QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Parallel Reasoning
CONCLUSION: Jackie’s first child probably wasn’t born before the due date.
REASONING: 1st child born before due (most)➞ second child born before due.
Jackie’s second child wasn’t born before due.
ANALYSIS: “Likely” is a synonym for most. So this argument gives us a “most” statement, then tries to take the contrapositive. But you can’t take the contrapositive of a “most” statement the way you can for a conditional statement. That’s because there can always be exceptions to a “most” statement.
(A conditional statement is one where the sufficient condition always leads to the necessary condition)
The answers are a bit technical. I’ll give examples. Take this statement: Cat ➞ has tail
Incorrect reversal: tail ➞ cat
cat ➞ tailcontrapositive (correct)
tail ➞ cat
Now, this argument uses a “most” statement. You can’t do any of these with a most statement. Even contrapositives. This argument is wrong because it tries to reverse and negate a “most” statement. You need to find the answer that does the same thing.
- This incorrectly negates a “most” statement. That’s not the same as trying to take the contrapositive of a “most” statement.
- This incorrectly reverses a “most” statement. That’s not the same thing as trying to take the contrapositive of a “most” statement.
- CORRECT. This reverses the terms of a “most” statement, and negates those terms. This is the same error as the stimulus – you can’t take the contrapositive of a “most” statement.
- This is a good argument. Unlike all the other answers, this one has a conditional statement. In every case where a business is likely to fail, people won’t invest.
- This incorrectly reverses a conditional statement and adds a “probably”.
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Graeme teaches how to break down arguments, quickly