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 ngreen221
  • Posts: 28
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#62172
Hello PS,

When I attempted this question, I paid more attention to the poaching of rhinos as opposed to the actual survival of said rhinos. This is due to me reading the last part of the stimulus, "thereby eliminating the motivation for poaching." I thought this part of the stimulus shifted the argument to the general poaching of animals, not just rhinos, which lead me to answer choice A. I'm wondering if there is anything I can do to not fall into this thought process, since I was pretty off?

Always appreciate the help!
 Erik Christensen
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#62233
Ngreen,

Frequently in assumption questions, it will be impossible to prephrase the correct answer, because there are simply a multitude of unstated assumptions that are necessary for the argument to be true and many of them are not obvious at all. So, the advice I would give you would be that when you are tackling assumption questions, focus more on tools like the Assumption Negation Technique as opposed to prejudging what you expect to see in a correct answer choice.

Let's use the Assumption Negation Technique with answer choice (b). What is the logical opposite of "at least some"? None!! So the negation of answer choice (b) would be that "No rhinoceroses whose horns are periodically trimmed will be able to find mates." Does this create a problem for the argument in the stimulus? Yes!! This method of protecting the survival of the species is problematic if NO rhinoceroses with their horns trimmed will be able to mate.

On the other hand, if we use the Assumption Negation Technique with answer choice (a), it doesn't create any problems for the overall argument. If poachers ARE likely to hunt other animals for their horns if discouraged from hunting rhinoceroses, then that's perfectly fine (and probably a good thing) for the survival of the rhinoceros species.

Let us know if you have any other questions!!!

ERIK
 ngreen221
  • Posts: 28
  • Joined: Nov 08, 2018
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#62387
Ah okay, I do need to start using these tools more often! Thank you, Erik!
 amoomey
  • Posts: 3
  • Joined: Nov 25, 2020
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#82950
Erik Christensen wrote:Ngreen,

Frequently in assumption questions, it will be impossible to prephrase the correct answer, because there are simply a multitude of unstated assumptions that are necessary for the argument to be true and many of them are not obvious at all. So, the advice I would give you would be that when you are tackling assumption questions, focus more on tools like the Assumption Negation Technique as opposed to prejudging what you expect to see in a correct answer choice.

Let's use the Assumption Negation Technique with answer choice (b). What is the logical opposite of "at least some"? None!! So the negation of answer choice (b) would be that "No rhinoceroses whose horns are periodically trimmed will be able to find mates." Does this create a problem for the argument in the stimulus? Yes!! This method of protecting the survival of the species is problematic if NO rhinoceroses with their horns trimmed will be able to mate.

On the other hand, if we use the Assumption Negation Technique with answer choice (a), it doesn't create any problems for the overall argument. If poachers ARE likely to hunt other animals for their horns if discouraged from hunting rhinoceroses, then that's perfectly fine (and probably a good thing) for the survival of the rhinoceros species.

Let us know if you have any other questions!!!

ERIK
Erik + powerscore - to Ngreen's point, let's take the logical opposite of A "Most poachers who are discouraged from hunting rhinoceroses ARE likely to hunt other animals for their horns". When you're reading the conclusion in terms of ALL poaching, not just poaching of rhinoceros, this negation does directly attack the conclusion, if read in the way I just described. (i.e. if hunters are likely to hunt other animals for their horns, then you cannot properly conclude that the motivation for [general] poaching would be eliminated.

So although I clearly see why B does directly attack a reading of the conclusion, I don't feel I clearly understand how to avoid the mistake I Ngreen and I described, where we reading the conclusion to address all poaching, not just of rhinoceros.

Can you help?
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 KelseyWoods
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#83017
Hi amoomey!

The specific construction of this argument is a little bit tricky but the main conclusion is really the first part of the last sentence: "an effective way to ensure the survival of that species would be to periodically trim off the horns of all rhinoceroses." ("That species" refers to the rhinoceroses mentioned in the previous sentence.) Why would trimming their horns be an effective way to ensure the survival of rhinoceroses? Because it would eliminate the motivation for poaching. The fact that horn trimming would eliminate the motivation for poaching is support for the conclusion that this is an effective way to ensure the survival of the species and, thus, it is a premise.

You could also think of this argument as like a chain: if we trim their horns, we'll eliminate the motivation for poaching rhinoceroses, which will, in turn, ensure the survival of the species.

So, ultimately, we're looking for an answer choice that is necessary to the conclusion that horn trimming is an effective way to ensure the survival of rhinoceroses. That conclusion is not about horn trimming as en effective way to ensure the survival of all species. It's just an effective way to ensure the survival of rhinoceroses.

It's always important to really think about and consider the relationship between the different pieces of the argument. What is the author trying to support? What evidence is the author using to support that statement? Focus on the relationship between argument elements. It also helps to remember that all authors believe their argument makes sense even though most of the arguments we read on the LSAT are logically flawed. So you have to think about what the author must be assuming if they believe that that conclusion follows from that premise.

Hope this helps!

Best,
Kelsey

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