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#16 - Chiu: The belief that a person is always morally blame

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Complete Question Explanation

Justify the Conclusion. The correct answer choice is (B)

In this stimulus, Chiu asserts that the belief that a person is always morally blameworthy for feeling certain emotions is misguided. Since persons are only responsible for what is under their control, Chiu concludes that a person is not always morally blameworthy for feeling certain emotions.

    Premise: ..... People are responsible only for acts under their control:

    ..... Individual responsibility ..... :arrow: ..... under individual control

    ..... under individual control ..... :arrow: ..... Individual responsibility


    Premise: ..... Whether one feels the referenced emotions is sometime not under one’s control:

    ..... Certain emotions ..... :arrow: ..... under individual control

    Linking the above two premises:

    ..... Certain emotions ..... :arrow: ..... under individual control ..... :arrow: ..... Individual responsibility


    Conclusion: People are not always morally blameworthy for certain emotions:

    ..... Certain emotions ..... :arrow: ..... always morally blameworthy

We can see that this conclusion represents a leap in logic, and in order to justify Chiu’s conclusion, we must identify the answer choice that links moral blameworthiness with individual responsibility or control.

Answer choice (A): The conclusion concerns moral blameworthiness for feeling certain emotions, and this choice refers to actions beyond one’s control that are responses to certain emotions. Further, since there is no reference to moral blameworthiness, this answer choice cannot represent the link needed to justify Chiu’s conclusion.

Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer choice. This choice, which discusses the variables required to link the loose ends of Chui’s argument, can be diagrammed as follows:

    Moral blameworthiness ..... :arrow: ..... Individual responsibility

When we draw the contrapositive, we see that if a person is not responsible for something, he or she is not morally blameworthy:

    Individual responsibility ..... :arrow: ..... Moral blameworthiness


When we add this to the author’s premise that people are responsible only for what is within their control, Chiu’s conclusion is logically justified:

    Under control ..... :arrow: ..... Individual responsibility ..... :arrow: ..... Moral blameworthiness

From the above conditional statement, we can conclude that, according to Chiu, in cases where emotions are beyond one’s control, moral blame should not always be assigned.

Answer choice (C): Chiu’s argument involves control of emotions and associated blameworthiness. The relative appropriateness of the referenced emotions has nothing to do with Chiu’s argument, and this answer choice cannot support or justify Chiu’s conclusion in any way, so this choice cannot be correct.

Answer choice (D): This answer choice fails to reference one’s own moral blameworthiness for feeling certain emotions, so it cannot provide the link needed to justify Chiu’s argument. The reasoning in this choice can be diagrammed as follows:

    Under control ..... :arrow: ..... hold others responsible

Since this answer choice introduces a new variable, involving the responsibility of others, and does not link the elements discussed above, this answer choice does not justify Chui’s conclusion.

Answer choice (E): Chiu makes the point that sometimes emotions are not under one’s control, and it is these cases to which his argument refers. The proportions of controllable vs. uncontrollable emotions for which people are commonly blamed are irrelevant to the argument. Further, this answer choice fails to tie together the rogue elements of the argument as discussed above, so this answer choice is incorrect.
Sherry001
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Hello,
could you please check my reasoning for this question? I realize that I could just pick up the new element in the conclusion and look for it in the answer choices. however I want to master my ability in connecting logical chains. but I run into issues when I see that I could connect the chains in more than one way ( I have exemplified below)

1-Responsible-> Control
2-Emotion -> not control
C: Always blameworthy for certain emotion -> Misguided

Chain : blameworthy for certain Emotion-> no control -> not Responsible
Contra: responsible -> control-> not blameworthy

A)We already know this from P2. would not help us connect to not always blameworthy.
B)Correct: this lets us conclude that person may not always be blameworthy.
C)we don't care about the times when its appropriate to feel certain emotions.
D)Holding other people is irrelevant.
E) Irrelevant. we don't care whats commonly happening.
__________________________________________________________
I run into issues when connecting chains, becasue I feel there is more than one way of connecting these, and so it takes me forever.what can I do to avoid this? here is what I mean using the conditional chains above.

1-Responsible-> Control
2-Emotion -> not control
C: Always blameworthy for certain emotion -> Misguided

1st method of linking this chain gives me this:
Responsible-> Control -> No emotion

2nd method of linking:
Emotion -> not control -> Not responsible


Thanks so much for your help!
sherry
Nikki Siclunov
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Sherry,

Thanks for the question. The short answer is - both chains are accurate, as one is the contrapositive of the other:

Premise Chain (1): Responsible :arrow: Under Control :arrow: NO emotions

Premise Chain (2): Emotions :arrow: NOT under control :arrow: NOT responsible

The key is to recognize how these premises, when connected, differ from the conclusion in the argument. When the author says that, "the belief that a person is blameworthy for feeling certain emotions.... is misguided," that's just another way of saying that you shouldn't be blamed for feeling these emotions:

Conclusion: Emotions :arrow: NOT blameworthy

Now, compare this conclusion to Premise Chain (2) above. To Justify the conclusion, you need to establish the following missing link:

Justify Formula: NOT responsible :arrow: NOT blameworthy

Answer choice (B) is the contrapositive of that prephrase.

Let me know if this makes sense. You have successfully explained why the remaining answer choices are incorrect.

Thanks!
Nikki Siclunov
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jgray
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Greetings,
I am having a hard time with the conclusion in two ways. Going from "The belief...misguided" to "People are not always .... emotions." Looks like the conclusion morphed, but I cant tell if it is significant or not.

Then, I cannot understand what drives the sufficient/necessary aspects of either statement. I do not see any s/n indicators other than "certain people" and that looks like "people who" which is a sufficient indicator.

Can you help clarify for me?
thank you.
Luke Haqq
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Hi jgray!

Hopefully I can try to provide some clarity on this. You write,

Going from "The belief...misguided" to "People are not always .... emotions." Looks like the conclusion morphed, but I cant tell if it is significant or not.


Try thinking of the part "a person..." up until the words "is misguided" as bracketed. That bracketed part is negated, by the words "is misguided." So we have the language: ["a person is always morally blameworthy for feeling certain emotions"], which is negated--thus another way of saying the negation of the bracketed language is "a person is NOT always morally blameworthy for feeling certain emotions."

To your next point, when you write,

Then, I cannot understand what drives the sufficient/necessary aspects of either statement.I do not see any s/n indicators other than "certain people" and that looks like "people who" which is a sufficient indicator.


do you mean "certain emotions" rather than "certain people" (I couldn't find the latter language)? In terms of how that should be diagrammed out, you're right to notice that there's not necessarily a specific word indicating a sufficient or necessary condition. Rather, it's more conceptual and involves seeing that the "is misguided" part is modifying the whole bracketed chunk as I noted above. If you have that bracketed chunk, you know from the stimulus that it is "misguided" (i.e. the author negates the main verb in the bracketed part). And another way of saying that is saying IF you have the "certain emotions" mentioned in bracketed chunk (placing it as the sufficient condition), THEN we know the author is saying they're "not always morally blameworthy" (the negation of the main verb), or:

Certain emotions :arrow: always morally blameworthy

Hope that helps!