QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: The geography of modern cities would have to have been very different if people had not used personal automobiles.
REASONING: The automobile has caused houses to be scattered far apart and far from work. Giant shopping mall parking lots have left little place for woodland.
ANALYSIS: This argument is almost good, but the conclusion is too definite. If it had said that cities “would probably have been different” it would have been ok. Cars undeniably did change cities, and cities probably wouldn’t have changed so much without cars.
But the argument claimed that cities would definitely have been different.
It’s possible cities could have developed in the same from some other cause. Personal jetpacks?
- CORRECT. Cars were a sufficient condition for current geography. But we have no indication that they were a necessary condition.
- The argument is confined to geography. It doesn’t mention other parts of life.
- The argument doesn’t claim that cars are the only influence. It just makes the point that they were a major influence and cities would look different without them.
- Actually the argument says that malls do need large parking lots.
- The argument isn’t saying what should be done. It’s making a factual analysis. Maybe the author of the argument loves cars.
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