QUESTION TYPE: Role in Argument
CONCLUSION: The law should make sure that criminals can’t make a profit.
REASONING: The law shouldn’t give criminals any advantage over law abiding citizens.
ANALYSIS: There’s not much to this argument. The word “thus” indicates the conclusion. The sentence before “thus” is evidence. The real difficulty on this question is that the answers are confusing and more complex than on a typical role in argument question. That’s why it’s important to prephrase answers and know that you’re looking for “premise”.
The correct answer refers to the statement in question as a principle – which it is. I hadn’t prephrased that in advance, but as long as you prephrase “premise” you can suspect that’s the correct answer and quickly check that the statement was indeed a principle.
Two of the answers expect you to misunderstand the word “notwithstanding”. If you find there are words you don’t know on the LSAT, you should look them up in the dictionary and keep a list of them.
- “To ensure….it is important that” means that the statement in question is a necessary condition.
e.g. “To ensure you have a safe drive, buckle your seatbelt” doesn’t mean that seatbelts are sufficient for safety.
Also, this answer is inadequate even if it hadn’t made an error: it doesn’t say whether the statement is a premise or a conclusion.
- CORRECT. See the analysis above.
- This answer isn’t even true: “notwithstanding any other goals….” doesn’t mean there are other goals. It means there might be.
Also, the statement is a premise, not a conclusion.
- The jurist didn’t say what the most important goal is.
- This means “the argument said criminal justice has only one goal: keeping crime profitless”.
But the argument didn’t say that! “Notwithstanding any other goals….” means it’s possible there are other acceptable goals.
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