QUESTION TEXT: The proposed change to the patent system…
QUESTION TYPE: Sufficient Assumption
CONCLUSION: The patent law change will harm scientific research.
REASONING: The proposed change will slow down communication of discoveries.
ANALYSIS: The conclusion is that the legal change will have a chilling effect on science. But we have no idea what a chilling effect is.
I like to read these as if it said “therefore the proposal will force scientists to wear funny hats”.
You no longer have to think about what argument means. You just need to connect the premises to that nonsense statement. The answer would be:
Slower sharing of papers ➞ Scientists forced to wear funny hats
That type of connection is the basis of almost all sufficient assumption questions. Just connect whatever they give as evidence to whatever they claim in the conclusion. You don’t have to think about meaning, just match terms.
- This doesn’t mention chilling effects. This answer would have to tell us how more patent applications could chill science.
- This doesn’t mention chilling effects. It’s possible the proposed change would encourage even more advances than the current system allowed.
- CORRECT. The proposal will cause delays in the communication of discoveries. This says that therefore the proposal will have chilling effects on science.
- It doesn’t matter what researchers think. We don’t know why they oppose the changes. Even if they think the proposal will have chilling effects, they could be wrong.It’s important to distinguish between people’s beliefs and actual facts.
- That’s nice. It’s possible that the new rules will facilitate progress even more effectively, by some other means. This doesn’t tell us the proposal will have chilling effects.
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