QUESTION TEXT: Joshi is clearly letting campaign contributions…
QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: Joshi is letting property developers buy his votes.
REASONING: Joshi supports developers, and the developers give him money.
ANALYSIS: This argument makes a classic LSAT flaw: it mixes up correlation and causation. The author only showed a correlation between Joshi’s positions and the donations. It could be that:
- Joshi supports developers because they pay him, or
- Developers pay Joshi because he supports them. They want to keep him elected, but they’re not influencing him.
In the second case, Joshi would support the developers whether or not they pay him. And the developers give him money to help him get reelected – because it’s valuable to them to have a supportive politician. There’s no corruption in that case.
- There’s no sequence of events.
Example of sequence: In July, Joshi received a campaign contribution from the developers. In August, Joshi voted to support the developers.
- This didn’t happen.
Example of flaw: All corrupt politicians breath oxygen. Joshi breathes oxygen, so he is corrupt.
- There was no moral judgement in the argument.
Example of factual judgement: There is a war.
Example of moral judgement: It is bad that there is a war. There shouldn’t be a war.
- CORRECT. This matches exactly.
- This describes circular reasoning. It almost never happens, and it’s obvious when it does. It will be something like “Joshi is corrupt because he is corrupt”, except slightly better hidden.
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