I recently got back from a three-week European vacation, a trip filled with magic and wonderment and standoffish northern Europeans. It’s a land of picturesque fjords, rugged alps, and an abundance of LSAT logical fallacies.
LSAT logical fallacies such as…
Flying on Ryanair – A Composition LSAT Fallacy
Have you ever flown on Ryanair? It’s the Greyhound of the skies, but without the friendly charm. You get a millimeter of legroom, no free food or drinks, and a crew that consists entirely of surly Eastern European teenagers. Ryanair makes United look like Emirates. How do they get away with treating you like human waste? Well, their fares are incredibly cheap; I flew from Dublin to Oslo on Ryanair, an 800-mile trip, for a mere $14. Sounds amazingly inexpensive, right? Well, that’s the composition fallacy that so many disgruntled Ryanair passengers make. Just because the fare is cheap, that doesn’t mean that the total flight will be cheap. Ryanair is notorious for their insane hidden fees. Accidentally misspelled your name on your booking? That’ll be $200. Forgot to check your bag online? That’ll be another $200. Ryanair was even considering charging to use the bathroom. It all goes to show that just because a part (the fare) has a certain quality, don’t assume the whole (the entire cost of the flight) shares that quality.
Finding a Hotel – An Exclusivity LSAT Fallacy
Late one night my wife and I pulled up into the little Norwegian fjordside village of Flaam. It was still bright outside, but apparently all the lazy Norwegians had gone to sleep and we couldn’t get a room. My wife said that we’d have to drive 90 minutes to a larger town that would have a 24-hour hotel. But she had assumed that we’d exhausted all of our other options, a classic exclusivity fallacy. While she didn’t appreciate the logic lesson at 1:00 am, we were both happy to sit by a fire someone had left on the beach and just fall asleep there. We woke up with all of our possessions intact, all thanks to remembering the exclusivity fallacy, and not assuming that a list of options was exhaustive. Remember to always ask, “Could there be another way?”
Hiking the Alps – A Perception Versus Reality LSAT Fallacy
While staying in the Swiss Alps, we told some fellow guests at our breakfast table about our plans to go on a certain hike that day. Two of our neighbors (who happened to be fellow countrymen, as well) chimed in to say that they had attempted that trail the day before, and assured us that it was damn near impossible, and unpleasant to boot. So did we blindly follow their advice? Well, no, because I smelled a perception-versus-reality fallacy in the air. Just because they said it was unpleasant and impossible, that doesn’t mean that it actually was. I’m not known for being an in-shape person, but these fellow diners were each double my already-large size. From this, I was able to deduce that what was unpleasant and impossible for them might not be so for others. So my wife and I ended up enjoying the all-day hike, saved from a boring day by understanding logical fallacies. By understanding bad logic you yourself can avoid missed opportunities, high airline fares, and low LSAT scores.