LSAT and Law School Admissions Forum

Get expert LSAT preparation and law school admissions advice from PowerScore Test Preparation.

 Administrator
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 7883
  • Joined: Feb 02, 2011
|
#26219
Complete Question Explanation

Justify the Conclusion. The correct answer choice is (A)

The premises state that both money and language are universal. This is the equivalent of saying that both money and language are present in every society. The argument concludes that money was probably invented independently in more than one society, because all societies use money and money is a human invention. It is important to clearly identify this conclusion, as many of the answer choices in this question justify statements other than the conclusion of the argument.
  • Premises: Society ..... :arrow: ..... Money ..... :arrow: ..... Human Invention

    Conclusion: Money was probably invented independently in more than one society.
The other key to this question is to focus on the logical gap in the argument. Although money is used by all societies, that does not automatically prove it was invented independently in more than one society. It is possible that money was invented independently by just one society and then spread from that society to all other societies. In that case, money would not have been invented independently in more than one society. However, if an answer choice can somehow demonstrate that several societies were completely independent from the rest, this would prove that money was invented independently in more than one society.

Answer Choice (A): This is the correct answer choice. Note the use of the word some. If some societies were geographically isolated (i.e. independent), and all societies have money, then the geographically isolated societies must have invented money independently. This would justify the conclusion that money was probably invented independently in more than one society.

Answer Choice (B): The conclusion of this argument does not ultimately depend on any facts about language. Money and language might both be universal social conventions, but they are not necessarily identical social conventions. Even if language emerged independently in different societies, money might still have developed in only one society and then spread to all other societies.

Answer Choice (C): This is a Shell Game Answer. Since we know from the stimulus that money is not rooted in an innate ability, this answer choice would prove that money is an invention. However, this fact was already provided in the premises of the argument. The correct answer choice needs to prove that money developed independently in more than one society.

Answer Choice (D): This answer choice is also a Shell Game Answer. The utility of money has no bearing on the issue at hand. The contrapositive of this answer choice states that if money were widespread, then it would be useful. Since the premises show that money is widespread, it would logically follow that money is useful. However, the conclusion claimed that money was invented independently by more than one society, not that money is useful.

Answer Choice (E): This answer choice is yet another Shell Game Answer. If the author had concluded that money is universal, then this answer choice might be an assumption of that argument. However, the fact that money is universal was a premise of this argument, not the main conclusion. Once again, this answer choice fails to prove the actual conclusion that money developed independently in more than one society.
 BostonLawGuy
  • Posts: 52
  • Joined: Jul 13, 2018
|
#50098
Wow, the usual diagramming for Justify the Conclusion didn't seem to pay off. I wonder how to avoid this costly mistake on test day?

Premise: Money :arrow: artificial human invention
Conclusion: Money :arrow: Occurred independently

LOGIC CHAIN: Money :arrow: artificial human invention :arrow: occurred independently

Inference: Artificial human invention :arrow: independently occurs.

But this was not reflected in the answer choices. So, can I conclude this is not a Supporter but a defender answer?
 Rachael Wilkenfeld
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 488
  • Joined: Dec 15, 2011
|
#53467
Hi Boston Law Guy,

Remember that for all justify questions, we are looking to close a gap left in the argument. We can think about the Justify formula to help us imagine what the correct answer choice should do.

Premise(s) + Correct answer= Conclusion.

We are looking for an answer to help us bridge the gap between the premises and the conclusion. For this stimulus, we need to bridge the gap between money being a universal human invention to money must have been invented independently in multiple places.

What answer choice supports the idea that the invention of money occurred independently in multiple places? Answer choice (A) is the only answer that establishes that it occurred independently. If money is universal, and some societies are geographically isolated, then multiple societies independently developed money.

Hope that helps!
Rachael
 blade21cn
  • Posts: 85
  • Joined: May 21, 2019
|
#83294
Since the first sentence talks about the similarity between money and language and the second sentence talks about the difference between money and language, I thought the focus here is the difference, i.e., money is an artificial, human invention. Therefore, I categorized the first sentence as a background information and the argument core is: money is an invention ⇒ money occurred independently in more than one society. But based on the instructor's analysis, the argument core is actually "money is universal ⇒ money occurred independently in more than one society." So how do we analyze the stimulus? Is there any subtle cue words or structural patterns that we can learn from this question? What is the role of the second sentence? Thanks!
 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 3694
  • Joined: Apr 14, 2011
|
#84415
The discussion of language does provide some useful background information, blade, by giving us some important defining characteristics of money by way of comparison. I would break it down this way:

Premise 1: Money is everywhere. Every society has it.

Premise 2: Money is an invention, not something innate.

Conclusion: Money was probably invented independently as least twice.

There's a flaw in this argument, in that the author failed to consider the possibility that money was invented just once, by just one society, and that every society after that copied the idea from someone else. The concept of money could have spread to every society after having been invented in just one. Like the ancient Chinese people created the idea, and then it spread from them throughout the world until everyone, everywhere had at least some version of it.

So to prove that it must have been invented at least twice, we need to know that this problem could not have occurred. We have to absolutely guarantee that there is at least one society that has money but which neither copied the idea from elsewhere nor was copied. If that's the case, then the conclusion must be true - that one society must have invented money independent of other societies, and some other society must also have done it ( in order for every other society to now have it).

Looks to me like you had the right idea! Your prephrase was not in conflict with our approach, but was actually a part of it. Well done!

Get the most out of your LSAT Prep Plus subscription.

Analyze and track your performance with our Testing and Analytics Package.