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#10 - There are rumors that the Premier will reshuffle the

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Complete Question Explanation

Method of Reasoning-SN. The correct answer choice is (B)

The stimulus attacks the belief that the Premier will reshuffle the cabinet, concluding that the belief is probably false, because in the past every reshuffling was preceded by certain meetings, but no such meetings have recently occurred or been planned.

The stimulus is flawed because it involves assuming that two events were associated even though they could have been coincidental, and presumes that meetings associated with the shufflings would probably be a necessary condition for shuffling, even though many other means of preparation could exist.

You are asked to identify a principle of reasoning (similar to a method of reasoning), so you should focus on the flaws that the stimulus commits.

Answer choice (A): Since the argument attacks the rumors rather than supports them, it is difficult to interpret this incorrect choice as consistent with the stimulus. Furthermore, the stimulus references no premises that support the rumors. If you assumed that this principle governs its own conclusion, and that the conclusion is true, you should still eliminate this choice, because the conclusion is probabilistic even though the premises are certain, but this choice claims that certain premises should be followed by a certain conclusion.

Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer choice, and is worded correctly though archaically. The principle is that since the author has come to expect that a shuffling should be preceded by certain meetings, when the meetings do not exist, that undermines the hypothesis that a shuffling will occur. The author does not bother with the possibility that unexpected situations could also involve shuffling the cabinet.

Answer choice (C): The stimulus argues that the hypothesis that the Premier will reshuffle the cabinet is unsupported by the current situation, not that the hypothesis could be false even though it is supported. This choice is wrong.

Answer choice (D): This response cannot be correct for two reasons, because it describes a correct principle similar, but not identical, to the one that the stimulus ignores. The stimulus ignored that the possibility that meetings are only one method from a few, any of which could satisfy the necessary condition for shuffling the cabinet. This response is about causal reasoning, and correctly states that a usual cause does not have to be the necessary cause.

Answer choice (E): Since the stimulus is based on showing that the rumors are probably false, it does not make sense to conclude that it is based on a principle that is geared toward uncertainty (“it cannot be deduced…”), so you can easily eliminate this response if you avoid attempting to interpret it in entirety. Alternatively, the argument is that since meetings are probably necessary for shuffling the cabinet, a lack of meetings is inconsistent with the rumors that the Premier will reshuffle the cabinet, so those rumors are probably false. Concluding that something cannot be determined to be true is not the same as concluding that something is probably false, even if you do believe that the bulk of this choice describes the reasoning in the stimulus fairly well.
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I got this question correct, but just making it sure, isn't this Question type Method - Principle with SN?
Adam Tyson
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I think you could view this as a Principle question as much as a Method of Reasoning question. We are tasked with figuring out which rule or guideline (Principle) the author used to get to his conclusion (Method). The label shouldn't do anything to change your approach in this case, but I think you are correct to consider that this question is as much about the principle as it is about the method.

Good work!
Adam M. Tyson
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