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 LearntheLSAT
  • Posts: 16
  • Joined: Sep 15, 2019
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#68508
Hello!

Bringing this question back around in order to avoid future mistakes regarding similar thinking. I chose another answer besides B, as I when I read the answer, I eliminated on the cause that it mentioned the motivation for the city. If anything, I interpreted it as the lack of motivation the city has. If they really cared, as the arguer is saying, they would instill such a driver safety education. Can anyone help me discover how I made this reasoning flaw or misinterpretation so I don't do it for similar questions of this type :lol:

Thank you!
 James Finch
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 944
  • Joined: Sep 06, 2017
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#70978
Hi Learn the LSAT,

You always have to be careful to note the precise language used in both premises and conclusion. As a Method-Argument Part question, the first step is to identify here what role the statement mentioned in the question stem plays in the argument, then make sure that the correct answer choice represents both this role correctly and doesn't misrepresent the argument in any other way. This particular question is tricky as all the answer choices correctly identify it as a premise, meaning that it must be some mischaracterization of the other part(s) of the stimulus that make the other answer choices incorrect.

(B) is correct here because it accurately identifies the statement in question as a premise, and not the only one ("partial support for"), while also correctly characterizing the conclusion of the stimulus as being about the city's motivation. All of the other answer choices incorrectly characterize the conclusion as something other than the city's motivation, so process of elimination is key to answering this question correctly.

Hope this helps!
 acsim
  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: Jul 09, 2020
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#76933
Hi,

Could you please explain why B is correct? I don't really understand how driver education is used as a partial support for a claim about the motivation of the city. Isn't the city's motivation to "appear safe" with the helmet ordinance? And the author is arguing that if the city wants to actually be safe, instead of just appear safe, then implementing driver's education would assist in that?

Thanks!
Amanda
Adam Tyson wrote:Here are my thougts, bk1111. The argument can be broken down this way (and I will be paraphrasing along the way:

First premise: Concern with safety wouldn't lead to a helmet requirement
Second premise: Concern with safety would lead to bicycle lanes and driver education
Third premise: The city did require helmets (this fact is built into the first sentence)
Subordinate conclusion: The city is not concerned with safety but only with the appearance of safety
Main conclusion: We object

(Some might say that "we object" is a statement of fact outside of the argument itself, since the author isn't really trying to prove that they object but only show why they object. That view of the argument would lead to treating the subordinate conclusion as the main conclusion. In this case, no harm would come from making that analysis since the answer didn't depend on making that fine line distinction.)

The conclusion about what the city is concerned with is all about their motivation for passing the ordinance that is being discussed. They passed because they wanted to look good, not because they wanted to actually help - that's what the author is claiming. Motivation is at the heart of that claim.

We got asked about the second premise. Answer B tells us that it is a premise that supports the conclusion about motivation, which is either a subordinate conclusion or, if you prefer the second analysis, the main conclusion. Either way, it is a conclusion about motive.

Answer A talks about the city misunderstanding, but our author never says that they misunderstand. The conclusion isn't saying they made an innocent mistake - it's much more cynical than that! The author is claiming that the city did what they did with intention, to look good. That isn't a misunderstanding, but a motivation. That's what makes answer B the better choice here.
 Paul Marsh
PowerScore Staff
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  • Posts: 290
  • Joined: Oct 15, 2019
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#77065
Hi acsim!

The claim is that the motivation of the city is to appear concerned about safety while not doing much about actual safety. The part of the passage about driver education partially supports this claim because (according to our author Singletary) the city's apparent lack of driver education shows that they don't care about actual safety. So the driver education portion of the passage supports the part of the claim that the city's motivation has little to do with actual safety.

Hope that helps!

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