to the top

#10 - Even in a democracy, it is necessary to restrict the

Administrator
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 6670
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:19 pm
Points: 3,343

Complete Question Explanation

AssumptionX. The correct answer choice is (C)

This is a rather strange question stem and it leads to a fairly rare question classification — an "assumption EXCEPT" question. Therefore, the four incorrect answer choices are all assumptions that must be made to get to the ultimate conclusion. The main idea here is that it is sometimes necessary, even in a democracy to restrict the dissemination of advanced technological knowledge or commercial or national security value, especially to competitors or enemies, but there must not be any such restrictions on scientific information.

Answer Choice (A): This assumption is necessary to the argument because if we cannot distinguish between the friendly, noncompetitive countries and the unfriendly, competitive nations, there is no way that we can selectively prohibit information from our enemies and competitors.

Answer Choice (B): The assumption negation of this answer — that it is necessary that the public has detailed knowledge of the country's advanced technology — would attack the stimulus position that it is necessary to restrict the dissemination of advanced technological knowledge, therefore making the answer choice a necessary assumption.

Answer Choice (C): This is the correct answer choice. Whether or not scientific research is more or less advanced in democracies has no effect whatsoever on the stimulus argument. The inclusion of democracy in the stimulus is just a side comment that such actions are necessary even in a democracy. Whether or not the country is a democracy has no effect on the overall argument.

Answer Choice (D): The stimulus position is that we must restrict advanced technological knowledge, but never restrict scientific knowledge. It will be very difficult to put this concept into practice if we cannot distinguish between the two concepts.

Answer Choice (E): The assumption negation of this answer — that it is not possible for multinational corporations to keep advanced technological knowledge from crossing national boundaries — would make it impossible to restrict the passing of this information between countries.
Lawyered
LSAT Apprentice
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:27 pm
Points: 25

Isn't it true that the answer to a Strengthen X question is one with no impact? Does Assumption X follow the same logic?

I thought it was a Strengthen X not an Assumption X. How can we tell the difference? It was a relatively confusing question...

Hence D?

Not really sure why it is C., To be honest, I don't fully understand the question or the answers. It seems rather confusing.
AthenaDalton
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 299
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 3:54 pm
Points: 292
Location: Chicago, IL

Hi Lawyered,

The correct answer to a Strengthen (Except) question will be an answer choice that either has no impact on the argument or weakens the argument. The same logic applies to an Assumption (Except) question -- the correct answer choice will not be required to support the argument, or will actually attack the argument.

Remember that an assumption question asks us to find an unstated premise of the argument that is absolutely necessary to make the argument true. By contrast, strengthen questions ask us to find any piece of information that makes the argument more likely to be true, even if it only makes the argument slightly more likely to be true.

This question is tough because we have to find four assumptions -- a time-consuming task! Here's why answer choice (C) is not an assumption required to be true for this principal to work:

The principal discusses freely exchanging "scientific information" while restricting "advanced technological knowledge" that is of commercial or national-security value. Specifically, competitor countries or enemies should not receive the "advanced technological knowledge" that falls into the restricted categories. This principal applies whether or not the country with the information is a democracy or not (see the opening phrase, "Even in a democracy . . . ").

Answer choice (C) tells us that democracies do a better job of advancing basic scientific research than non-democracies. This has no impact on whether or not a country should choose to share "advanced technological knowledge." Since this is an assumption question, we can negate the answer choice to see if it has any impact on the argument. Negating answer choice (C) would give us, "countries that are not democracies do a better job of advancing basic scientific research than democracies do." As you can see, flipping this answer choice has no impact on the argument.

By contrast, we can negate one of the other answer choices that is a required assumption to see how the assumption negation technique works. For example, answer choice (A) tells us that it's possible to distinguish between friendly, non-competitive nations (who should get advanced technological knowledge) and competitive, hostile nations (who should not get such knowledge). If we negate (A) to say that there's no reliable way to tell friend from foe, the whole principal falls apart. If we don't know which nations are allies or enemies, how would we know when to share or restrict information?

You can use the assumption negation technique on the remaining answer choices to see how this works. Negating (B), (D), and (E) all decimate the argument. Negating answer choice (C) has no impact on the argument. That's one way to find that it's the right answer.

I hope this helps! Best of luck studying!

Athena Dalton
Lawyered
LSAT Apprentice
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:27 pm
Points: 25

Yes, that was much more helpful!

At that point I had not finished the Assumption Chapter hence wasn't aware of the negation technique.

I was advised to read the bible and practice along to perfect things so there may be stuff that I am not aware of...

Thank you that is very helpful.
jessamynlockard
LSAT Leader
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:31 am
Points: 40

How does the assumption negation test work with rare questions that are "assumption except" types?

Athena Dalton said "Negating (B), (D), and (E) all decimate the argument."--if so, how does assumption negation get me to answer choice E? I can see how this technique would've helped me eliminate C (which I thought was second best after E).
Alex Bodaken
PowerScore Staff
PowerScore Staff
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:18 am
Points: 135

Jessamynlockard,

Good question. Basically, in an "assumption EXCEPT" question, you can use the assumption negation technique to eliminate incorrect answers, rather than to find the correct answer. If you apply the assumption negation technique to an answer, and it weakens the conclusion, then that answer cannot be credited (because that means it is a necessary assumption, while you are looking for the one answer that is not a necessary assumption).

For example, look at answer choice (A): "It is possible to distinguish with confidence, despite any changes in the international environment, friendly or noncompetitive from hostile or competitive nations." To negate this, we would say "It is NOT possible to distinguish with confidence, despite any changes in the international environment, friendly or noncompetitive from hostile or competitive nation." If that negation were true, would it weaken the conclusion? You bet: if we can't distinguish friendly nations from non-friendly ones, it is going to be very hard to figure out which ones to disseminate information to. And because this negation weakens the conclusion, the answer choice can be removed as a possible credited answer. So, we know (A) is incorrect. If necessary, we could do the same with any answer choices to eliminate incorrect ones.

Hope this helps!

AB