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 PeterC123
  • Posts: 26
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#31991
Hi,

Is B wrong b/c it says there's only minor errors and the stimulus says there's great differences?

On a random note, I felt like this particular section have some of the weirdest/hardest logical questions...5, 14, 16 and this. What I mean by that is I understood all the main parts to the questions, but its the small things like 1 or 2 words or the force of the language that's killing me.

Thanks
 Kristina Moen
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#32033
Peter,

Yup, you've got it! The premise says that the poems differ "greatly in tone and vocabulary." And answer choice (B) talks about minor copying errors. Sure, there could be minor copying errors, but it doesn't account for the great difference.

However, answer choice (C) weakens the conclusion by driving a wedge between the idea that major differences mean the work is done by two different authors. You can think of this way: there is an underlying assumption that "major differences -> different authors." Answer choice (C) offers a counterexample to that assumption.

If you are struggling with the force of the language, you can make it a practice to underline words like "greatly" or "all" or "must" or other words that signify quantity or force, so that you don't forget them when you get to the answer choices.
 PeterC123
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#32042
Thanks!
 PeterC123
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#32073
Sorry meant to ask this before, B does weaken the conclusion, even if it's just slightly, but in this question it does not weaken it the most, so the most in the question stem actually functions as "one better than another", b/c I usually don't even think about the word "most" in most questions.

Is this a frequent thing in the newer lsat, that they give you a couple that weakens but one that weakens the most?

Thanks
 Adam Tyson
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#32083
I think it's a stretch to say that B weakens this argument, Peter, but to the extent that it does it would be nothing new on the LSAT. They have always asked for the answer that is the best of the bunch - not the right answer, not a good answer, but the best answer. On weaken questions this has pretty much always meant that they want the one that does the most damage, and they have used the word "most" to indicate that for a long time.

"Which one of the following, if true, could contribute most to a refutation of the argument?" - from an October 1992 question

"Which one of the following, if true, casts the most doubt on the author's hypothesis?" - that's from June 1991

There are countless examples. I also found plenty that did not include the word "most", but those appear to be in the minority. Get used to that idea, especially in weaken and strengthen questions, but also in, for example, Parallel Reasoning (which answer is most similar in its reasoning...) and Resolve the Paradox (which answer does the most to reconcile the apparent discrepancy...). Since we are looking for the best answer, we should expect to be asked frequently which one has the biggest impact. That means a lot of wrong answers may look like they could be right if nothing better came along, but then something does! I don't think they always intend to give two that weaken, but they are willing to concede that a second answer might also weaken while standing firm that one of them is clearly the better choice.

This makes it all the more important that we read all five answer choices! Can't pick the best answer until we've seen them all and had a chance to weigh the pros and cons of our various contenders, right?

Keep at it, you're doing great!
 HowardQ
  • Posts: 32
  • Joined: Jun 25, 2018
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#46923
Hi,

I chose answer A for my initial answer too. I found that A weakens the premise/proof that the conclusion was based on. Doesn't this lead to the weakening of the conclusion? Are we suppose to assume that there are other supports for the conclusion that the author did not mention, so attacking one proof of the conclusion does not weaken it? I have found several instances of this problem from several tests.

Thanks,
 Adam Tyson
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#46992
HOW does answer A weaken the conclusion, HowardQ? So what if there are hymns that are very different from those poems? Shouldn't hymns be different, since they are different things? For that matter, how do we know that those hymns attributed to Homer are being properly attributed? The author is arguing that very problem, that we may be looking at incorrect attribution. Or perhaps they are properly attributed but the Iliad is not? Our author might respond to answer A by saying "that proves that the Iliad was not written by Homer! Thanks for the help!"

The evidence here is that two things are very different. The conclusion is that they must have different sources. To weaken that, we want to show that two very different things could nonetheless have come from the same source. It would help if those two very different things were the same kind of thing - compare poems to poems, hymns to hymns, baked goods to other baked goods, cars to other cars, etc. It wouldn't be much help to say "this pie is very different from this quilt, but my grandmother made them both," because pies and quilts are going to very different no matter who made them (one would hope). Of course, answer C isn't much help there because "works" by the same modern author could be a letter to the editor and a zombie screenplay, but at least in this answer we are comparing two things whose attribution is known - that one person definitely did both things. That helps with the claim that two things being written differently does not prove that they were written by different people.

Let us know more about how you see answer A as weakening the conclusion, if you still feel it has merit, and we'll see if we can do more to analyze that and enlighten you. Meanwhile, keep up the good work!
 HowardQ
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#47262
Thanks for your response Adam, in my choice to answer A, I probably made an assumption that hymns are similar to poems. I found this assumption very close to the assumption in C where Homer produces similar work with a modern writer.

Now I see the key component in A that was wrong was "attributed" since the excerpt already mentioned the poems were both attributed to Homer. I see how C is better than the rest of the answers, and how C weakens the reasoning if we make a connection between work and poem, also modern writer and Homer. Since it states most weaken I guess a little is better than nothing.

Thanks,
 Franny_i
  • Posts: 12
  • Joined: Aug 07, 2018
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#49283
Hey all. So I read through all of these replies and am still having a little trouble understanding why B is wrong compared to C. I didn't like the "MODERN WRITERS" part of C and immediately picked that as a loser. For B, I understand what you're saying about the minor copying errors. I didn't feel that was enough. But the part about "other textual corruptions" is what sold me on the answer. Is that part wrong because they don't say how corrupted it is? In my mind, because it could be any level of corruption (including significant corrupting of the tone and vocabulary), I felt it most weakened the reasoning. Appreciate the help :-D
 Adam Tyson
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#49337
I would read that "minor" as applying to both the copying errors and the corruptions, Franny, but even if we don't, you've hit the nail on the head in that we don't know how corrupted the texts are. We do know that the tone, vocab, and details in the two works are very different, and the issues raised in answer B are not likely to be enough to account for all that much variation.

Also, would those errors, even if they were substantial, really hurt the claim that they were not both written by Homer? Wouldn't we be left wondering even more? it could cut either way - maybe the two works are even more different than we thought! If it could strengthen and could weaken, and it all depends on you choosing to interpret it one way and not another, then it's not a good choice for either question type. Don't pick an answer that needs your help!

Think of answer C as setting up an analogy. "Modern" isn't the issue - it's the comparison that matters. If we know that one author wrote two certain current works, and those two works differ substantially in the same way the Iliad and Odyssey differ, then by analogy we can say that perhaps those two ancient works were also written by one person, Homer. It doesn't prove it, but it tells us that it is possible for one writer to vary that much. That's some help.

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