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General questions relating to LSAT Logical Reasoning.
jimmy1115
• Posts: 16
• Joined: Jan 12, 2024
#105552

I have a question regarding the identification of non-absolute causal reasoning, I know that cases like 'probably', 'part of the reason'...etc count.

But what about the use of can? for instance, 'A can cause B', is this absolute causal reasoning or non-absolute? when the author says 'A can cause B', is he arguing that 'A must cause B' (definitive)? or rather in a non-absolute way?

thank you

Best,
Jimmy
jimmy1115
• Posts: 16
• Joined: Jan 12, 2024
#105573
Dear Dave,

So to attack/weaken this statement 'A can cause B' (or any other non-absolute causal statement), to show that there are alternative cause (like C can cause B), or that 'A is present, B is not' or vice versa- these are not useful right (i.e. unable to weaken).

Thank you again

Best,
Jimmy
Dave Killoran
• PowerScore Staff
• Posts: 5902
• Joined: Mar 25, 2011
#105578
That's basically right. What you'd want to see in a correct weakening answer is something that shows that A can't cause B. Or that B cannot be caused by A.

Note that an intelligent test maker could create that outcome by saying something like, "C is the only cause of B." That would be a great right answer since it mentions C (which initially would appear irrelevant) but then also indicates that A can't cause B because of how it is worded.

Thanks!
jimmy1115
• Posts: 16
• Joined: Jan 12, 2024
#105600
Got it, thank you Dave!

Best
Mmjd12
• Posts: 68
• Joined: Apr 12, 2023
#105658
Hi all,

Quick question about the term "the only":

"only" and "only if" indicate necessary conditions, and "the only" indicates a sufficient condition. Is that true for both causal and conditional reasoning? Or does "the only" trigger a sufficient condition only when dealing with conditional reasoning?

Many thanks for all your help
Robert Carroll
• PowerScore Staff
• Posts: 1787
• Joined: Dec 06, 2013
#105663
Mmjd12,

"Only" is a conditional indicator, so it's not going to indicate a cause or effect. Causes and effects can, like any facts, be in conditionals, but the word "only" is just indicating the conditional relationship. If there is a causal relationship, that relationship is going to be indicated by the causal words.

So in Dave's example:

"C is the only cause of B."

The causal indicator is "cause". C is the cause, B is the effect. "Only" here just indicates that, if anything is a cause of B, it must be C. So:

something is a cause of B that something is C

Robert Carroll

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