QUESTION TEXT: Police captain: The chief of police has indicated…
QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: There is no graft in my department.
REASONING: I know that one form of graft doesn’t exist. (Gifts over $100)
ANALYSIS: Your instinct may have been to think that the police captain is wrong about the lack of gifts. But that would be too obvious, and it’s not a typical type of LSAT flaw. Answers almost never contract the author.
The real flaw is that the police chief described one type of graft: gifts over $100.
But “graft” is a broad term. The definition is:
“practices, esp. bribery, used to secure illicit gains in politics or business; corruption”
You could, for example, accept a job later in return for corrupt services now. That’s a form of graft, and it wouldn’t fall under the $100 gift definition.
- A limited sample would be something like “I asked Bob and Jane and they hadn’t taken gifts”.
The police captain was talking about her entire precinct, so the sample is 100% of the precinct.
- CORRECT. If there are other types of graft, then it’s possible there’s graft in the precinct even if the captain is right about the lack of gifts.
- This isn’t a flaw, and it didn’t happen in the argument.
Example of this: They claim that Jill robbed the bank. This seems probable, since Jill has always talked about how banks are bad and how she wants money. Jill has a history of robbery.
- This didn’t happen.
Example of flaw: We’ve proven there’s no graft. Therefore, no one in the department has ever done any other bad thing.
- This almost never happens. It takes gross stupidity to contradict your own argument.
Example of flaw: I bribed one of my officers to spy on the department to see if there was corruption. He reported no one took bribes. So there are no bribes in my department.
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