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#22 - For the writers who first gave feudalism its name, the

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Complete Question Explanation

Must Be True-SN. The correct answer choice is (A)

The argument is that since the noble class did not legally exist until the 12th century, and feudalism existed as early as the eighth century, the writers who gave feudalism its name were wrong to suppose that feudalism required a noble class, at least in a proper sense. The reasoning is conditional, and can be diagrammed as follows:

Some writers: ..... ..... Feudalism :arrow: Noble Class

Counterargument: ..... Noble Class :arrow: Titles and Inheritance Sanctioned by Law
..... ..... ..... ..... There was a time when feudalism existed, but titles and inheritance was NOT sanctioned by law

By the contrapositive of the premise in the counterargument, we can conclude that between the 8th and the 12th centuries, there was NO noble class, and yet feudalism clearly existed. Clearly, then, the writers mentioned in the beginning of the stimulus are wrong, i.e. the existence of feudalism does NOT presuppose the existence of a noble class. This prephrase is consistent with answer choice (A).

As a point of interest, many of the incorrect answer choices to this question are illustrative of the unjustified assumptions you will be asked to identify in future questions. One of the reasons we introduce you to Must Be True questions first is to help you adjust to the demands of the LSAT, and you should realize that understanding why certain choices to Must Be True questions are wrong will assist you in understanding why future stimuli are flawed.

Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice, and it is very similar to the conclusion we prephrased above. Even if you did not match this choice to the idea that the writers were incorrect to assume feudalism presupposed the noble class, you could have matched this choice to the last sentence, because it would be a distortion to misplace the advent of nobility by three or four hundred years.

Answer choice (B): The disproof of this answer choice involves a point similar to the criticism some people might have made concerning the definition of nobility. The argument clearly states that nobility must have a firm legal basis; however, it does not preclude the idea that a dominant class could have existed. In other words, there could have been a dominant class the same as nobility in all senses except some part of the legal definition, so the assertion that there was no dominant class is unsupported by the idea that there was no noble class, and this choice is wrong. You should watch out for subtle word changes, because often they involve unjustified assumptions.

Answer choice (C): A misreading of the second sentence could yield the idea that legal status and heredity were separate conditions necessary for the noble class. However, the sentence actually implies that the titles and heredity are both part of a legal process. Since the argument does not imply that anything more than legal status is necessary for the existence of a noble class, answer choice (C) could be seen as contrary to the passage, and is definitely unsupported. In any case, from a definition of the noble class you should not have assumed anything about the definition of other classes, and could have eliminated the choice whether or not you properly understood the second sentence.

Answer choice (D): This answer choice asks the reader to assume a cause and effect relationship between two elements in the stimulus. However, there was no information to justify causality, let alone the idea that the decline of feudalism was the only cause of the rise of nobility. In fact, it would make at least as much sense (and probably more) to assume that the existence of feudalism for several hundred years gradually developed legal recognition of a noble class. Generally speaking, you should view as suspect unforced conclusions about cause and effect.

Answer choice (E): This answer choice asks you to assume that feudalism is a prerequisite for nobility. However, the fact that feudalism preceded nobility by several hundred years does not mean that feudalism was a necessary element, or necessary cause. Even if we assume that European nobility emerged from the feudal system, it is entirely possible that nobility could form from other systems. Generally speaking, you should avoid applying a specific case to all cases unless the stimulus implied otherwise, and this choice is wrong.
josuecarolina
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Okay question 24 of lesson 2 homework 2 logical reasoning questions>

#24 The explanation is saying that it is important to understand teh wrong answers; I don't. I don't even understand the right one!

It seems like We are suppose to 'accept as true' that Feudalism requires a noble class, and that a noble class requires both title and legal recognition. I dismissed the correct answer, A because it seems like it was asking me to think outside of the box the author had already established....?

thanks for any help/input
Justin Eleff
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I think where you may have gone wrong is in deciding that YOU PERSONALLY needed to buy into the notion that "the existence of feudalism presuppose[s] the existence of a noble class." But take another look at the first sentence of the stimulus. The author is telling us that these OTHER WRITERS were the ones buying into that notion. They were the ones who did the presupposing; the idea that FEUDALISM IN EXISTENCE --> NOBLE CLASS ALREADY IN EXISTENCE was part of what they believed when they started writing.

The rest of the stimulus then demonstrates that this belief was pretty silly. That is, if it is true that legally recognized/transferred titles are what make a noble class, it cannot be true that feudalism requires a preexisting noble class. Because feudalism existed first! It was around as early as the eighth century; legally recognized/transferred titles did not appear until the twelfth.

So putting everything together, what those other writers believed is just not how the author of the stimulus says it happened. And that means that their belief -- restated in the first part of answer choice (A) -- indeed "distorts history" according to this author.
ellenb
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Dear Powerscore,

I have read the explanations for this question and I just want to make sure that I got the right diagram.

Writers thought that: Feudalism-->Noble Class-->Legal Recognition

However, the historical examples shows us that:

Noble Class was not neccessary for Feudalism to form.

Feudalism->no noble class-->Legal Recognition. (this is the correct definition)
Therefore the answer says that the other definition is distorted where it is required to have a noble class.


I just want to make sure this is correct, and my understanding of the answer is correct.

Thanks

Ellen
BethRibet
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Hi Ellen,

Your initial diagram (from the first part of the stimulus) is correct. Your second diagram seems to indicate that legal recognition would still ultimately be a necessary condition for the sufficient condition of feudalism, which we don't know from the passage. The important thing is that the part of the stimulus that begins with "Although feudalism existed..." basically tells us that that initial diagram is not correct because nobility is not a precondition of the existence of feudalism. Answer choice A then follows, as it in essence says, that to claim the existence of a noble class is a requirement (i.e. a necessary condition) of the existence of feudalism is not correct, according the historical record. Note that as indicated at the beginning of the section, there are also detailed answers and explanations in the online student center.

Beth
ellenb
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So, basically the although indicator shows to us that the given example serves as an example to disprove what the writers thought to be true?

Thanks

Ellen
Nikki Siclunov
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Yes, it basically introduces a counterpoint. Beth's explanation was spot on: the author attempts to show that nobility is not, in fact, a precondition of feudalism. This is a counterargument that disproves the conditional relationship between the two.
Nikki Siclunov
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ellenb
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So, will the following example be sort of along the same lines: (sorry for my ridiculous example, but I just wanted to make an example with parrots)

When scientists came up with the definition to why parrots can talk they uncovered that for a parrot to talk they need to be males. Although, there are several cases when female parrots talk. Therefore, it is not necessary for a parrot to be male in order for it to talk.

So, in the above example we do not need the necessary condition. I did not include a third condition, I just did A->B, and I showed that B is not necessary for A, however, I now that in the above example they had 3 conditions A->B->C, and they showed that

A-->not B-->C and essentially A->C can happen so we do not have to have B. I hope I got the right idea above even though I did not have 3 statements.

Thanks

Ellen
Nikki Siclunov
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I am afraid your diagram is needlessly complicated. Here's how I'd approach your example:

Premise: Talking parrot :arrow: Male

Counter-premise: Talking parrot :some: NOT male

(i.e. being male is not a necessary condition for talking)

Conclusion: there is no conditional relationship between talking parrots and male parrots.

That's how you always weaken conditional relationships: by showing instances (counterexamples) in which the sufficient condition can occur in the absence of the necessary condition. Make sense?
Nikki Siclunov
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ellenb
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Makes sense, how about,

Would it work if:


Parrot-->not male

(or does it have to have "some not male", if I just deny the necessary condition all together it has to work the same way right? since you said the absence of the necessary condition is important.

Please let me know,

Thanks a lot!

Ellen