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#1 - James: In my own house, I do what I want. In banning

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Complete Question Explanation

Method of Reasoning. The correct answer choice is (A)

James seems to believe that airlines should have similar rights to people. He concludes that since he can do as he pleases in his own house, the government ignores the airlines' rights when it imposes smoking policies on passenger airlines.

Eileen correctly points out that James analogy is false. Since his house is for his personal use, but airlines are for public use, the airlines shouldn't have the same control over aircraft as James has over his house. She points out that the passenger's health should come first. She is implying that James might have a right to risk his own health in his own house, but a public airline does not have the right to risk its passengers in that way.

Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice. Eileen points out that James' analogy is false, because there is a difference between the situations. A difference is a distinction.

Answer choice (B) Eileen does not really define anything, so this choice is incorrect. Even if you were willing to assume that her elucidation of what a passenger airline does is somewhat of a definition, you should realize that it is the contrast that attacks James' argument, not simply the existence of a definition, so this choice is not as good as answer choice (A).

Answer choice (C) Eileen does not establish an analogy; she attacks James' analogy.

Answer choice (D) Eileen might contradict James' conclusion, but she does not point out an internal contradiction, so this response is wrong. This type of answer choice is correctly associated with a self-contradictory stimulus, or one that produces logically absurd conclusions. In that case, the second speaker will actually use the first speaker's logic to create a contradiction.

Answer choice (E) Eileen never discusses James' motivation, so this choice is incorrect. Remember, even though you are supposed to personalize and be aggressive, you have to be careful as well. The LSAT test writers have included this response because we know that when people such as James make such arguments, it is generally not because such people care about anyone's rights, but rather because such people want to engage in their selected behavior. In other words, James cares neither for anyone else's rights nor well-being, but only his own ability to indulge in smoking. However, James does not even claim to allow smoking in his house, and Eileen does not discuss his motivation. Furthermore, his questionable motivation does not make him wrong-- remember, attacks on motive are character attacks when they do not respond to the argument.
Sdaoud17
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I was between A and D. They looked almost the same to me so I just picked D and moved on. then when I check my answers online. I totally understand why A is Correct from the Online explanation However, I am having a hard time understanding why D is Wrong?
Also can you please elaborate more in the part "This type of answer choice is correctly associated with a self-contradictory stimulus, or one that produces logically absurd conclusions. In that case, the second speaker will actually use the first speaker’s logic to create a contradiction." ?

Thank you
:-D
Ron Gore
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Thanks for your question, Sdaoud17!

Answer (D) is incorrect because the language in that option refers to revealing the existence of an internal contradiction within an argument (here, that of James), rather than someone raising an external objection to the argument (here, Eileen).

In this case, when Answer (D) says, "derive a contradiction from it," it means to pull from James' own argument an internal contradiction. We know Answer (D) refers to an internal contradiction, because it says "derive a contradiction from it," with the predicate of "it" being James' argument.

If such a contradiction were present, it would be within James' own words, and would exist before Eileen said anything. Remember that to contradict means to "speak against." An internal contradiction could be two premises within the same argument that say opposite things. Or, it could be a premise that runs counter to the conclusion it is intended to support. That is why we say the type of contradiction referred to in (D) is self-contradictory, or would produce a logically absurd conclusion. (Note that the meaning of "absurd" here is essentially "inharmonious," meaning the conclusion is out of tune, or not in harmony with, its premises.)

Also, that is why we say the second speaker would use the first speaker's own logic to demonstrate the contradiction. The contradiction exists within the first speaker's own words, and does not depend on any external input.

Hope that helps!

Ron