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#21 - Two doctrines have been greatly influential in this

kcho10
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I'm having trouble seeing how A is correct. It seems like an exaggeration. We only need to assume that the first doctrine precludes the second doctrine, which is psychological accounts of historical events. But there are other noneconomic accounts besides psychological. So wouldn't it be an exaggeration to say that the first doctrine precludes ANY noneconomic factors?
Adam Tyson
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I see your point, kcho10, and it's a good one. The author's assumption is probably more correctly described as "it cannot be both of those things" instead of "it must be just one thing". Perhaps the author would be okay if the doctrines could each allow for some third thing, something that is neither economic nor psychological, to be a factor?

In cases like this, it is good to remind yourself of the instructions for the LR section of the test, which tell us to select the best answer of the five choices presented. It's not about picking a perfect answer, or even a good one, although most of the time the correct answers are perfect or nearly so. Here, answer A is simply the best answer of the bunch. It is also not unreasonable to think that this author assumes (without justification) that the two doctrines include within them the concept of "only".

What happens when we test answer A with the Negation Technique? We get something like "the first doctrine does not preclude non-economic factors", and that pretty well wrecks the argument because it opens the door to psychological factors also playing a part. None of the other answers has that kind of impact when negated, and that is how we know that answer A is the best answer of the bunch.

That can be a tough pill to swallow, kcho10, especially for the typical LSAT taker who is somewhat fiercely argumentative and wants to find perfect answers that are clearly correct, without ambiguity. However, as you head into first the study of and later the practice of law, you will often find that there are no clearly correct answers to many legal questions. Ambiguity and nuance are what make lawyers and courts necessary! The LSAT is the first step on that journey towards embracing answers that are less than perfect, but which accomplish your goal to the greatest degree possible.
Adam M. Tyson
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kcho10
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This really helped my study approach. Thank you!!