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Similarities and differences with Strengthen, SA and NA

william92
LSAT Apprentice
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:46 am
Points: 5

Hello,

I've looked through each feature of Strengthen, Justify the Conclusion and Assumption questions and could grasp basics but some of explanations are confusing me.

First of all, do the correct answer choices of all three question types play the basically same role in a broader sense? To my understanding, Strengthen answer most supports the assumption of the author making the argument more likely (though it does not necessarily proves the conclusion), Justify answer proves the conclusion (100% - logically valid) when combined with the stated premises and Assumption answer (especially Supporter role) closes the gap in the argument by linking the elements together (linking two premises or linking premise to the conclusion). The way how their roles are expressed makes me confused in that those different types of answers all make the conclusion follows from the premises (logically valid). Can I distinguish them in terms of the extent that the each answer contributes to the relationship of premises and conclusion (Like, Strengthen tends to just help the argument but generally does not undeniably prove the conclusion, which would also be correct if it does / Justify 100% proves the conclusion / Assumption answer would be just a bare minimum for the conclusion to make sense)?

In a similar sense, general role of Justify and Supporter role of Assumption look pretty much the same to me when it comes to their role of supplying a missing link.

For this sample question on LR book page 347, All male citizens of Athens had the right to vote. Therefore, Socrates had the right to vote in Athens, method to draw the missing link (Socrates was a male citizen of Athens) looks perfectly the same (when using the mechanistic approach). I wonder if this missing link is both sufficient AND necessary assumption of the argument (Where Justify and Assumption overlap). If I go further, as other assumptions would be like "Socrates was a male or Socrates was a citizen of Athens", would possible Justify answer be something like "Socrates fought in the Peloponnesian War and was a male citizen of Athens" (which meets a minimum but goes beyond by containing an additional information)? I tried to distinguish Justify and Assumption by thinking that Assumption answer cannot contain anything additional since that assumption was what the author (already) believed before or while he/she made the conclusion and that is the conclusion from where I need to draw the assumption. I'm not sure if this way of thinking would be okay.

I feel like I'm getting too obsessed with each concept but I would really appreciate if someone can clarify these things. Thanks!
Daniel Stern
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:14 pm
Points: 82

Hi William:

From your post, it seems you are understanding the concepts perfectly, especially where you write:
Like, Strengthen tends to just help the argument but generally does not undeniably prove the conclusion, which would also be correct if it does / Justify 100% proves the conclusion / Assumption answer would be just a bare minimum for the conclusion to make sense


You have hit the nail on the head!

I think you are correct to say that there may be some overlap, and that some supporter assumption answers are going to look a lot like justify answers.

Your example about the Socrates question is perfect. Certainly, the Justify answer could include additional information whereas the Assumption answer, as you point out, needs only to get the author where he was already heading.

I agree with everything in your post, I think you have these concepts locked down.

Best of luck in your studies,
Dan
william92
LSAT Apprentice
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:46 am
Points: 5

Thank you so much for confirmation :)