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 KelseyWoods
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#82823
Hi AnimalCrossingLSATer!

Congrats on your first post! Welcome to the Forum!

When diagramming that first sentence, I would take out the "promise" piece of it. The journalist made a promise that is conditional statement, but the promise itself is not sufficient or necessary--it's not IF she made a promise or if this is true, THEN she made a promise. We know she made a promise, we just need to analyze what exactly the conditions of that promise were.

So the journalist's promise was: "not to reveal his identity so long as the information he provided did not turn out to be false." You're correct that "so long as" is not a conditional phrase that we commonly encounter but it's roughly equivalent to "unless." And really, any phrase that we could reword in an "if...then..." format without changing the meaning of the phrase would be conditional. So you can kind of reason this out. The journalist said she would not reveal the identify so long as the information was not false. What does that mean? It means that the journalist promised that IF she reveals the identity of the source, THEN the information would have turned out to be false. You could also think of it in terms of the contrapositive: the journalist promised that IF the information does not turn out to be false, THEN she will not reveal the source.

So, yes, part of the problem with answer choice (A) is that even if the information turns out to be false, that does not mean the journalist would definitely reveal the source. As you noted, that would be a Mistaken Reversal of the journalist's promise.

But answer choice (A) has another problem as well. The conclusion that we are trying to justify is that "the journalist will surely reveal the informant’s identity even if the information is accurate." Even if knowing that the information being false would ensure that the journalist would reveal the source (which, again, we don't know for sure because that would be a Mistaken Reversal), that would still not prove the conclusion that the journalist will reveal her source EVEN IF the information is accurate. We need an answer choice that proves that the journalist will reveal her source whether or not the information is accurate, so any answer choice that tells us something about the accuracy of the information would basically be irrelevant.

So, yes, watch out for those Mistaken Reversals. But for this question, even with that Mistaken Reversal, answer choice (A) ends up being irrelevant to the conclusion because the conclusion specifies that the journalist will reveal her source regardless of the accuracy of the information.

Hope this helps!

Best,
Kelsey
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 AnimalCrossingLSATer
  • Posts: 13
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#82840
KelseyWoods wrote: Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:21 am Hi AnimalCrossingLSATer!

Congrats on your first post! Welcome to the Forum!

When diagramming that first sentence, I would take out the "promise" piece of it. The journalist made a promise that is conditional statement, but the promise itself is not sufficient or necessary--it's not IF she made a promise or if this is true, THEN she made a promise. We know she made a promise, we just need to analyze what exactly the conditions of that promise were.

So the journalist's promise was: "not to reveal his identity so long as the information he provided did not turn out to be false." You're correct that "so long as" is not a conditional phrase that we commonly encounter but it's roughly equivalent to "unless." And really, any phrase that we could reword in an "if...then..." format without changing the meaning of the phrase would be conditional. So you can kind of reason this out. The journalist said she would not reveal the identify so long as the information was not false. What does that mean? It means that the journalist promised that IF she reveals the identity of the source, THEN the information would have turned out to be false. You could also think of it in terms of the contrapositive: the journalist promised that IF the information does not turn out to be false, THEN she will not reveal the source.

So, yes, part of the problem with answer choice (A) is that even if the information turns out to be false, that does not mean the journalist would definitely reveal the source. As you noted, that would be a Mistaken Reversal of the journalist's promise.

But answer choice (A) has another problem as well. The conclusion that we are trying to justify is that "the journalist will surely reveal the informant’s identity even if the information is accurate." Even if knowing that the information being false would ensure that the journalist would reveal the source (which, again, we don't know for sure because that would be a Mistaken Reversal), that would still not prove the conclusion that the journalist will reveal her source EVEN IF the information is accurate. We need an answer choice that proves that the journalist will reveal her source whether or not the information is accurate, so any answer choice that tells us something about the accuracy of the information would basically be irrelevant.

So, yes, watch out for those Mistaken Reversals. But for this question, even with that Mistaken Reversal, answer choice (A) ends up being irrelevant to the conclusion because the conclusion specifies that the journalist will reveal her source regardless of the accuracy of the information.

Hope this helps!

Best,
Kelsey
Hi Kelsey -

Thanks very much for the comprehensive reply to this! Yes - this definitely helps, especially that I see (and get from reading your post) now that the conclusion is around the journalist revealing the identity for sure, and not around the accuracy of the informant's information, due to the "even if the (informant's) information is accurate" in the conclusion.

Thanks again!

-Dustine B. ("AnimalCrossingLSATer")

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