Tag Archive: Flaw

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The Typical Argument Types Typically Go Wrong on the LSAT

Describe questions (questions that ask of an argument’s “method of reasoning” or how the argument “proceeds”) have kind of a funny place on the LSAT. On the one hand, they’re not terribly common. You might see a couple on test day, or you might just as easily not see any at all. But the skill they test, describing reasoning with the subject matter abstracted out, is important to a lot of things on the LSAT.

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Logical Fallacies to Look Out For This Election Season

We’re already being forced to deal with election season nonsense. Instead of catching up on the latest Donald Trump fluff in the news, we’re going to look at some common logical fallacies used and abused by politicians.

Causal Flaws

Causal flaws abound in political reasoning. For example, a state will pass some expensive piece of tough-on-crime legislation, and then point to the fact that crime rates went down in the following years as justification.

However, just because Thing One happened before Thing Two, it doesn’t mean that Thing One caused Thing Two. Thing Two might have happened anyway. Crime rates may be plummeting in many similar states that have no analogous tough-on-crime legislation. That’s an instance of the effect without the purported cause.

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LSAT Fallacy Watch: Mitt Romney and His Taxes

As we’ve discussed before, fallacies aren’t just related to the LSAT. They’re all around us. Every day you can see bad reasoning, whether it be in advertising, in politics, or on the news. Many of these arguments look like they could be right at home in an LSAT Logical Reasoning section. So today we’ll be looking at some of the attacks on Mitt Romney relating to his tax returns, and examining them to determine whether or not they hold any water. Arguments such as…

Romney won’t disclose all of his tax information. He must therefore have something to hide.

INVALID. This is something of an absence-of-evidence fallacy. We know that Romney won’t release his full tax information. Could it be because he has some nefarious tax secrets that he’s hiding? Definitely. He may have used numerous loopholes that would make him look bad, and he doesn’t want the American voters to know about this.

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Logical Reasonings / 1.12.12

A) Find the flaw in this argument: Law school graduates are struggling to find jobs everywhere. A law school can’t focus on fixing that problem if it spends a bunch of money on a new logo. The Guardian.

B) The idea of colleges releasing report cards is gaining steam. Some of these schools are going to be sooo grounded when their parents see. The Atlantic.

C) Survey says: Law school is good or excellent…mostly. National Law Journal.

D) A landlord in Ohio is being sued for posting a “White Only” sign for the pool at her complex. Luckily, she’ll never be confused where to sit in the courtroom because her chair is marked “Guilty Only.” Associated Press.

E) This is the first video that was ever uploaded onto YouTube. Surprisingly, it doesn’t have a single cat. NPR.

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Ways in which the creators of the LSAT use Delphic words, the befuddlement it creates, and strategies for combating the resulting answer choices that seem intentionally labyrinthine

After my previous post, commenter Joseph asked about “answer choices that have loaded language and it’s difficult to determine what exactly (they) mean.” These are ones where you understand what is being asked of you, and you know what the answer should look like, but then you can’t quite work out just what the hell the answer choices are saying because they look like they were written by some bearded professor who is just trying to sound pretentious. These do happen quite a bit in LR questions that ask you to describe some aspect of the argument, such as its general reasoning, locating its flaw, or identifying the purpose of a certain phrase or sentence. The difficulty often arises from the fact that you’re describing some pretty complicated stuff in pretty general terms.