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# The museum's night security guard-maintains that the thieves

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The museum's night security guard-maintains that the thieves [#permalink]

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01 May 2004, 15:07
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The museum's night security guard-maintains that the thieves who stole the portrait did not enter the museum at any point at or above ground level. Therefore, the thieves must have gained access to the museum from below ground level.

The flawed pattern of reasoning in the argument above is most similar to that in which one of the following?

(A) The rules stipulate the participants in the contest be judged on both form and accuracy. The eventual winner was judged highest in neither category , so there must be a third criterion that judges were free to invoke.

(B) The store's competitors claim that the store in selling off the shirts at those prices, neither made any profit nor broke even. Consequently, the store's customers must have been able to buy shirts there at less than the store's cost.

(C) If the census is to be believed, the percentage of men who are married is higher than the percentage of women who are married. Thus, the census must show a higher number of men than of women overall.

(D) The product label establishes that this insecticide is safe for both humans and pet. Therefore, the insecticide must also be safe for such wild mammals as deer and rabbits.

(E) As had generally been expected, not all questionnaires were sent in by the official deadline. It follows that plans must have been made for the processing of questionnaires received late.
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01 May 2004, 19:32
B it is. B would need to be reconstructed to fit the original statement. Let me rephrase.

The store's competitors claim that the store in selling off the shirts at those prices, neither made any profit nor broke even. Consequently, the store must have sold its shirts to its customers at a price below the store's cost.

Now let's compare this to the original statement

The museum's night security guard-maintains that the thieves who stole the portrait did not enter the museum at any point at or above ground level. Therefore, the thieves must have gained access to the museum from below ground level

In B:
Let X = store's competitors
Let Y = the store
Let A = made a profit
Let B = broke even
Let C = sold at below cost

In original statement:
Let X = museum's night security guard
Let Y = the thieves
Let A = entered at ground level
Let B = entered above ground level
Let C = entered below ground level

Both statements have the following form:
X maintains/claims that Y has done neither A nor B. Therefore, Y must have done C
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02 May 2004, 06:04
Good explanation Paul!

For me the best choices were A and B. I ruled out A because of the word
highest in was judged highest in neither category
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03 May 2004, 06:14
My choice (B).

Anand, small question:

Why do you think "highest" was the word based on which you did not select (A).
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03 May 2004, 07:01
Paul,

Thanks for the explanation. Actually I was looking for the flaw in the question. Because if you look at the wording of the question, it is as follows:

The flawed pattern of reasoning in the argument above is most similar to that in which one of the following?

What is the flaw in the question stem and what is the flaw in B?
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03 May 2004, 07:52
What you want to compare is the similarity in the flaws of B and the original statement.

Both statements have the flaw that if Y has done neither A nor B, then it must have automatically done C which is erroneous for Y could have done D for instance which is something unaccounted for in the argument.
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03 May 2004, 07:54
Paul wrote:
What you want to compare is the similarity in the flaws of B and the original statement.

Both statements have the flaw that if Y has done neither A nor B, then it must have automatically done C which is erroneous for Y could have done D for instance which is something unaccounted for in the argument.

Well, but then what other alternative (D in your language) is possible in the question stem? I cannot think of any other possible alternative explanation.
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03 May 2004, 08:03
That's a common textbook fallacy listed under dilemma/a variant of disjunctive syllogism smth.
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03 May 2004, 09:30
Hmm, I think you are right, there is not much in terms of flaw in the reasoning of the original statement. However, what we are looking for is still the similarity in the line of reasoning of the original statement vis-a-vis one of the option choices and not the flaw thereof. B is best and perhaps, the word flaw should be omitted in the question line.
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03 May 2004, 10:28
So what is the OA for this.

The sentence "highest in neither category" could mean that the contestents were judged to a lower extent. This is taking about the degree of judgement whereas the stem is talking about binray conditions yes/no. Neither on the ground and nor above the ground.
The only flaw I saw as Paul mentioned is that the whole case talks about only 3 possibilities

At, above or else below
Profit, breakeven or else loss

The problem with stem is that the culprits may be present inside the building even before the gurad was on the duty and just deriving a conclusion from Guard's words is the flaw other wise there is no flaw in the stem because infact only three alternatives are possible to break into the muesum.
Same problem with B. The clothes people buying might be above the cost paid by the store but the store might have been under loss to begin with and the loss may not be compensated by the prices paid by the customers.
Bo these choices rule out the possibility that the conditions existed even before the sampling happenend.
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03 May 2004, 11:15
anandnk wrote:
So what is the OA for this.

The sentence "highest in neither category" could mean that the contestents were judged to a lower extent. This is taking about the degree of judgement whereas the stem is talking about binray conditions yes/no. Neither on the ground and nor above the ground.
The only flaw I saw as Paul mentioned is that the whole case talks about only 3 possibilities

At, above or else below
Profit, breakeven or else loss

The problem with stem is that the culprits may be present inside the building even before the gurad was on the duty and just deriving a conclusion from Guard's words is the flaw other wise there is no flaw in the stem because infact only three alternatives are possible to break into the muesum.
Same problem with B. The clothes people buying might be above the cost paid by the store but the store might have been under loss to begin with and the loss may not be compensated by the prices paid by the customers.
Bo these choices rule out the possibility that the conditions existed even before the sampling happenend.

Nice explanation Anandnk. Yes, the given conclusion regarding the possibility of the thieves entering below ground level is conditional to the event in which the guard's claim are true and can be verified. If the thieves passed by ground level and the guard missed them, then how can we conclude that the thieves passed under ground level?

In B, we are relying on the store's competitors as to the profitability of the store in question. What if the store sold its products above costs but was still not profitable or that the store was not even profitable in the first place? The point is that we are depending on the claim of X which may be inaccurate
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03 May 2004, 11:15
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# The museum's night security guard-maintains that the thieves

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