## #16 - There is a difference between beauty and truth. After

mariahenain

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I somehow got this question correct without diagramming but by process of elimination. I first narrowed the contenders down to A and D. Then, I noticed that "only" was too strong and chose A instead.

I do understand the diagramming above, i.e. T AB and then from that follows AB B. Thus, answer choice A makes sense to me.

However, I have two questions: First, is it okay to continue doing these questions without diagramming, or is it necessary for me to do in order to get these questions right?

Secondly, why is answer choice D a Mistaken Reversal? Isn't the "only" indicator attached to "best artworks" aka among the best? The way the sentence reads, I see Beautiful Among the best.

Thank you for your help!
nicholaspavic
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Hi maria,

If you are getting comfortable without diagramming and still able to correctly answer the questions, then absolutely stop. If you find yourself getting lost in a complicated stimulus, then go back to diagramming, but not diagramming will obviously improve your speed.

As to your second question, Answer Option (D) is a Mistaken Reversal. Remember the contrapositive we were looking for to close that gap?

B AB

Well, in this case "only" is referring to both AB and B. Thus the correct diagramming mimics Answer (A) and becomes:

AB B

Thanks for the great question!
dbpk
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nicholaspavic wrote:
Well, in this case "only" is referring to both AB and B. Thus the correct diagramming mimics Answer (A) and becomes:

AB B

I don't understand how "Only the best artworks are beautiful" is diagrammed as "best artwork Beautiful"
Shouldn't it be "Beautiful best artwork" which is what we're looking for?

I thought this was a general rule for conditional statements that say "Only X is Y" to diagram it as "Y X" . For example, if you were to say "Only girls are in the play", that would be diagrammed as "In the play girl" meaning if you're in the play, you MUST be a girl. It would definitely be incorrect to reverse it as "girl in play" since being a girl does NOT automatically mean you are in the play.

Thank you!
Jonathan Evans
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DBPK,

Great catch! You're absolutely right! "Only" (as used here) does introduce the necessary condition. Thus, (D) is correctly symbolized as:

Beautiful Best Art (B AB)

Your excellent observation has prompted me to make some needed revisions to the Administrator explanation:

https://forum.powerscore.com/lsat/viewtopic.php?f=552&t=4065

Please revisit this explanation and follow up with further questions if necessary. Thanks!
biskam
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Administrator wrote:Complete Question Explanation

Assumption. The correct answer choice is (A)

At first, this may seem like a confusing argument to follow. To simplify it, break it down into premises and conclusion and use conditional reasoning and formal logic to diagram them:

Premise (1): mR mT (the most realistic art is the most truthful)

Premise (2)/Subordinate Conclusion: (T B) (mR AB) (if truth same as beauty, then the most realistic art would be the best art)

Premise (3): mR AB (some of the most realistic art is not among the best art)

Conclusion: NOT (T B) (truth is not synonymous with beauty)

Is there a gap between the premises and the conclusion? Absolutely. You should notice that the conclusion introduces a new element: the element of beauty. Since "beauty" is not mentioned anywhere else in the argument, the proper (Supporter) assumption must address it. Remember: assumptions are necessary for the conclusion to be true! If the conclusion introduces a new, rogue element into the argument, then you must look for a Supporter Assumption that connects it to the rest of the premises.

Go through the five answer choices and quickly eliminate those that fail to mention "beauty." This simple tasks eliminates answer choices (B) and (C), leaving us with (A), (D), and (E). You should also quickly eliminate (E) as it introduces an entirely irrelevant piece of information to the argument.

Now that we are left with (A) and (D), think about what is the best way to link the premises in the argument to the element of beauty in the conclusion. Try to look for the implicit connection between a concept in the premises and a concept in the conclusion.

As they stand, the premises give support to the following conclusion: if the most realistic pieces of art are the most truthful but some of these most realistic/most truthful pieces are not among the best art, then some of the most truthful art is clearly not necessarily the best art.

Current possible valid conclusion: mT AB

This could have the author's conclusion. Instead, the author goes one step further, suggesting that the fact that the most truthful art is not necessarily the best art is sufficient to establish that truth and beauty are not synonymous.

To get from the existing possible conclusion (mT AB) to the main conclusion, we need to establish that the most beautiful art is in fact the best art.

mB AB

If we were to know that the most beautiful art is the best art or that the best art is the most beautiful, then the fact that some of the most truthful art is not the best art would be sufficient to establish that beauty and truth cannot be synonymous.

Answer choice (A) establishes this connection. Note the important nuance "most." The premises concern the fact that the most realistic art is the most truthful. We must match this concept of "most" to establish the incongruity between the concepts of truth and beauty. If we break the link by showing that the most truthful cannot also be the most beautiful, then our job is done: there must be a difference between truth and beauty.

Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice. See discussion above.

Answer choice (B): This answer choice fails to link beauty to the rest of the premises and is therefore incorrect.

Answer choice (C): This answer choice fails to link beauty to the rest of the premises and is therefore incorrect.

Answer choice (D): This is the strongest decoy answer, but it actually fails to make the correct connection. This answer choice posits that if art is beautiful, it is among the best art. If it's not the best art, it's not beautiful. Remember that we are looking for an assumption required by the argument. Is it truly necessary for all beautiful art to be the best art? Let's use the Assumption Negation Test™: What if some beautiful art were not the best, could it still be possible, given the other premises, for truth and beauty to be different from each other? Yes, perhaps some beautiful art is not the best art, but the most beautiful art actually is the best; in that case, it could still be possible to show that the most beautiful is not the most truthful, and therefore beauty and truth could still be different. Thus, this answer choice fails the Assumption Negation Test™.

Answer choice (E): It is entirely irrelevant to the conclusion whether beauty is subjective or not. This answer choice is incorrect.

I'm following the explanation until it says this: If we were to know that the most beautiful art is the best art or that the best art is the most beautiful, then the fact that some of the most truthful art is not the best art would be sufficient to establish that beauty and truth cannot be synonymous.

Can anyone please help me to get over the hump? I'm not making the connection here.
James Finch
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Hi Biskam,

The stimulus is trying to prove to us that beauty doesn't equal truth. It does so by using conditionals:

MR MT/MB Best

but also tells us that

MR Best

so

MR MT Best

doesn't work. What does that leave us with?

MB Best

Because if MB = MT, then whichever you had would lead to having the best art. But since we know it doesn't necessarily work if it all we have is MR MT, then MT and MB cannot be the same thing (or play the same role in our conditional reasoning).

Hope this clears things up!
biskam
LSAT Master

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James Finch wrote:Hi Biskam,

The stimulus is trying to prove to us that beauty doesn't equal truth. It does so by using conditionals:

MR MT/MB Best

but also tells us that

MR Best

so

MR MT Best

doesn't work. What does that leave us with?

MB Best

Because if MB = MT, then whichever you had would lead to having the best art. But since we know it doesn't necessarily work if it all we have is MR MT, then MT and MB cannot be the same thing (or play the same role in our conditional reasoning).

Hope this clears things up!

It does! A night's break and focusing on the author's objective of trying to prove that they're not synonymous helped me a lot. Thanks!
lathlee
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Would it be fair to consider this question as one of honorable mentions of the hardest LR Qs of all time but not quite difficult as original 15 Qs Hardest LR of all time
Jennifer Janowsky
PowerScore Staff

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Hi lathlee!

Different questions are hard for different people, and therefore it's hard to make a definitive ranking of LSAT questions by difficulty. Suffice to say this is a very tough question, especially to diagram.
kjjida9797
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Answer choice (D): This is the strongest decoy answer, but it actually fails to make the correct connection. This answer choice posits that if art is beautiful, it is among the best art. If it's not the best art, it's not beautiful. Remember that we are looking for an assumption required by the argument. Is it truly necessary for all beautiful art to be the best art? Let's use the Assumption Negation Test™: What if some beautiful art were not the best, could it still be possible, given the other premises, for truth and beauty to be different from each other? Yes, perhaps some beautiful art is not the best art, but the most beautiful art actually is the best; in that case, it could still be possible to show that the most beautiful is not the most truthful, and therefore beauty and truth could still be different. Thus, this answer choice fails the Assumption Negation Test™.

I don't think the Assumption Negation Test of (A) upends the conclusion. Once negated, it would say "The most beautiful artworks are NOT the best artworks." Then some beautiful artworks, though not the most beautiful, can be considered as the best artworks. That is, an artwork of average beauty may be the best artworks. From this, wouldn't we be able to argue that there is difference between beauty and truth? For there are occasions under which the best artworks are of average beauty while not being the most truthful. Then the author's conclusion still stands, even when (A) has been negated. Just like answer (D). What am I missing here?