QUESTION TYPE: Sufficient Assumption
CONCLUSION: Individual freedom requires the rule of law.
Freedom ➞ Law
REASONING: Freedom requires social integrity, and the good life requires social integrity.
Freedom ➞ Social integrity
Good life ➞ Social integrity
ANALYSIS: On sufficient assumption questions, you should follow a three part process: Identify the conclusion, split it apart, fill in the evidence, spot the gap:
- F ➞ L
- F L
- F ➞ SI L
We can see that the gap is between SI and L. If we assume that SI ➞ L, then we prove the argument correct. Done! Pick B and move on.
Wait, but what about the good life? If the argument mentioned it, isn’t it important? Not really, here’s what we get if we add it:
F ➞ SI L
GL ➞ SI
GL adds a second sufficient condition for SI, but it doesn’t connect to F. And so it can’t help us move from F to L!
The LSAT sometimes throw in information intended only to distract you; it is testing your ability to focus on what’s important. On sufficient assumption question you must be laser focussed at moving from left to right.
Also, one of the wrong answers is the reverse of the right answer. This shows the importance of following the gap method above. If you just go on what @[email protected] right, you might identify the gap but not notice when answer stats it in reverse.
- This gets it backwards. The right answer will say that social integrity requires the rule of law.
- CORRECT. See the analysis above. This answer fills the gap in the argument.
- The good life is irrelevant, because it doesn’t help connect the two parts of the conclusion together. It’s just a sufficient condition for SI.
- This just reverses one of the premises from the argument. Reversing a premise never helps, since the gap flows left to right.
- This just reverses the conclusion. Reversing the conclusion can never prove it.
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