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#8 - Prominent business executives often play active roles

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Complete Question Explanation

Weaken-CE. The correct answer choice is (B)

Here the author discusses the fact that business executives don't often seek the presidency, and asserts that the cause is the tendency of business executives to be uncomfortable with compromise, which is required of politics. The correct answer to this weaken question will either decrease the credibility of the premise, or perhaps present an alternative cause of executives' not wanting the presidency.

Answer choice (A): Since this answer choice does not even mention either business executives or military, it is not irrelevant to the inquiry at hand, and is therefore incorrect.

Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer choice. If this is true, then it is probably not a discomfort that leads business execs away from the presidency—the author specifically mentions military as common presidential aspirants.

Answer choice (C): The relevant question does not concern what it takes to become a good lawyer, and this choice fails to mention the tendency to seek or avoid the presidency, so this answer is incorrect.

Answer choice (D): Since this stimulus regards the people who aspire to the presidency, this answer choice, which deals with those who have already achieved the presidency, is irrelevant.

Answer choice (E): The argument in the stimulus does not really deal with the financial supporters of the president, but those who seek to become president themselves, so this answer choice is incorrect.
jessicamorehead
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The stimulus says "This is understandable, for the personability and skills that make for success in business do not make for success in politics." I took this as the explanation as to why business executives do not run for president because they have different skills. Based on that, I chose answer choice D. "Some former presidents have engaged in business ventures after leaving office" as this would weaken the author's conclusions of the two occupations having different skills since this answer choice suggests they have similar skills. Can you explain why my logic is incorrect and what makes B correct?
nicholaspavic
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Hi jessica,

The explanation above characterizes this answer as "irrelevant" but I would take it a step further to add that the answer is out of the temporal scope of the stimulus. Which is to say, the argument does not concern itself with lawyers, military leaders etc ability to learn how to eventully become businesspeople.

Put another way, imagine that you become a criminal lawyer for 10 years trying murder cases. Your practice has nothing to do with business leaders whatsoever for that time. Now you decide to run for president and become president jessica! Hooray!

Does this stimulus' argument address your chance to become a successful businessperson after that? It does not. It's only concerned with how you got elected in the first place.

Thus, Answer (B) becomes the best answer demonstrating that people who don't share power still become president. That attacks causality by showing cause but no effect and that's a classic correct answer for Weaken questions.

Thanks and I hope this helped. :-D
kwcflynn
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Does the conclusion (last sentence of the stimulus) contain causality? I am considering that it does because it starts with "As a result,"

THANK YOU!
Malila Robinson
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Hi kwcflynn,
I didn't read that as causality, instead I read it as a conclusion indicator. And even after trying to read it as causal I'm not sure it helped me to the correct answer better than the reasoning that was explained above. Maybe it would help if you explained why you thought it was causal and why that helped or harmed your reasoning?
-Malila
andriana.caban
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How did you know that this argument contained causal reasoning?
Brook Miscoski
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Adriana,

"As a result" generally indicates causality. That being said, you could still get this right if you simply took the stimulus to offer an explanation--business leaders do not become President because they're uncomfortable with compromises and power sharing. Answer choice B still challenges that explanation by pointing out that military leaders, who do become President, are also uncomfortable with compromises and power sharing. Here, the explanations we are giving are causal in nature--they explain why an event occurs. Sometimes, you will have to realize there is causal reasoning at play based on the logical relationships expressed in the stimulus, rather than based on cue words.
Adeline
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Hi,

could you further explain why A is incorrect? Is it because that active presidential fund raisers and backroom strategists do not represent business executives (even though it was stated in the first sentence that business executives often play active roles in these positions)?
If we accept that active presidential fund raisers and backroom strategists are equivalent to business executives, then this statement looks like a pretty strong contender that weakens the conclusion by saying that there are many of them work as politicians, which weakens the statement that business executives feel uncomfortable working in politics.

I hesitated on answer choice B because I was concerned that military leaders would not represent all range of people that work in politics. Since it is stated in the stem that there are also lawyers and full-time politicians that seek to become president. I was concerned that this would make answer choice B not persuasive enough to become the correct answer. Is it right to think in this way?

Thank you!
Dave Killoran
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Hi Adeline,

Let's take a look at some of your statements, and hopefully we can see where you went wrong:

Adeline wrote:If we accept that active presidential fund raisers and backroom strategists are equivalent to business executives,

While we know that some business executives are fundraisers or backroom strategists, you can't say that this suddenly means that they all are, and even if you could, you still couldn't then use (A) to say that business executives are equivalent to politicians. It's simply too many connections that aren't known to be the case!




Adeline wrote:I hesitated on answer choice B because I was concerned that military leaders would not represent all range of people that work in politics. Since it is stated in the stem that there are also lawyers and full-time politicians that seek to become president. I was concerned that this would make answer choice B not persuasive enough to become the correct answer. Is it right to think in this way?

It's not. In this case, military leaders have been cited as a group that seeks to become presidents (which means ultimately that they accept the compromises and power sharing); business executives were said not to like compromises and power sharing and that was the reason they didn't pursue politics. If (B) is true, then the reason cited for the business executives not to engage in politics makes less sense. That weakens the argument and so (B) is the correct answer.

I'm noticing here that at times you are comfortable making equivalences between groups but then other times not as comfortable. Watch carefully for the circumstances of each comparison because sometimes its acceptable and other times it's not. In the first case you were dealing with partials, so it didn't work; in the second you were dealing with examples operating in different ways but with the same beliefs so it did work.

I hope that helps. Thanks!
Dave Killoran
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Adeline
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Hi Dave,

I see where's the problem now.
Thank you for your explanation!