QUESTION TYPE: Principle
FACTS: Organizations can be good even if their individual members are selfish.
ANALYSIS: This situation illustrates that the whole is not the same as the sum of the parts.
The institutions (the whole) work for the public good, even though the members (the parts) are selfish.
By the way, whole-to-part and part-to-whole flaws are very common on the LSAT. You should make sure you understand them intuitively.
The damned thing is, sometimes part-to-whole and whole-to-part arguments work. If a table is made entirely of wood, then every part is made of wood, and vice versa.
So you must use common sense to judge when you can go from whole to part and when you can’t.
- The stimulus never said that some organizations do not have public purposes or fail to achieve them.
- CORRECT. This is a tricky answer. It requires you to know that ‘not all’ can include ‘none’. The stimulus says that each staff member pursues their own interests. Technically, this means that “not all” of them pursue public purposes.
So organizations pursue public purposes even if ‘not all of their members pursue public purposes’.
- We don’t even know if this is true. The stimulus never said that individual members claim altruistic motives for their selfish actions.
- We don’t know what the founders of these institutions intended. This answer is completely unsupported.
- This is something different. It’s like realizing that your house keys can also be used to cut through plastic.
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