QUESTION TEXT: A popular book argues that people who…
QUESTION TYPE: Flawed Reasoning
CONCLUSION: It’s ridiculous to say that successful people have had a lot of luck.
REASONING: Successful people have worked hard!
ANALYSIS: This author ignores an obvious possibility. It’s possible that success requires both hard work and a lot of luck.
Of course, to answer this question you must translate this into abstract language. Basically, the author thinks hard work is sufficient, but actually it may only be necessary.
(If hard work were sufficient, you wouldn’t need luck. If hard work were necessary, then other factors such as luck might also be necessary.)
- CORRECT. See the analysis above. “Hard work” is the thing which is necessary but is mistaken for sufficient.
- This is a different flaw.
Example of flaw: This person says they are a professor of mathematics. So, when they say 2 + 2 = 5, I know I can trust them. No need to check their diploma.
- This describes circular reasoning. It’s usually pretty obvious: the evidence will be the same as the conclusion.
Example of flaw: Luck isn’t necessary for success, because success doesn’t need luck.
- This is a different flaw. See question 2 on this section for an example of this flaw used on an LSAT question.
Example of flaw: I see successful people often retire early. So, retiring early is the key to success!
- This is an ad hominem. It’s generally a flaw.
Example of flaw: The popular book written by a communist said that luck causes success. I hate communists! So, the book must be wrong.
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