QUESTION TYPE: Weaken
CONCLUSION: The Johnsons should plant peach trees, rather than apricot trees.
REASONING: Peach trees cost less, and grow fruit earlier than apricot trees do.
ANALYSIS: This argument has a classic flaw: it’s given us some advantages for peach trees, and pretended that this means that we know peach trees are better.
We don’t know that. There could also be disadvantages to peach trees that make them a lousy purchase. Perhaps they attract many pests.
There could also be other advantages to apricot trees that make them an even better choice. Maybe they require no upkeep.
- CORRECT. If apricots sell at a higher price, then it might make sense to plant apricot trees instead of peach trees.
- This is a disadvantage for apricots, and supports planting peaches.
- This tells us that both trees are equal in this respect. It doesn’t help us choose apricots.
- The most tempting wrong answer. But we already knew that peaches and apricots are equally popular in this area. And, this answer doesn’t tell us that the market for apricots has grown faster than the market for peaches.
- This is a fact about the past. It doesn’t say what farmers should do in the future. Peach production could have declined for innocent reasons that don’t affect the future.
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Graeme teaches how to break down arguments, quickly