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 Administrator
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#35123
Complete Question Explanation

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

Your task in this Flaw question is to select the answer choice containing the most accurate
description of the flawed method of reasoning used in the stimulus. The argument proceeds:

..... Premise: ..... a strike would cut into our strike fund and would in addition lead to a steep
..... ..... ..... ..... fine, causing us to suffer a major financial loss

..... Conclusion: ..... thus, we must not strike now

The reasoning in this stimulus is open to attack on the basis that it appears to consider only financial
interests, when those interests are not necessarily the only ones material to the decision of whether to
strike. The correct answer will likely contain a restatement of this prephrase. The incorrect answers
will not describe a flaw in the argument’s reasoning, either because they describe something that did
not occur in the stimulus, or because they describe reasoning that occurred, but was not flaw.

Answer choice (A): This choice is incorrect because it is inconsistent with the express wording of the
stimulus, which referenced a cut into the strike fund that was separate from any potential fine.

Answer choice (B): Precision regarding what constitutes a “major financial loss” is not required
for the conclusion, which was constrained only to the issue of whether to strike, and is not flawed
reasoning to decline to discuss irrelevant information.

Answer choice (C): This is the correct answer choice. The argument concluded that the strike
must not occur, based solely on the financial loss that might result and without expressly considering
whether there might be some positive that outweighs the financial loss.

Answer choice (D): The stimulus does not appear to take the importance of the union’s financial
strength for granted, since the financial cost to the union is the only factor considered by the
argument.

Answer choice (E): The union member did not conclude that the strike should not occur now because
the timing was wrong, but only because of the financial impact. Since the conclusion did not pertain
to timing issues, no information regarding comparative timing for the strike was required.
 15veries
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#29927
Hi,

I'm not sure why E is wrong.
In the conclusion it sounds like it emphasis "now," which made me think "time" is the issue here.
Why is E wrong?
 Adam Tyson
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#30426
Thanks for asking, 15. Answer E is there to bring up the time issue and to attract you to it for that very reason. The problem with E is that it fails to address the argument we were asked to analyze, an argument against striking now. It's not really relevant whether there is going to be a better time to strike, as timing was not the issue raised in the argument. The issue was money, expressed as fiscal strength and cost. The author argued that now was not the time because it would have bad financial consequences, and the problem, as described in the correct answer, is that he failed to address any possible benefits that might make it worthwhile to go ahead and strike despite the costs.

While it might be nice if the author were to give us some advice about when might be a better time to strike, that isn't essential to this argument and so it is not a failing of the argument. For all we know, there will NEVER be a better time to strike, but that doesn't mean we should do it now unless we establish first that there is some benefit to doing so. It's failing to consider the benefits that is the problem here.

Hope that helps!
 deck1134
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#48260
I narrowed this down to A and C. But I do not understand why A is wrong. Isn't that a flaw? Couldn't the union suffer a loss even without a fine? That does weaken the argument ,and is such a flaw.

How do I not make this mistake again in the future?
 Jennifer Janowsky
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#49247
deck1134 wrote:I narrowed this down to A and C. But I do not understand why A is wrong. Isn't that a flaw? Couldn't the union suffer a loss even without a fine? That does weaken the argument ,and is such a flaw.

How do I not make this mistake again in the future?

Deck,

To summarize, the union members are calling to strike, but a member disagrees on the grounds that the strike and fines would be too expensive.

Option (C) points out that his argument is vulnerable on the grounds that the union workers might gain more from the strike (wages, benefits, etc) than it would cost them. This is the correct answer, because it points out a major benefit that the member's cost/benefit analysis failed to consider, hurting their argument.

Option (A) points out that the strike might cost union workers even if fines aren't imposed. This is not a criticism of the union members point--it actually supports their argument, as it would mean they shouldn't strike. In addition, this point is already considered in the stimulus--the member mentions they have a strike fund, which would likely keep the strike from costing the union members.

This mistake is pretty common, actually--you picked the answer that supported rather than hurt their argument. In the future, I would recommend pre-phrasing in order to help you remember what you're looking for in the answer choices.

I hope that is helpful! :-D
 ericau02
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#64362
Hi I am bit confused about this one. It says that the members want and "immediate strike" and then brings up financial issue but then says "we must strike now" ? I feel like its far fetched to think the flaw would be something other than financial concerns?
 ericau02
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#64363
wait omg I missed the word not in the conclusion.
 jdavidwik
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#82652
Union member: Some members of our labor union are
calling for an immediate strike. But a strike would
cut into our strike fund and would in addition lead
to a steep fine, causing us to suffer a major
financial loss. Therefore, we must not strike now.

In this argument, if "immediate" and "now" were removed, I would see C as the answer. However, since those two words are used, the flaw seems to point to the time factor, so I was drawn to E. It does not seem like this argument has to address both costs and benefits; moreover, it seems like one could conclude that bringing in 'benefits' is going out-of-scope. How can I dispel this last notion?
 jdavidwik
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#83086
Okay, I figured this out thanks to reviewing the above contributions again. My understanding is that the weakness usually lies in the assumption. Here, the assumption seems to be that there is no financial benefit which outweighs the cost of striking. Looking at it this way, C fits the bill.

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