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 Pragmatism
  • Posts: 68
  • Joined: Jan 11, 2018
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#43083
Can you please tell me what type of principle question is this.

Thanks
 dbrowning
  • Posts: 26
  • Joined: Jun 18, 2019
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#66966
Hi,

After going through some of these older tests, I am somewhat confused on what constitutes a common-sense assumption. To me, assuming that Mary's experiment is not "immediately assist(ing) in saving several animal lives or in protecting the health of a person" seems outside the scope of common sense. For instance, what if Mary were conducting this experiment as a part of undergraduate research that would save many canine lives? This certainly seems possible for a veterinary student. Maybe it is not likely, but it is certainly possible, in my mind taking it outside the realm of common sense.

That said, I did not like any of the answer choices. They either went too far (A,C, and E), were factually inaccurate (D), or were outside the scope of our knowledge (B). I reluctantly chose A, thinking perhaps "shock" equated to suffering pain.

Or, are these types of assumptions that made B correct required for modern LSATs?

Thanks
 Adam Tyson
PowerScore Staff
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#66979
Thanks for the question, dbrowning! The stimulus tells us that this is a student experiment for the purpose of observing the effects of shock. The authors believe (and I agree with them) that it is a reasonable assumption that this experiment is not in any way tied to the "immediate" assistance of other living beings. It's research that may or may not have some lifesaving application later in Mary's career. We aren't being told about an imminent medical emergency, and so we should not assume there is one. On the contrary, we should assume there is NOT one, because if there was then they would surely have said so!

This experiment is NOT about immediate assistance of anything or anyone, and that triggers the contrapositive of answer B and proves that the experiment would not be justifiable. Mary's decision is in accord with that principle.

On the other hand, looking at answer A, there is no reason to assume (and therefore we should not assume) that the dog will feel any pain. The stimulus says the dog is anesthetized, which generally means that they are unconscious and can feel nothing. That's what anesthesia does, after all! Also, Mary isn't considering "gratuitously" doing anything - she would have a good reason for doing the experiment as part of her educational process, and that is the opposite of acting gratuitously. Answer A is problematic on both those fronts, as well as the vague aspect of "all other things being equal". Are they? We don't know. What does that even mean? Does the potential outcome for her, possibly being a well-prepared veterinarian, mean all other things are equal, or not equal? What a mess that phrase is for us!
 tetsuya0129
  • Posts: 74
  • Joined: Jun 20, 2018
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#84893
Hi there,

I had a hard time eliminating (C); I thought it was probably wrong because (i) we have no fact about whether the experiment can help prevent future animal suffering and (ii), in its contrapositive, we have "an insufficient justification" but Mary can still choose whether to base her/his judgment on this insufficient justification.

The above process took me a long time before I finally went with my gut. I wanna know whether my interpreting on (C) is incorrect at any point and thus it became inefficient.

Thank you very much for your time, :)

Leon
User avatar
 Dave Killoran
PowerScore Staff
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#85020
Hi tetsuya0129,

I have posted a complete explanation to this problem, which should address your question, at the top of the first page of this thread.

Thanks!
 tetsuya0129
  • Posts: 74
  • Joined: Jun 20, 2018
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#85407
Thank you Dave!

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