mistaken if society as a whole is mistaken. The flow of information is thus reversed: this argument makes claims that what is true of the group must be true of each individual.

Furthermore, Choice (E) brings in some questionable wording with the word possible. The stimulus makes a 100% certain claim, which ideally should be paralleled in the correct answer choice. Since choice (D) had such a definite, certain claim in it, you should be suspicious of this answer which merely tells us that something is possible.

As a final note, since Choice (E) merely tells us that it is possible that every individual is mistaken, this argument is not a composition flaw at all!