Tag Archive: necessary

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Sufficient and Necessary Assumption Questions, Demystified

Halloween may be over, but spookiness still lurks around the corner for LSAT-studiers who are just getting to sufficient and necessary assumption questions. These question types are tricky, and also appear frequently in the Logical Reasoning section, so it’s important to have a firm handle on what each type of assumption means. If all you know is that these question types are sufficient to give you a headache, read on!

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Mistaking the Necessary and Sufficient Conditions

A question on the Top Law Schools message board caught our eye this week:

Is there a difference between ‘mistaking the sufficient condition for the necessary condition’ and ‘mistaking the necessary condition for the sufficient condition’? I can sort of see a difference, but I feel like it could be phrased either way and still be the same flaw.

This is a great question.  As it turns out, the two things have slightly different meanings.  If you mistake the sufficient condition for the necessary condition, you treat the thing that really is the necessary condition as if it were the sufficient condition.  If you mistake the necessary condition for the sufficient condition, you treat the thing that really is the necessary condition as if it were the sufficient condition.