LSAT and Law School Admissions Forum

Get expert LSAT preparation and law school admissions advice from PowerScore Test Preparation.

 James Finch
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 944
  • Joined: Sep 06, 2017
|
#47836
Hi Mo,

It looks like you're misreading what (C) is saying: if all dishonest people are rich farmers (H :arrow: Rf), then we know that if you're not a rich farmer, you're honest (Rf :arrow: H), but it still leaves open the possibility that some rich farmers are honest. (C) only gives us information about the "dishonest" group, not the "rich farmer group".

(A) works because its contrapositive, Pf :arrow: Hf, when translated from "not poor" to "rich" and "not honest" to "dishonest," becomes Rich Farmers :arrow: Dishonest Farmers, which is exactly what the conclusion states.

Hope this helps!
 mo_wan
  • Posts: 26
  • Joined: Jul 09, 2018
|
#47871
This question I think I have an understanding but of it now but I want to see if I'm correct in my thinking

R ----->~P missing link ~H -------> D

a) contrapositive of the link
b) allows for rich people to still be honest
c) it talks about dishonest people, so we know nothing about the opposite (honest), meaning you could still be rich?
d) rich can still be honest
e) irrelevant
 James Finch
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 944
  • Joined: Sep 06, 2017
|
#47971
Hi Mo,

It looks like you're correct about the answer choices, although, I'm not sure about the linkage diagram you made. Here's how I would diagram the stimulus:

R = P, and P = R. H = D, and D = H. It's helpful to put this up, so that when we get to actual conditionals, we can remember what each term means, both positive and negative.

So we only have one conditional, plus a conclusion that seems to be drawn from a Mistaken Negation of that conditional.

Conditional: Pf :arrow: Hf (Rf :arrow: Df)

Contrapositive: Hf :arrow: Pf (Df :arrow: Rf)

Now we have to justify the claim that all rich farmers are dishonest (Rf :arrow: D). Looking at the above diagram, making all honest farmers poor will give us, via the contrapositive, that all rich farmers are dishonest:

Hf :arrow: Pf,

with the contrapositive

Rf :arrow: D

(A) gives us that, which makes it the correct answer choice. Hope this helps!
 BostonLawGuy
  • Posts: 52
  • Joined: Jul 13, 2018
|
#49106
This response to be the only one that addresses the biconditionality, which adds greatly to understanding how to arrive at the correct answer. Perhaps it needs to be listed at the beginning of the thread?
Nikki Siclunov wrote:Hi angle23,

Your understanding of the stimulus is correct. Since you are either rich or poor, and either honest or dishonest, the logical opposite of "poor" (i.e. "not poor") is logically equivalent to being "rich." The same applies to being honest and dishonest. Hence:

Premise: Poor :arrow: Honest

Conclusion: Poor :arrow: Honest

You are correct in your observation that the conclusion is a Mistaken Negation of the premise. It is incorrect to say, however, that answer choice (A) is a Mistaken Reversal of that premise. The Mistaken Reversal (or Negation) are errors in inference-making. In other words, they are fallacious only as deductions from the original condition. The conclusion is a Mistaken Negation, because conclusions are axiomatically inferred from the evidence presented. Answer choice (A), by contrast, is not an inference from any premise: it is merely a statement we are instructed to assume as true. So, if every honest farmer is indeed poor, we can diagram this as:

Answer choice (A): Honest :arrow: Poor

As you may notice, this is the contrapositive of the conclusion. The two are identical in meaning, which is why the conclusion is properly drawn if we assume that answer choice (A) is true. On a side note, when combined with the premise, answer choice (A) + Premise produce a bi-conditional statement in the following form:

Honest :dbl: Poor

Let me know if this helps!
 BostonLawGuy
  • Posts: 52
  • Joined: Jul 13, 2018
|
#49587
Thanks for the great clarifications thus far! This question does not seem to be assuming anything. The answer choice is simply a contrapositive of the conclusion. Or am I missing something?
 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 3761
  • Joined: Apr 14, 2011
|
#49873
In LSAT terms, when faced with a conditional conclusion, the author is assuming the contrapositive is also true (unless he explicitly says so, in which case it is no longer an assumption but a premise). As with any assumption, if we were to negate this answer it would destroy the argument, proving it to be correct.

While we might see conditional statements and contrapositives as being the same thing, at least for testing purposes accepting the truth of one assumes the truth of the other, so it is fair game for an assumption question. You should expect one or two questions that do exactly that, BLG!
 nerilozano
  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: May 03, 2019
|
#64589
The question states:

A poor farmer was fond of telling his children: "In this world, you are either rich or poor, and...."

The farmer's conclusion is properly drawn if the argument assumes that

How do you diagram this? And my more important overarching question is that when done diagramming the conditional statements what do you do with it? Too many times I find myself diagramming the statements but then confused of what to do. Do I used the conclusion, do I use the premises, like in the question above. Which part of the conditional statement do I use.

Also, in non conditional JTC questions, what how should i approach the question. I know the book says that when added to the premises the conclusion MUST follow 100%, but this explanation is incomplete, it seems to easy but when doing the question it is anything but. I zero in on the conclusion but then what ?
User avatar
 Stephanie Turaj
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 445
  • Joined: Jan 11, 2016
|
#64619
Hi nerilozano!

Thanks for the question! I have moved your post to the thread discussing this topic. Please review the prior responses, including the full explanation on page 1: lsat/viewtopic.php?t=7692.

Please let us know if you have any additional questions!

Thanks!
 Nicholas Noyes
  • Posts: 38
  • Joined: Feb 07, 2020
|
#74107
So we are trying to link the premise to the conclusion. Since the contrapositive of answer A links the conclusion and proves it due to it being a justify question? I answered C for this question but looking back at it, it is not correct because it uses the terminology "everyone" and it does not provide a link to the conclusion through its contrapositive? Sorry, this was a difficult question.
 Robert Carroll
PowerScore Staff
  • PowerScore Staff
  • Posts: 723
  • Joined: Dec 06, 2013
|
#74128
Nicholas,

Every answer either says "everyone" or can be rephrased as a statement involving "everyone" straightforwardly. Thus, that word cannot be a problem with any answer. The problem is that answer choice (C) does not show that every rich farmer is dishonest - to think so is to make the Mistaken Reversal. As you pointed out, the contrapositive of answer choice (A) proves the conclusion, making it the right answer.

Robert Carroll

Get the most out of your LSAT Prep Plus subscription.

Analyze and track your performance with our Testing and Analytics Package.