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 TOgren2424
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#35364
That is helpful. Thank you!
 lsat2016
  • Posts: 60
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#37929
Isn’t the intermediate conclusion a conclusion that is supported by the premise and lends support to the main conclusion? i’m not sure why this second sentence isn’t a intermediate conclusion.

Thank you!
 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
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#38339
That's a good question, lsat2016, and it could be easy to view it that way. If so, then all the answers are losers!

The way to see that is not an intermediate (aka subordinate aka subsidiary) conclusion is to recognize that the author isn't actually trying to PROVE that farmers have to use greater and greater amounts. It's not "insects increase resistance, therefore farmers need to use more and more". Rather, the whole sentence is taken together as a single premise - a causal phenomenon and its effect all rolled into one claim. This difference is subtle, but it hinges on the author's intent in making the claim. Does he want us to believe the claim based on some other evidence he provided, or does he want us to believe it just because he said so? In this case it's the latter - he drops the entire claim about the cause (resistance) and effect (use more) as one big package, all tied together, like a known fact that should not be questioned. That's the hallmark of a premise - you are supposed to just swallow it whole, and then see if the conclusion follows from it or not.

This is a fairly rare case in that regard, and it makes for a rather unusual Method-AP question. You clearly aren't alone in having a hard time seeing the fine distinction between a true intermediate conclusion and this claim about an effect! When you are faced with what looks like five loser answers, step back and consider which one you hate the least. That's the best answer of the bunch, and that's the one you have to go with. If we think we are looking for an intermediate conclusion, this one is ALMOST perfect, and the others are all horrible, so it's the best. That way, even with the wrong analysis we can still get to the right answer (the one that gets you credit from LSAC).

I hope that helped!
 queens21
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: Aug 03, 2018
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#49147
Hey Adam- thanks for your explanation. I'm having a bit of trouble realizing the difference between a true intermediary conclusion and one that's stated "as fact". It would really help if you could give me an example of how this statement could be said in a way that would not cause it to be a fact.

Thanks again for the help!
 Who Ray
PowerScore Staff
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#49274
Hello Queen!

I hope you don't mind someone else jumping in! As trivial as it sounds if the testmakers had separated the cause an effect into two sentences that would have been a clue. Also any hedging language like "farmers may have to use..." or "it is likely that farmers have to use..." suggest that information is not a fact but a conclusion. Putting the claim in the future tense also makes this seem like less of a fact. Additional evidence that would back up that claim, like "there are no means to reduce that resistance" let you know that the author is making an argument for a particular claim.

Fortunately, like Adam points out, we can find the right answer while treating this "fact" like an intermediary conclusion—we just have to pick the least bad answer!

Hope that helps,
Who Ray
 tetsuya0129
  • Posts: 60
  • Joined: Jun 20, 2018
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#81478
Hi Powerscore staff,

Thanks for the great explanation.

I am having trouble with the issue of whether the last clause is a subsidiary conclusion or a statement of fact. Let's look at the stimulus in this way: supposing that the Farmer does not state "the only conclusion" at all and that the stimulus only contains: "Because insects' resistance....., farmers have to use....to control insect pests." In this case, it seems to me that the last clause looks like a conclusion.

I thought of one possible way that I could get my head around it. But I am not sure whether it is logical. In my hypothetical stimulus, the Farmer only asserts a causal statement without any premise to support this causal statement. Thus, in other words, a causal statement per se is neither a premise or a conclusion unless the causal statement is being used to support or is being supported by other statements.

Does my exploring above make sense? Sorry for the long post; I am kind of thinking out loud here. Thanks very much for your time!

Leon
 Robert Carroll
PowerScore Staff
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#81545
Leon,

I am glad in this situation for having the expert opinions of everyone else from PowerScore, because this was a tough one! After reading the whole thread over carefully, I can say that the last clause is not a subsidiary conclusion, or a conclusion of any kind. The argument truly contains only one conclusion, the first sentence.

I think the biggest stumbling block to understanding that is the word "because". That's a premise indicator...normally. But it's also a cause and effect indicator. As with so many words in any natural language, "because" can have a lot of roles, and its particular role in any situation depends on the context of it. So, while "because" is normally a premise indicator, it's really not performing that function here.

To see why, think about what a premise would be for the author of this stimulus - the author's "reason why" some claim is true. "Because" in this context isn't the author's reason, though, but other farmers' reason for doing something that this farmer considers to be a bad idea. I wouldn't even say those erroneous farmers are necessarily doing what they do out of a reasoned argument - the causal impetus of their behavior is not even their premise, because we have no idea if they even have an argument for their behavior.

I think you are on the right track by saying that the entire second sentence is a causal statement that has no internal argumentative structure. What I mean to say is that there is not a premise and conclusion in that statement; the entire sentence IS a premise.

I really think the normal use of "because" as a premise indicator throws people off here, and realizing it doesn't have to be a premise indicator, and is definitely not intended to be one here, solves most of the issues that otherwise make answer choice (B) look unattractive.

Robert Carroll

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