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#4 - Campaigning for election to provincial or state office

srcline@noctrl.edu
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Hello

So this problem contains formal logic correct, this is how I set up this MBT question

when campaigning one must cater to interests of nat'l party :arrow: campaigners often fail to serve interests of local constituencies.

So the assumption here is that campaigners who spend more time serving the interests of the natl' party get in the way of serving the interests of local constituencies. In other words you cant do both?

I had originally picked C but I see how this strengthens the argument when I negated it again:

the interests of local const. are well served only by elected officals who do cater to the int. of natl. party officials.

However, I am having a hard time negating answer choice A. Would someone please explain this answer choice .

Thankyou
Sarah
Clay Cooper
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Hello Sarah,

Thanks for your question. I think we should appoint a Senate panel to investigate this stimulus.

But seriously, first I want to mention that this is an assumption question, not must be true - though it seems like you understand that and just made a mistake when you mentioned MBT in your question.

First, let's negate A, as you ask. I find that a foolproof method of negating any answer choice is to add "It is not the case that..." to its beginning. In this case that would give us, 'It is not the case that catering to national party officials sometimes conflict with serving local interests.' In other, clearer, words, that would read: Catering to national officials never conflicts with local interests. If that were true, it would definitely be an attack on our conclusion, and therefore the negation technique reveals answer choice A to be a strong one.

I think the question you ask, "...so you can't do both?" indicates that you understand what is happening here. To say that you can't do both (serve national and local interests) might be an overstatement; however, the conclusion requires the assumption that, if you do serve national interests, on at least some occasions (in fact, often) doing so will conflict with serving local interests.

Does that clarify it?
jcough346
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I got the question right but was between A and C. Im not clear why C is wrong, it sounds like they're both saying the same thing...
Adam Tyson
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Hey there jcough, did you check the earlier discussion in this thread? Try negating C - the Assumption Negation Technique - and you should find, as Sarah did, that the negation actually helps the argument. The answer has some similarity to the correct answer, but the negation does the opposite of what the correct answer should do when negated, and that proves that it isn't an assumption of the argument. Give that test a try and see if it doesn't lead you to the same conclusion!
Adam M. Tyson
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PB410
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Hi,
I'm having trouble seeing how C, when negated strengthens the argument. The argument assumes that serving the national party's agenda is in opposition to the interests of local constituencies. Answer choice C, when negated, states:

The interests of local constituencies are well served only by elected officials DO cater to the interests of national party officials.

To me that challenges the assumption that the national party and the local interests cannot be aligned by saying they can.

Answer choice A, when negated, poses a similar challenge to the assumption: Catering to the interests of the national party officials NEVER conflicts with serving the interests of a provincial or state official's local constituencies.

I am having trouble understanding why C is definitively wrong and A is definitively right.
Luke Haqq
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Hi PB410,

To your question of why the negation of (C) would strengthen the argument, I think it's important to shift the focus to an earlier verb to negate, namely:

(C) The interests of local constituencies are not well served only by elected officials who do not cater to the interests of national party officials

Another way of saying that is:

It is not the case that the interests of local constituencies are well served only by elected officials who do not cater to the interests of national party officials.

So there's the group, "elected officials who do not cater to officials," and the negation of (C) is saying that local constituencies can be served by others besides that group. This would strengthen the conclusion that "the elected officials who campaign for reelection while they are in office thus often fail to serve the interests of their local constituencies," based on the fact that a political official who has successfully campaigned must have done so by pandering to national party officials, because it then doesn't matter whether or not the officials serve the interests of their constituencies. That is, it doesn't matter to them and they'll thus often fail to serve local interests if it is the case that local constituencies can be well-served by both (1) those captured by national parties, (2) and by others--such as "elected officials who do not cater to officials."

To confirm why (A) is correct using the Assumption Negation technique, you should apply the technique and see if the argument would fall apart if it was inserted as a premise. If it would, that is the correct answer. Thus,

Catering to the interests of national party officials never conflicts with serving the interests of a provincial or state official’s local constituencies.

If that statement were the case, the argument would fall apart because those political officials captured by national parties wouldn't be failing to serve their local constituencies. They wouldn't be failing because "Catering to the interests of national party officials never conflicts" with local interests.
LetsGetThis180
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Hi there,

I'm having a little trouble between A and B. I understand how A is correct by negating it but I seem to have trouble negating B. My negation goes something like this "Only by catering to the interests of national party officials CAN'T hold provincial or state office win reelection." I thought this would kill the entire argument therefore which is why I picked this answer. Is this wrong because this only kills the premise and not the conclusion?

Thanks!
Adam Tyson
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The goal of your negation, LetsGetThis, is not just to find a key word and make it opposite. Rather, the goal is to make the original statement false. In the case of a statement about something being the only way, you make that false by saying that it is NOT the only way! Answer B is saying that winning reelection requires catering to the national party - that is the only way. Negate answer B by saying you can win reelection even if you do NOT cater to the party. Catering to the party is not the only way to win!

When negating an answer choice that is a conditional statement, negate it by saying that the necessary condition is not actually necessary. Not that it cannot happen, but that it doesn't have to happen.

Give that a try and see if it makes sense. Good luck!
Adam M. Tyson
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LetsGetThis180
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Thanks Adam for the quick response! That makes a lot more sense. I need to remember to negate the original statement to make it false rather than just finding a keyword and make it opposite. Thanks again for the reminder! :)