## Causal Reasoning v Conditional Reasoning

Harry0829
LSAT Apprentice

Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:17 pm
Points: 7

Hi,

I am a bit confused on your point that causal reasoning and conditional reasoning are entirely separate (Page 302).
Because if the stated cause is the only possible cause of the effect, and that if the stated cause will always produce the effect, I think a causal reasoning implies a conditional reasoning.

For instance, for a causal statement that Drinking causes liver cancer, what I understood from Powerscore explanation is:
In the LSAT world, drinking will always cause liver cancer. Thus,
(1) If someone has a liver cancer, that person has drunk alcohol sometime in the past.
(Contrapositive: IF a person has not drunk alcohol anytime in the past, that person will not have a liver cancer.)
(2) If someone drinks alcohol, that person will suffer from liver cancer.
(Contrapositive: If a person does not suffer from liver cancer, that person has not drunk alcohol in the past.)
-> Based on (1) and (2) I think that causal relationship implies drinking cancer
Of course, there is a difference in that in (1) the necessary condition has caused the sufficient condition, and in (2) vice versa. I am not sure whether this difference is what you meant by them (causual & conditional) being entirely separate.

I would appreciate if you can clarify this confusion, and please correct me if I am mistaken!

Thank you
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Staff

Posts: 3171
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:18 pm
Points: 3,167

Harry0829 wrote:I am not sure whether this difference is what you meant by them (causual & conditional) being entirely separate.

Hi Harry,

Thanks for the question! It's the quoted part above.

Almost any LSAT concept can be shaped to look like another concept (and I'm not kidding there), so there will be times when you encounter questions where they commingle the ideas, or that it can be hard to distinguish which one you are looking at. That's moreso true on modern LR, as they are attempting to make things more and more obscure. That said, my point about the distinction is how they internally operate, which is different. Causality is all about making something happen, and so the language tends to be very active ("causes," "produced by," "was a result of," etc), whereas conditionality is a signalling relationship with no motivating force inside of it (and hence the language is different).

Thanks!
Dave Killoran
PowerScore Test Preparation

My LSAT Articles: http://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/author/dave-killoran
PowerScore PodCast: http://www.powerscore.com/lsat/podcast/
Harry0829
LSAT Apprentice

Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:17 pm
Points: 7

Thank you for a quick reply!