QUESTION TEXT: A person who knowingly brings about misfortune…
QUESTION TYPE: Principle – Application
- Knowingly bring misfortune ➞ blame
- Unknowingly bring misfortune AND could not have foreseen ➞ no blame
ANALYSIS: I classified this as principle/application because you must apply the principles to arguments. On this type of question, you must think extremely precisely. You know only two things: how to prove someone is to blame, and how to prove they’re not.
You need to look for an answer that gives one of the two sufficient conditions above, and then proves the necessary condition. That’s it. Don’t get distracted by words that “feel” relevant. Go by the strict logic above.
I may seem to be treating these sufficient conditions as necessary conditions. I’m not. It’s possible that there are other ways to prove someone is to blame or not to blame. But we don’t know anything about that. The two conditions above are the only conditions that we have.
- This says “he would have realized it if he had thought about it”, so Riley doesn’t meet the sufficient condition for “not to blame”.
- CORRECT. This meets both sufficient conditions for “not to blame”.
- The sufficient condition for blame is “knowingly bringing about misfortune”. George didn’t know, so we can’t conclude we should blame him.
- We have nothing that lets us conclude “no one else is to blame”. Maybe others are to blame. Knowingly harming is one sufficient condition, but it’s possible there are other sufficient conditions that we don’t know about.
- The only condition we have for blaming someone is knowledge. And Kapp didn’t realize she would start a fire.
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