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 Eric Ockert
PowerScore Staff
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#38483
Hi Chas!

Hopefully I do my own explanation justice here!

For a false dilemma, you need the author to say something to the effect of "Since it is not A, it must be B," without establishing that those are the only two options available.

But here, the author is not assuming only two options. The author is instead guilty of equating more difficult in a relative sense with difficult in an absolute sense. But these two ideas do not mean the same thing.

However, if the author had said "Donnelly's exams are not more difficult than Curtis's exams. Therefore they must be less difficult," then that would be a false dilemma. This is because the author is assuming you are either more or less difficult, and is failing to account for the possibility of equally difficult.
 jessicamorehead
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#44223
I narrowed it down to answer choices B and D. I found the two flaws in the original stimulus to be:

1. Error of division
2. Relative to absolute terms.

I see why B is a better answer than D, because it more clearly exhibits both of those flaws. However, for some reason, I still see the two flaws apparent in answer choice D. It definitely goes from relative to absolute terms, and I also see how it could potentially have an error of division. I thought going from a novel as a whole to a plot within that novel was an error of division. I think my mistake was assuming the novel had multiple plots, when in reality there is just one plot in the novel. Can someone clarify this for me?
 Shannon Parker
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#44269
Hey there jessica,

I think you answered your own question here. While in real life we know that novels will often (and most likely) have multiple plots, sub-plots, and side plots, here the author of the answer choice refers simply to one "plot," indicating that the novel only has one plot. You are correct that it goes from relative ("more complex") to absolute ("very complex"), but it does not utilize the same fallacy of assuming applying a characteristic to a part because of a characteristic of the whole (error in division).

Hope this helps.
Shannon
 jessicamorehead
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#44273
Shannon,

Thank you again! I will be sure to read more carefully and focus on the grammar of each stimulus.

Jessica
 Blueballoon5%
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#45853
Administrator wrote: Answer choice (C): This answer does confuse a relative statement with an absolute statement, but not in precisely the same way as the stimulus does. Here, the relative statement in the conclusion (“This year’s English class will have to do more reading than last year’s class”) is erroneously drawn from an absolute statement in the premise (Professor Whitburn “always assigns a lot of reading.”) In the stimulus, the error was reversed. Furthermore, this answer does not contain the first logical flaw.
hello! I have a question about the bolded sentence above. The stimulus seems to have an absolute conclusion ("...question must be difficult") and an absolute premise ("... exams are always more difficult..."). However, the explanation states that the premise of the stimulus is relative (and the stimulus conclusion is absolute).
 Adam Tyson
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#49883
You're just a little off, blueballoon - the stimulus has a relative premise about "more difficult" and an absolute conclusion about "difficult." The "always" isn't the issue, because it is about "always more difficult" rather than "always difficult." Answer C has an absolute premise about "a lot of reading" and a relative conclusion about "more reading."
 Blueballoon5%
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#57345
Adam Tyson wrote:You're just a little off, blueballoon - the stimulus has a relative premise about "more difficult" and an absolute conclusion about "difficult." The "always" isn't the issue, because it is about "always more difficult" rather than "always difficult." Answer C has an absolute premise about "a lot of reading" and a relative conclusion about "more reading."
ahh, my bad! I mistakenly read that part. Thank you so much for clarifying!

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