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Please post below with any questions!
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I picked answer choice (E) through POE. From the conclusion, can we reasonable assume that "framed just as it should be" means the legislation is made up of only "moderate statements?" If this were true, then I can see how negating answer choice (E) would destroy the argument.

If this were not true, then negating answer choice (E) would just destroy the premise of the argument....
 Emily Haney-Caron
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Hi dtodaizzle,

In this case, "framed as it should be" really means not too far to one side (either right vs. left or specific vs. vague). Great job working through this one!
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I don't really understand what this argument is driving at, at all.

Here's how I interpreted it: The legislation is being criticized by both sides, left, and right, for different reasons: either because it is too specific or because it is too vague. By analogy, a statement cannot be both too specific and too vague, so legislation cannot be both too specific and too vague -- because otherwise there would be a self-contradiction. Legislation that is framed correctly does not exhibit self-contradiction. If both sides were right, there would be a contradiction; so the fact that they are both criticizing the legislation proves that there is no contradiction. ???????

So I chose (D), because I thought that, if the proposed legislation as it was framed *was* meant to satisfy one side (negating the answer choice), then one side would not be criticizing the legislation, so there would be no contradiction, and therefore it was properly framed. Again: ???????

But even having read the answer and explanation, I still don't understand why (E) is correct. First of all, why are we now talking about a "set of statements"? That doesn't seem to have anything to do with legislation. Legislation is not just a "set of statements," so there's no equivalency. In LSAT terms, it seems instead that legislation is if anything a bunch of conditional arguments, not statements. You do X, and you get punishment Y. Or if you satisfy X, the government will give you Y.

But leaving that aside, I tried to see what would happen if I negated (E): we find that the legislation is made up of a set of statements, some of which are overly specific and some of which are overly vague. So both sides are each correct. But what does that have anything to do with proving that "the legislation is framed just as it should be"? The stimulus never established the criteria for how legislation out to be framed? To me, it seems like (E) is itself depending on the assumption that "legislation is properly framed when its critics' criticism are all accurate."
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Hi! Can someone explain why D isn't the right answer?

My prephase for this question was something like "The legislation should be framed to please both sides."

I thought D was closest to this. I chose it because I thought, negated, it killed the argument- if the proposal was meant to satisfy either the left or the right, and clearly it did not satisfy either, then it is not framed as it should be. It didn't accomplish its purpose.
 Eric Ockert
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I see a couple of questions on this one, so I will attempt to address them all at once.

There is a tricky sleight of hand going on in this stimulus. Notice that the left and the right are both criticizing the legislation for being either too vague or too specific. The author counters this by saying a statement cannot be both too specific and too vague. The problem is, while that may be true of an individual statement, legislation is made up, presumably, of multiple statements. So even though statements cannot be both too vague and too specific, legislation might be made up of both overly specific and overly vague statements. So, legislation theoretically could be criticized for being both.

Since this possibility is a potential problem for the argument, the author must assume that the problem doesn't exist. This would be a Defender Assumption, assuming a weakness doesn't exist. Notice the "not' in answer choice (E) that eliminates this possibility.

Also, answer choice (E) is very easy to apply the Assumption Negation technique. Simply remove the "not" from that answer and you have logically negated it. And that negated statement is exactly the weakness we spoke of above.

Answer choice (D) is really more or less a Shell Game answer. The intent of the framers is really not relevant to this argument at all. Regardless of what they meant to do with the legislation, it could still be too vague, too specific, both, or neither. Also, regardless of who they intended to please, that doesn't mean they would actually succeed in pleasing that group. So, they didn't need to frame this to please both sides. In other words, even if they did intend to please one side or the other, the logic in the stimulus still could support the conclusion that the legislation is framed as it should be.

This means, if you negate answer choice (D), it would not have a negative effect on the argument. Since taking (D) away does not hurt the argument, answer choice (D) was not required by the argument, and cannot be an Assumption.

Definitely a tricky question however. Hope this clarifies things a bit!
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Hello! I know this was discussed a while back but I wanted to ask a question and present my take on the subject. I chose answer choice E after eliminating down to just D and E. Revising it now, the following was my thought process for eliminating answer choice D.

Answer choice D was tempting for me because negated one might think the argument falls apart. "The proposed legislation as it is framed was meant to satisfy either political groups on the right or political groups on the left." I interpreted the conclusion "the criticisms just go to show that the legislation is framed just as it should be" as okay, so if it was meant to satisfy either side, it would be framed as such, or rather that is how it should be framed. But because in the first line the author says that it is "criticized" by both sides, it probably does not "satisfy" either side.

In other words, [how it should be framed] = [how it was meant to be framed] ie it was framed in a way where it achieved its purpose. After that bit of thinking, I thought okay, so if it was meant to satisfy either group then that obviously is not achieved and is thus contradicted by the conclusion [framed just as it should be]. In its regular, non-negated version, I took "the proposed legislation as it is framed was not meant to satisfy either political groups on the right or the left" as exactly that and given the term "criticized," I took the conclusion to mean that the purpose had been achieved. This is why I thought intention did matter. Because intention directly translated into whats needs to be don/should be done to achieve that intention.

[So sorry if I'm being repetitive or verbose, almost done I swear]. After all that mental jogging, I figured that a) I was probably doing too much for the answer choice and b) that even if all of my interpretation was correct, just because they criticized it doesn't necessarily mean that they weren't satisfied. You could hypothetically criticize something and still be overall satisfied by it if you're a particularly negative Nancy.

All that aside, answer choice E just immediately jumped out at me because of the switch in phrasing when I did the section timed, so thankfully all the mental acrobatics happened during revision. I'm hoping that someone can point out flaws in my thinking process, because I want to be able to more confidently cross out this type of answer next time. Thank you so much for your help!
 Adam Tyson
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I'd say that you were doing a bit too much work on answer D, frk215. See Eric's explanation about the difference between intentions and results earlier in this thread, and I think that should help you more easily and quickly dispense with answer D. So even if the legislation is as it was intended to be - whether meant to please the right or the left - we still have the problem of "too specific" and "too vague" being an apparent contradiction.

To simply with some paraphrasing, the author is saying "it must be fine as it is." The negation of answer D is "the people that wrote it were trying to please one group." Does that ruin the conclusion of the argument? Not at all! Our author could easily say "who cares about what they were trying to do? I'm telling you what the actual result was, and this baby is just fine!"

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