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#17 - X: Medical research on animals should not be reduced

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Complete Question Explanation

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

X argues that medical research conducted on animals should not be reduced because of harm to animal welfare, since greater weight should be given to human welfare, and a trade-off between animal and human welfare is always inevitable.

Y argues that technology makes it possible to carry out test using computer models or human subjects in a way that does not cause suffering.

X and Y both seem to agree that human welfare is important, but Y believes that X has not considered all the evidence, and that X's premise that there must be a trade-off between animal and human welfare is incorrect, which casts doubt on X's conclusion.

You are asked to identify the relationship of Y's response to X's argument, so you need to locate the response that addresses the disagreement over X's premise.

Answer choice (A): This is the correct answer choice. Y challenges the idea that there is always a trade-off between animal and human welfare, which is an important premise in X's argument that we should not decrease testing on animals.

Answer choice (B) Since Y never even addresses whether greater weight ought to be given to human welfare, this response is incorrect.

Answer choice (C) Y proposes additional considerations, not additional consequences, so this choice is wrong. "Logical consequence" answer choices, when correct, typically describe a critique of reasoning that involves making a position seem absurd, not merely incomplete.

Answer choice (D) The additional evidence does not strengthen X's position.

Answer choice (E) Y does not supply a premise to X's argument, Y subtracts a premise from X's argument by attacking the premise that there must be a trade-off between animal and human welfare.
Toby
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Hi!

I struggled with the answer choices on this question because I had a hard time understanding which parts of the stimulus they were really describing. I'm trying to re-frame how I think about what is actually happening in the stimulus, and I want to check and see if my thought process is correct.

I know that this question is not a Flaw in the Reasoning question, but isn't X presenting a false dilemma, since she only provides two possibilities for how to carry out medical research? And Y is showing that there are other alternatives beyond the two possibilities that X cites. Since Y is showing that one of X's assumptions is incorrect, that is why answer choice A is correct because Y is attacking one of X's premises.

I think it could be entirely possible that my way of re-framing the stimulus is too complicated, but I would love someone else's feedback on this approach.

Thanks so much!
Toby
Francis O'Rourke
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Hi Toby,

I don't see anything wrong with your description of X's argument as a false dilemma.

I just responded to a similar question of yours on another Method of Reasoning question. It's not bad to start seeing flaws on every other stimulus. In fact, it is a clear sign that you are understanding the arguments on a deep level! Although you may not have enough time to describe every flaw in every stimulus on test day, it is great practice to identify them when reviewing questions. Doing this will strengthen your understanding of not just Flaw in the Reasoning questions, but also Weaken, Strengthen, Method of Reasoning, Parallel Reasoning, and, to a lesser degree, every other type on the Logical Reasoning. Keep it up! :-D
Toby
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Thank you so much for your feedback, Francis! I really appreciate your thoughtful responses.
Toby