QUESTION TYPE: Necessary Assumption
CONCLUSION: The department won’t get an award unless it gets more funding from non-profit sources.
REASONING: The department won’t get an award unless it gets more funding for basic scientific research.
ANALYSIS: I simplified the reasoning above so you can more easily spot the gap. This is almost a good argument.
The professor has shown that his department needs more funding for basic science. What the professor hasn’t shown is that that funding must come from non-profit sources.
There’s no reason corporations couldn’t fund basic science. The professor has to assume that they won’t.
Several wrong answers talk about what will happen if the department succeeds. We don’t care about that. We only care about whether the department can succeed without additional non-profit funding.
- The professor didn’t say that his department was guaranteed success if they get funding. He just said that the department would fail without basic science funding. It’s a necessary condition.
- This would be a nice side effect, but it doesn’t matter what would happen if the department succeeds. The professor’s argument is about whether the department could succeed.
- The professor didn’t say the department had to give up it’s corporate funding. He just argued the department needed outside funding as well.
- CORRECT. Exactly. The professor has to assume that corporations won’t provide additional basic science funding. If corporations did provide extra funding, then the department wouldn’t need more outside funds.
- We don’t care whether the corporations benefit. We only care if they believe they ought to increase basic science funding. Belief and fact are two different things.
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