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# Although Damon had ample time earlier in the month to complete the pap

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Math Expert
Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 64073
Although Damon had ample time earlier in the month to complete the pap  [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2020, 01:58
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25% (medium)

Question Stats:

71% (01:50) correct 29% (02:07) wrong based on 79 sessions

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Although Damon had ample time earlier in the month to complete the paper he is scheduled to present at a professional conference tomorrow morning, he repeatedly put off doing it. Damon could still get the paper ready in time, but only if he works on it all evening without interruption. However, his seven-year-old daughter’s tap-dance recital takes place this evening and Damon had promised both to attend and to take his daughter and her friends out for ice cream afterward. Thus, because of his procrastination, Damon will be forced to choose between his professional and his family responsibilities.

The argument proceeds by

(A) providing evidence that one event will occur in order to establish that an alterative event cannot occur

(B) showing that two situations are similar in order to justify the claim that someone with certain responsibilities in the first situation has similar responsibilities in the second situation

(C) invoking sympathy for someone who finds himself in a dilemma in order to excuse that person’s failure to meet all of his responsibilities

(D) making clear the extent to which someone’s actions resulted in harm to others in order to support the claim that those actions were irresponsible

(E) demonstrating that two situations cannot both occur by showing that something necessary for one of those situations is incompatible with something necessary for the other situation

Project CR Butler: Critical Reasoning

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Re: Although Damon had ample time earlier in the month to complete the pap  [#permalink]

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30 Mar 2020, 23:44
1
Summary of the situation:
- Damon has work to be done for tomorrow
- To complete it he needs to work all evening
- But he planned an event with his daughter
- He must pick one of the two

The argument proceeds by:
(A) providing evidence that one event will occur in order to establish that an alternative event cannot occur
Either event could occur. Incorrect.

(B) showing that two situations are similar in order to justify the claim that someone with certain responsibilities in the first situation has similar responsibilities in the second situation
The two situations/responsibilities are not similar. Anyone can have the first responsibility without having the second and vice versa. Incorrect.

(C) invoking sympathy for someone who finds himself in a dilemma in order to excuse that person’s failure to meet all of his responsibilities
The statements just present facts of a dilemma faced by Damon. Invoking sympathy or excusing him cannot be implied. Incorrect.

(D) making clear the extent to which someone’s actions resulted in harm to others in order to support the claim that those actions were irresponsible
The argument does not deal with harm or irresponsibility. Incorrect

(E) demonstrating that two situations cannot both occur by showing that something necessary for one of those situations is incompatible with something necessary for the other situation
The statements simply present the facts of the dilemma. They show that the two events cannot both occur. Correct
Tutor
Joined: 16 May 2019
Posts: 709
Although Damon had ample time earlier in the month to complete the pap  [#permalink]

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31 Mar 2020, 15:11
1
Hello, everyone. There is little to analyze in the way of a question stem here. All we need to do is follow the logic of the argument.

Bunuel wrote:
Although Damon had ample time earlier in the month to complete the paper he is scheduled to present at a professional conference tomorrow morning, he repeatedly put off doing it. Damon could still get the paper ready in time, but only if he works on it all evening without interruption. However, his seven-year-old daughter’s tap-dance recital takes place this evening and Damon had promised both to attend and to take his daughter and her friends out for ice cream afterward. Thus, because of his procrastination, Damon will be forced to choose between his professional and his family responsibilities.

The argument proceeds by

Sentence 1 tells us that Damon had ample time in which to work on a paper for a professional conference, but he procrastinated.

Sentence 2 provides a conditional statement: he could still finish the paper, but only if he burns the midnight oil and works without interruption.

Sentence 3 presents a hurdle: Damon has a prior family obligation, one that will require his time.

Sentence 4 reveals the conclusion, using the transition thus: Damon must choose between his professional and his family responsibilities.

Since we have teased out what each sentence reveals, we just need to follow the trail of breadcrumbs.

Bunuel wrote:
(A) providing evidence that one event will occur in order to establish that an alterative [sic] event cannot occur

Although this can look tempting, Damon has a choice here. Nothing is set in stone. Sure, depending on which choice he makes, the alternative event will not occur, but because we do not get any insight into what his decision will be, this cannot be our answer.

Bunuel wrote:
(B) showing that two situations are similar in order to justify the claim that someone with certain responsibilities in the first situation has similar responsibilities in the second situation

This one is all sorts of wrong. Apart from each obligation requiring Damon's time, the two situations are not presented as being similar. In fact, there is a clear dichotomy that is established instead: professional versus familial obligations. If you want to get really nit-picky, perhaps working on your chops for boldface questions, there is also no such claim made in the passage about these so-called similar responsibilities. The last sentence provides a premise first--because...--followed by a conclusion--Damon will be forced.... Keep going.

Bunuel wrote:
(C) invoking sympathy for someone who finds himself in a dilemma in order to excuse that person’s failure to meet all of his responsibilities

How touching. However, I don't know about you, but I did not feel any sympathy for Damon. I was thinking, You nitwit! How could you promise your little girl one thing and put off your paper/presentation all the while, knowing there was a close deadline? Raise your hand if you think Damon will get his comeuppance. We cannot justify that the passage is looking for us to excuse his behavior or the probable outcome of it. Despite my reaction, the passage presents all the information in an unbiased, non-judgmental manner. We need to keep looking for our answer.

Bunuel wrote:
(D) making clear the extent to which someone’s actions resulted in harm to others in order to support the claim that those actions were irresponsible

I think Damon was irresponsible, but, as I pointed out above, the passage takes no such stance. Moreover, we never get an outcome to this situation. Damon has backed himself into a corner, but we get nothing in the way of his choice (whatever that will be) harming others. This is overstated, speculative drivel.

Bunuel wrote:
(E) demonstrating that two situations cannot both occur by showing that something necessary for one of those situations is incompatible with something necessary for the other situation

Finally, the answer that cannot be argued against. This is exactly how the passage plays out. Damon cannot both complete his paper, according to the passage, and attend his daughter's recital. Why? Because bi-location is still not possible, or at least the notion is not mentioned as part of the passage. Damon is bound by time and will need to make a choice. (On a personal note, if I were him, I would call in sick and cross my fingers that no one would see me either at the recital or at the ice-cream social afterwards.)

I hope that helps. If anyone has any questions, I would be happy to offer my thoughts. Good luck with your studies.

- Andrew
Although Damon had ample time earlier in the month to complete the pap   [#permalink] 31 Mar 2020, 15:11