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A valid argument is often defined as one in which it is not [#permalink]

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02 Dec 2008, 00:07

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A valid argument is often defined as one in which it is not possible for all the premises to be true and the conclusion false. A circular argument is sometimes defined as one in which one of the premises is identical to the conclusion. From these definitions we can infer that...

A) Every circular argument is valid as long as its premises are true.

B) Every valid argument is circular.

C) No circular argument is valid.

D) Some circular arguments are valid, and some are not.

E) Some circular arguments are not valid, and some valid arguments are not circular.

If I got this on test day, I'd probably mutter something under my breath, pick E and move on hopefully forgetting I ever got that question so it wouldn't negatively affect the rest of the test.
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------------------------------------ J Allen Morris **I'm pretty sure I'm right, but then again, I'm just a guy with his head up his a$$.

I have the same question: What is the source? It looks more like an LSAT question than a GMAT, but I am not sure that it is structured correctly. I can find a justification for A as the answer, but the justification depends on interpreting the question in a way that might be too "aggressive". Here it is:

The stimulus says that a valid argument is one where the conclusion cannot be false if the premises are true. In other words, if the premises are true, so is the conclusion. What is ALSO true about a valid argument is something that the stimulus does not actually SAY: IF the premises are true, the conclusion can be EITHER true or false.

If all the premises of a circular argument are true, then the conclusion cannot be false, because it is one of the premises. So this fits the definition of a valid argument. But if the premises of a circular argument are false, then the conclusion CANNOT be true -- because it is one of the premises.

So the question is: Are we supposed to interpret the stimulus as saying that if the premises of a valid argument are false, then the conclusion must have the POSSIBILITY of being true? If so, then A is the correct answer. But that looks to me like a very big assumption rather than an interpretation.
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My answer is A... Valid argument = If all premises are true, the conclusion is true Circular argument = one of the premises = conclusion Therefore, in a cirular argument, IF all premises are true, the conclusion will be true (since its a premise), and hence, its a valid argument. And this is what A says..