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LRB (2016 EDITION) P. 25 #14

Marce
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HI,

FOR PG. 25 # 14, how is the word something not clear? I completely understood the meaning to relate to a solution one way or the other.

Thanks!
Jon Denning
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Hi Marce! Thanks for posting!

I'm trying to track down exactly where this question is, but having a tough time finding it...my 2016 LRB has a discussion on premises and conclusions on pages 24-25, but no question #14 and no reference to the word "something" not being clear/clearly used.

Can you do me a favor and double-check that this is from the Logical Reasoning Bible, and that the page number and question number are correct?

Sorry for the confusion on my end, but we'll get it figured out and then I'll be able to clear things up :)

Thanks again!
Jon Denning
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Jon Denning
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Hi Marce - I saw your reply to Dave in another thread that these questions were from the Workbook, not the Bible, so I went ahead and found the question giving you trouble!

Let's take a look :)

Number 14 in the LRBW (page 25) begins with Richardson's recent claim that we must do something in response to the university's current economic crisis. The author then notes that he/she has proposed two responses: lay off some workers, and reduce the budget back to last year's levels. So far, so good.

The problem arises in the conclusion. Here the author claims that following Richardson's advice to "do something" means that the author's program of action must be implemented immediately. In other words, if Richardson is right that "something" must be done...then that "something" must be the author's plan.

But does that have to be true? Could we follow Richardson's advice and do something without doing what the author proposes? Sure! Something can refer to lots of different prospective options, some, or even many, of which don't include what the author wants. That means following Richardson's "do something" call to action doesn't necessarily guarantee that we'll "do THESE THINGS" that the author has proposed.

The flaw we see here hinges on the use, or interpretation, of the word "something." Richardson uses it to mean "we can't sit idly by; some action must be taken." The author, on the other hand, takes it to as an endorsement of "doing the things I propose as that something." But that's not for sure the case.

You can perhaps imagine a real-world scenario, and since I'm sitting in LA typing this I'll give you one that hits close to home :)

..... Me: "We really need to do something about this LA traffic."

..... Elon Musk: "See there folks! Another strong supporter of my plan to dig tunnels under the city for
..... subterranean travel tubes!"

..... Me: "...uhh I didn't say that."


Same relationship between the somewhat vague and the very specific, all based on changing the interpretation of that word, "something."

I hope that helps!
Jon Denning
PowerScore Test Preparation

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jonmdenning
My LSAT Articles: http://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/author/jon-denning