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I was just kind of lost when I looked at this question during the exam so I skipped it.

Stimulus breakdown:
Conclusion: The company must give Vernon his job back.
Evidence: Vernon's behavior was unprofessional enough that the company was justified in firing him. But other high-ranking employees who were involved in the incident & were just as unprofessional haven't been fired.

No idea how to tackle this one. My prephrase is that well what if the employees who weren't fired were not fired for another reason? Sure they behaved just as unprofessionally, but maybe they also contribute greatly to the company? Even more than Vernon. So the same treatment shouldn't apply just because they weren't fired? Maybe they do more/hold more weight in the company than Vernon?

Any explanation would be helpful. Thank you!
 Adam Tyson
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Your analysis there is missing one crucial bit of information, lawadvocate!, and that is "for the sake of consistency" in the conclusion. The author doesn't just think Vernon should get his job back - he thinks that "consistency" requires that. But that fails to consider that there is another way to achieve consistency, which is to fire the other people who have behaved as Vernon did. That is a viable alternative to the one the author proposed that also achieves that consistency.

If Vernon's behavior was unprofessional enough to justify firing him, and others behaved the same way, that suggests pretty strongly that the behavior should override any other considerations. It doesn't matter how good an employee he is, or they are, or how much any of them contribute - his behavior was sufficient, so theirs should be too. Sure, those other folks might be valuable in some way that Vernon was not, but he also might have been valuable in some way that they were not. We just can't assume anything either way.

What we can do is look at the alternatives, and the author left out a fairly obvious one. Don't bring back the guy who was justly fired - fire the guys who were just as bad as that guy was!

Beware the False Dilemma here, where the author presumes that one particular choice must be made without giving proper attention to other potential choices. "It's not getting hotter, so it must be getting colder" leaves out the possibility of the temperature holding steady. "I won't drink Pepsi, so I have to have Coke" leaves out a whole world of other possible options, including other colas, sodas that are not colas, and all the non-soda options out there, as well as not having anything to drink. Both of these are variations on the False Dilemma flaw that we sometimes see on the LSAT.
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I understand why E is right, but I cant seem to understand why D (what I originally picked) is wrong..
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Hi Canadianlaw1100!

Answer choice (D) reads: "treating behavior that can sometimes result in a certain consequence as behavior that always results in that consequence." This describes an overgeneralization flaw and it doesn't match what is happening in the stimulus. To match this answer choice, the argument in the stimulus would have to say something along the lines of "unprofessional behavior sometimes results in firing" and then conclude "therefore, unprofessional behavior always results in firing." But this is not an accurate description of the premises and the conclusion that we have in the stimulus. And, in fact, the conclusion of the stimulus is not about what consequence will result, it's about something that should happen (giving Vernon back his job).

For Flaw questions, first make sure that the answer choice accurately describes the reasoning that is taking place in the stimulus argument (how the premises are supporting the conclusion) and then make sure that it describes why that reasoning is flawed. Map the abstract statements in the answer choice to the specific statements in the stimulus to make sure they match.

Hope this helps!


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