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Complete Question Explanation

Flaw in the Reasoning. The correct answer choice is (B)

The letter to the editor rejects the claim that philanthropists want to make the nonprofit sector as efficient as private business. As evidence, the author points to Byworks Corporation, an inefficient private business that apparently no one would want to emulate.

The conclusion is, of course, suspect. Just because Byworks is not a model of business efficiency and fiscal responsibility does not mean that all private business is similarly inefficient. It is entirely possible that most private businesses are actually quite efficient—a quality that nonprofits might want to emulate. This is a classic logical fallacy, where the author generalizes from an unrepresentative sample. This prephrase agrees with answer choice (B), which is the correct answer choice.

Answer choice (A): The conclusion is a declarative sentence (“philanthropists want no such thing”), not an imperative expressing what one ought to do.

Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer choice. As described above, the author uses the single example of a corporation that is particularly inefficient to be representative of all private business.

Answer choice (C): Just because the author phrased her premise as a rhetorical question does not mean that hers is a Source Argument (i.e. an ad hominem attack). The editor’s character or motivations are not under debate.

Answer choice (D): This answer choice describes a classic error in the use of evidence: lack of evidence supporting a claim is taken as evidence that the claim must be false. No such error is committed here.

Answer choice (E): There is no reason to believe that there is a causal reasoning error in the author’s argument. This answer choice falls entirely outside the scope of the stimulus.
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I did not choose B because it said philanthropists as plural and not specifying one member of the philanthropist category. Can someone explain this a bit more?
 Emily Haney-Caron
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Hi kfactor,

I think you might have misunderstood what B was referencing when it said "one member of a category." The category is actually "private businesses;" Byworks is one member of the category private businesses. I hope that helps!

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