QUESTION TEXT: Editorial: The premier's economic advisor assures her…
QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: The premier shouldn’t listen to the advisor. His advice is surely wrong.
REASONING: The advisor was once convicted of embezzlement when he was young.
ANALYSIS: This is a pure ad hominem attack. It generally doesn’t matter who says something. It only matters what they say. If the advisor’s proposal is wrong, it must be because it has some flaw.
- The argument rejected the proposal because it came from the advisor. They didn’t discuss how or why it might fail.
- The stimulus isn’t supporting the proposal. It’s arguing against it.
- CORRECT. The stimulus’ only evidence against the proposal is that the advisor once committed a crime. That amounts to no evidence.
- Not quite. The stimulus didn’t mention any evidence for or against the proposal. Here’s an example of the mistake described in this answer: “There is no evidence that humans can build a flying machine, therefore it is impossible for humans to build a flying machine.”
- This is not circular reasoning. The argument does have evidence: the advisor once committed a crime. It’s just not very good evidence.
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