to the top

#1 - A distinguished British judge, Justice Upton, said that

LSAT Master
Posts: 247
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:11 am
Points: 248

I chose the correct answer for this question but would like to clarify if the answer (E) is a Mistaken Reversal/Mistaken Negation of the stimulus. I know that the conclusion is the part (whether some administrative decision by a government minister is reasonable is a question that judges, by their training and experience, should be well equipped to answer)
but this is followed by an or else (or else there would be something badly wrong with the legal system). I would like how to make sense of that part because the conclusion does not seem to include it.

I didn't choose (E) because the conclusion wasn't a conditional reasoning statement but was not sure whether the or else should be included. What are your thoughts on this?
Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
Posts: 2587
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:01 pm
Points: 2,401

That answer does look like a Mistaken Reversal of the argument, LSAT2018, and is incorrect both for that reason and because the conclusion here is not itself conditional. The argument can be broken down this way:

Premise: If judges aren't well-equipped to answer those questions about the reasonableness of administrative decisions by ministers, then the system is very wrong with the system
Premise: There is no reason to believe there is anything very wrong with the system
Conclusion: Judges should therefore be able to answer those questions

It is a conditional argument and is based on a contrapositive, but the conclusion itself is not a conditional statement.

The "or else" is just part of that first premise, meaning "if the conclusion is not true." In abstract terms, it's:

Premise: If the conclusion is not true, then something else must be true
Premise: That other thing is not true
Conclusion: The conclusion is true

Looks like you handled it nicely. Good work!
Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
Follow me on Twitter at