QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Parallel Reasoning
CONCLUSION: If a feeder doesn’t have a cover, it won’t attract many birds.
REASONING: Squirrels keep birds from eating. Squirrels eat at a feeder only if it has no cover.
ANALYSIS: This argument makes a sufficient-necessary error. It’s possible for squirrels to eat from a feeder if it lacks a cover. But you don’t know if squirrels will eat from a feeder. Lack of a cover was just a necessary condition, not a sufficient condition.
C ➞ B is the conclusion
S ➞ C AND B is the evidence
These statements don’t match up. The conclusion incorrectly links two necessary conditions (C and B) that don’t have a relationship.
It’s important you see this structure before looking at the answers. They all use the same words, so structure is the only difference.
- This is a bad argument, it ignores other reasons that tires can wear out. But it has a different structure from the stimulus. It uses ‘likely’, which doesn’t make a conditional statement.
CP ➞ W is the conclusion
PL ➞ W AND CP is the evidence.
This argument has exactly the same structure as the stimulus. Two necessary conditions (W and CP) for low pressure are incorrectly linked. Don’t worry that ‘wear out’ is not negated – differences like that are not relevant to argument structure.
- This argument introduces a moral principle, with the word ‘should’. The stimulus only talked about facts, not morals. This also doesn’t repeat the necessary condition error made in the stimulus.
- This is a good argument. Neglect ➞ Too low ➞ Wear out.
- This argument shows there are two possible causes of tire wear. Then it incorrectly says one cause is irrelevant because it’s not the only cause. This is not the error made in the stimulus.
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