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# Joe: The sign on this garden says Do Not Pick The Flowers.

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Joe: The sign on this garden says Do Not Pick The Flowers. [#permalink]  28 Apr 2012, 20:15
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Difficulty:

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Question Stats:

79% (01:49) correct 21% (00:42) wrong based on 185 sessions
Joe: The sign on this garden says “Do Not Pick The Flowers.”
Sally: You are right. But there are a lot of flowers here. Picking just one will not hurt.
Joe: That is not true. If everyone thought that way and picked a flower, the garden would be
destroyed.
Joe’s response to Sally is questionable because ______.
A) it ignores the possibility that there may be circumstance where destroying the garden is
justified
b) it is circular in reasoning
c) it contradicts itself by pointing out that collective action has a different result than does an
individual action
d) it cites the consequence of everyone performing an action rather than that of Sally’s action
itself
e) it attacks Sally’s character in order to undermine her credibility

[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Joined: 14 Nov 2008
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Re: Joe: The sign on this garden says Do Not Pick The Flowers. [#permalink]  04 Sep 2013, 22:54
1
KUDOS
Sally makes a claim that picking one flower will not cause any harm. Joe replies
that her claim is not true and supports his response by citing the consequence of
everyone picking a flower. By doing so, Joe attempts to shift the focus away from
Sally's actual claim.
(A) Whether there are circumstances under which destroying the garden is
justified is irrelevant to Sally’s claim that picking one flower is not harmful and
Joe’s argument refuting that claim.
(B) A circular argument assumes that which it is trying to prove. The following is
a circular argument: "Only an untrustworthy person would run for office. The fact
that politicians are untrustworthy is proof of this." Joe’s argument is not circular:
Joe does not rely on the assumption that Sally’s statement is not true in order to
argue that Sally’s statement is not true.
(C) While Joe does point out that the consequence of the collective action is
different from that of Sally’s individual action, his argument is questionable
because in doing so he attempts to shift the focus away from Sally’s actual claim,
(D) CORRECT. Joe attempts to refute Sally’s claim by asserting that the
collective action of “everyone” would destroy the garden. This argument is
picking just one flower, not about the consequences of everyone doing so. By
using the consequences of everyone picking a flower to refute Sally's claim on
the consequences on picking just one flower, Joe implies that Sally's picking of
the one flower will necessarily lead to everone picking a flower (hence, leading to
the destruction of the garden). Not only is this assumption not necessarily true,
but it is also not supported by anything Joe says in his response: he merely
states a premise based on a hypothetical ("If everyone thought that way and
picked a flower...."). This questionable argumentive technique of shifting the
focus from the consequence of a single action to the consequence of a much
larger collective action without proving a cause-and-effect link between the single
and collective actions is known as the "fallacy of the slippery slope assumption."
(E) Joe says nothing that attacks Sally’s character.
Princeton Review Representative
Joined: 17 Jun 2013
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Re: Joe: The sign on this garden says Do Not Pick The Flowers. [#permalink]  05 Sep 2013, 04:25
Expert's post
This is a flaw question so you have to find the assumption or the gap in the reasoning. The specific gap between Sally and Joe is the use of "just one" and "everyone." Thus Joe does not directly address the issue of "just one" and incorrectly jumps to the issue of "everyone" Answer choice D clearly states this point
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Re: Joe: The sign on this garden says Do Not Pick The Flowers.   [#permalink] 05 Sep 2013, 04:25
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