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#5 - Although consciousness seems to arise from physical

est15
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Looking at answer choice C, why is it that if the physical structures and functions of consciousness are currently unknown, the conclusion doesn't naturally follow?

My broader question is: why is it that the strength of an argument does not depend on current evidence?
David Boyle
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est15 wrote:Looking at answer choice C, why is it that if the physical structures and functions of consciousness are currently unknown, the conclusion doesn't naturally follow?

My broader question is: why is it that the strength of an argument does not depend on current evidence?


Hello est15,

An argument does depend on current evidence, since we're not talking about an argument we may make in 10 years, we're talking about arguments we're making right now.

As for answer C, it seems to mix things up. "physical structures and functions of consciousness" isn't what the stimulus says: the stimulus says that consciousness may arise from those structures. B is the right answer since it tells us we need more than an explanation of physical structures, to explain consciousness.

Hope that helps,
David
est15
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I'm still confused about why a current lack of knowledge about the features required for physical theories wouldn't make it so that consciousness can't be explained by physical theories. This question reminded me of #5 in Section 4 of the Feb 1999 test. I picked C (which was incorrect) because I thought that if we didn't have the ability to analyze the atmosphere for the presence of methane, then there was no way that this particular method could be the most reliable way. Because how could something be the most reliable if it doesn't even exist in the first place?

Could someone explain why for both of these answer choices the inability to do something at the present doesn't weaken the argument?
David Boyle
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est15 wrote:I'm still confused about why a current lack of knowledge about the features required for physical theories wouldn't make it so that consciousness can't be explained by physical theories. This question reminded me of #5 in Section 4 of the Feb 1999 test. I picked C (which was incorrect) because I thought that if we didn't have the ability to analyze the atmosphere for the presence of methane, then there was no way that this particular method could be the most reliable way. Because how could something be the most reliable if it doesn't even exist in the first place?

Could someone explain why for both of these answer choices the inability to do something at the present doesn't weaken the argument?


Hello,

Re answer C in the 1999 test, even if we can't analyze methane this moment, it could still be the best way. (I can't currently flap my arms and fly to the sun, but if I could, it might be the most energy-efficient way of getting there, compared to building a big rocket to transport me.) But even if answer C does weaken the argument some, answer B is much better, since if some living things don't make methane, how can you detect them through detecting methane?

Re the 2002 test, I said, "An argument does depend on current evidence, since we're not talking about an argument we may make in 10 years, we're talking about arguments we're making right now. As for answer C, it seems to mix things up. 'physical structures and functions of consciousness' isn't what the stimulus says: the stimulus says that consciousness may arise from those structures."
In other words, while a lack of current evidence may help weaken, problem 5 is a Justify question, not a Weaken question! So B, which strengthens the argument to the point of justifying it, is correct. (Again, answer C sort of misses the point, even if it does a shell game and repeats some words from the stimulus.)

David
avengingangel
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Hi....why is D the chosen answer? I am sooo confused on this one. I've read the stimulus like 20 times now and it's getting to the point where the words don't even seem like theyre spelled right... any help is appreiateed. thanks
Luke Haqq
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Hi avengingangel,

The answer to this one is (B), not (D). Hope that helps clear up any confusion!