## LR PARALLEL RELATED TO FLAW AND METHOD

lawana
LSAT Apprentice

Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 10:29 pm
Points: 14

Hi, I have several questions regarding LR parallel questions, and how it relates to method and flaw questions. I'm currently on chapter 16 (parallel reasoning)

1. what is the validity of an argument? (I have seen this valid and invalid arguments in other chapters throughout the LR)

2. So I'm a little confuse about the bible's explanation about method and parallel. The book says that method and parallel are identical with the exception that, in parallel the answer choices are not based on the stimulus topic, I got that.
However, in method of reasoning, you must base your structure from the information in the stimulus, and ONLY from the stimulus, you cannot bring outside information. Whereas, in parallel, the topic of the stimulus is irrelevant, and I can see that from the answer choices. My problem comes when attacking parallel questions; the book suggests to apply the "four test" match A.method, B.conclusion, C.premisses, and D.validity. So my question is, how do I find the form or method in parallel stimulus (A of the four test)?
I feel parallel flaw is a little easier, because the book does explain forms of flaws within the stimulus such as, circular reasoning, source argument, conditional, and etc. Therefore, finding the form in parallel flaw and matching it to the answer choice is a little easier.
Also in parallel, I have found doing an abstract of the stimulus (when the four test fails) extremely helpful, can abstract be my first source of attack for parallel, or I should follow the four test first (always)?

3. Lastly, in chapter 15 (flaw) I'd like to have a better understanding of "false analogy" and "false dilemma," the book only gives a brief explanation.

Dave Killoran
PowerScore Staff

Posts: 2447
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:18 pm
Points: 2,442

Hi Lawana,

lawana wrote:Hi, I have several questions regarding LR parallel questions, and how it relates to method and flaw questions. I'm currently on chapter 16 (parallel reasoning)

1. what is the validity of an argument? (I have seen this valid and invalid arguments in other chapters throughout the LR)

In your LRB (the 2016 version, I believe) please take a look at pages 45-46 (including the sidebars), and then again starting at page 164, which will help further cement those ideas.

lawana wrote:2. So I'm a little confuse about the bible's explanation about method and parallel. The book says that method and parallel are identical with the exception that, in parallel the answer choices are not based on the stimulus topic, I got that.

I need to jump in here, because that is NOT what the LRB says, and the two questions are not identical except for the topic. I make the very specific note on page 79 that: "Parallel Reasoning questions are a one-step extension of Method of Reasoning questions in that you must first identify the type of reasoning used and then parallel it. Method of Reasoning and Parallel Reasoning."

lawana wrote:the book suggests to apply the "four test" match A.method, B.conclusion, C.premisses, and D.validity. So my question is, how do I find the form or method in parallel stimulus (A of the four test)?

It's not always obvious, which is why I mention that test as being applied "When you see an identifiable form of reasoning present" (page 514). If you don't, move on quickly.

lawana wrote:I feel parallel flaw is a little easier, because the book does explain forms of flaws within the stimulus such as, circular reasoning, source argument, conditional, and etc. Therefore, finding the form in parallel flaw and matching it to the answer choice is a little easier.

Right, I mention in the book that there are many more identified forms of flawed reasoning than valid reasoning, hence that difference

lawana wrote:Also in parallel, I have found doing an abstract of the stimulus (when the four test fails) extremely helpful, can abstract be my first source of attack for parallel, or I should follow the four test first (always)?

You certainly can do it using the abstract approach first! Remember, as I discuss in the book (page 516), your analysis happens like a waterfall—you quickly look for various elements that pop out, and then explore the most promising one. It's not a tedious approach of: Step 1—slowly review and consider, Step 2—slow review and consider, etc.

lawana wrote:3. Lastly, in chapter 15 (flaw) I'd like to have a better understanding of "false analogy" and "false dilemma," the book only gives a brief explanation.

They appear infrequently, hence relatively short discussion but here are examples of each:

False Analogy: This is most often a wrong answer in Flaw questions, but the gist here is that someone makes a comparison that doesn't apply. For example:

* Painting a picture is like jumping off the Eiffel Tower: both happen quickly and end in disaster [umm, painting isn't usually fast and doesn't necessarily end in disaster; this is a terrible comparison].

* Mountain climbing is basically the same swimming in a pool because both are cold and arduous [this is a better analogy than the first because pools can be cold and tiring, but are pools always cold and are they always tiring? I wouldn't say so. They can often be refreshing and fun].

False Dilemma: This one appears as the form of reasoning in arguments more frequently, and the gist is that the speaker assumes only two things happen, when in fact there could be more. That typically leads to an argument where when one thing occurs, the other assumes that the other didn't occur (or vice versa)For example:

* For applicants who receive a job offer, most celebrate all night. Thus, the rest go home and go to sleep immediately [well, I think there are more than two options if someone gets the job].

* Chris: I was just accepted into Harvard! Terry: I guess that means you won't be accepted to Yale. [Hmm, why does getting into Harvard mean Yale won't accept Chris?].

Thanks!
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Test Preparation