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Joseph: My encyclopedia says that the mathematician Pierre

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Joseph: My encyclopedia says that the mathematician Pierre  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2010, 18:46
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Joseph: My encyclopedia says that the mathematician Pierre de Fermat died in 1665 without leaving behind any written proof for a theorem that he claimed nonetheless to have proved. Probably this alleged theorem simply cannot be proved, since---as the article points out---no one else has been able to prove it. Therefore it is likely that Fermat was either lying or else mistaken when he made his claim.

Laura: Your encyclopedia is out of date. Recently someone has in fact proved Fermat’s theorem. And since the theorem is provable, your claim---that Fermat was lying or mistaken---clearly is wrong.

Which one of the following most accurately describes a reasoning error in Laura’s argument?

(A) It purports to establish its conclusion by making a claim that, if true, would actually contradict that conclusion.

(B) It mistakenly assumes that the quality of a person’s character can legitimately be taken to guarantee the accuracy of the claims that person has made.

(C) It mistakes something that is necessary for its conclusion to follow for something that ensures that the conclusion follows.

(D) It uses the term “provable” without defining it.

(E) It fails to distinguish between a true claim that has mistakenly between believed to be false and a false claim that has mistakenly been believed to be true.
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Re: Joseph: My encyclopedia says that the mathematician Pierre  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jun 2017, 13:54
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Mahmud6 wrote:
Would you please help me to figure out the followings?

C. It mistakes something that is necessary (what is necessary?) for its conclusion (what is conclusion?) to follow for something (what is this something?) that ensures that the conclusion follows.

Let's start with Laura's conclusion, which is that Joseph's claim---that Fermat was lying or mistaken when he claimed that he proved the theorem---is clearly wrong. If Fermat was not lying or mistaken, then the theorem must be provable (this is the necessary part). However, just because the theorem is provable does not necessarily mean that Fermat himself proved it. Thus, even if the theorem was known to be provable, Fermat may still have been lying or mistaken. Something that ensures that Fermat was not lying or mistaken would show that Fermat himself proved the theorem, not just that the theorem is provable.
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Re: Joseph: My encyclopedia says that the mathematician Pierre  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jun 2010, 01:20
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J - Fermat may have lied or did not actually prove the theorem since 1. he did not leave behind any proof. 2. no one else has been able to prove it

L - J's claim is wrong since his point 2 is invalid - someone has proved it.

What is a FLAW in L's argument?

A. L's claim supports her conclusion.

B. Not true, the quality of character is actually J's inference, and even he doesn't use it to guarantee his own claim at all.

C. Exactly. If you notice L has only refuted point no. 2 and forgotten about point 1 - that Fermat didn't leave any proof. This still brings doubt to whether he was able to prove it at all. Though her claim about point 2 is valid and necessary for her conclusion it does not necessarily LEAD to the conclusion since there is another counter-claim which she has ignored.

D. Provable is being used in its standard english meaning and need not be defined.

E. This is just meant to confuse you. There is no true claim or false claim that was previously misconstrued - it's simple - L is only saying that point 2 is not true.

Pick C.
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Re: Joseph: My encyclopedia says that the mathematician Pierre  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jun 2010, 11:35
(A) It purports to establish its conclusion by making a claim that, if true, would actually contradict that conclusion.
-- Laura's claim to establish the conclusion is not at all contradicting with the conclusion she wants to establish. Hence A cannot be a correct answer choice.

(B) It mistakenly assumes that the quality of a person’s character can legitimately be taken to guarantee the accuracy of the claims that person has made.
She is nowhere trying to use quality of person's character to guarantee her claim. Hence B cannot be a correct answer choice.

(C) It mistakes something that is necessary for its conclusion to follow for something that ensures that the conclusion follows.
-- Laura is trying to ensure that her conclusion follows by stating that is required for the conclusion to be true. Hence C is a correct answer choice.

(D) It uses the term “provable” without defining it.
-- This is irrelevant. Hence D cannot be a correct answer choice.

(E) It fails to distinguish between a true claim that has mistakenly between believed to be false and a false claim that has mistakenly been believed to be true.
[color=#FF0000]-- There are no two claims. Hence E is not a correct answer choice.[/color]
Thank You.

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Re: Joseph: My encyclopedia says that the mathematician Pierre  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2010, 18:00
I narrowed to C and E but still cannot understand why C is correct.
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Re: Joseph: My encyclopedia says that the mathematician Pierre  [#permalink]

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New post 18 May 2011, 01:21
Joseph Perrie no written proof +
! others proof ---> lying

laura proof ----> !lying

proof is not a necessary condition in Joseph's argument.

C brings out this exact reasoning.

Good question.
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Re: Joseph: My encyclopedia says that the mathematician Pierre  [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2012, 02:22
what is the source of this question?
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Re: Joseph: My encyclopedia says that the mathematician Pierre  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2014, 19:02
macjas wrote:
what is the source of this question?


I have the the same problem;

these are some incredibly wordy answer choices; nothing like what I've seen on GMAT prep 2014. Will questions like this be on the GMAT?
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Re: Joseph: My encyclopedia says that the mathematician Pierre  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jun 2014, 07:47
narmfarmer wrote:
macjas wrote:
what is the source of this question?


I have the the same problem;

these are some incredibly wordy answer choices; nothing like what I've seen on GMAT prep 2014. Will questions like this be on the GMAT?


i agree ~ but there's a reason for that: As you notice, there's a whole lot of mid-range level Qs on that software.

Those are the questions that deserve the most attention. Ace those questions, and don't fuss too much over the tough ones.

Honestly, only if you're doing really well --- hovering around the 90%-tile range ~ You'll see alot of those convoluted-wordy questions.
Or, sometimes near the beginning, as the CAT is adjusting to your skill level.

If you see this problem, you should:
1) Pat urself on the back b/c ur doing really well
2) Don't worry! Even if you see this near the beginning of the test, don't sweat it. It's not worth alot nor the stress.

But, definitely practice the tough ones ~ as they'll make the "lower leveled ones" even easier.
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Re: Joseph: My encyclopedia says that the mathematician Pierre  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2017, 10:58
Would you please help me to figure out the followings?

C. It mistakes something that is necessary (what is necessary?) for its conclusion (what is conclusion?) to follow for something (what is this something?) that ensures that the conclusion follows.
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Re: Joseph: My encyclopedia says that the mathematician Pierre  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2017, 09:24
GMATNinja wrote:
Mahmud6 wrote:
Would you please help me to figure out the followings?

C. It mistakes something that is necessary (what is necessary?) for its conclusion (what is conclusion?) to follow for something (what is this something?) that ensures that the conclusion follows.

Let's start with Laura's conclusion, which is that Joseph's claim---that Fermat was lying or mistaken when he claimed that he proved the theorem---is clearly wrong. If Fermat was not lying or mistaken, then the theorem must be provable (this is the necessary part). However, just because the theorem is provable does not necessarily mean that Fermat himself proved it. Thus, even if the theorem was known to be provable, Fermat may still have been lying or mistaken. Something that ensures that Fermat was not lying or mistaken would show that Fermat himself proved the theorem, not just that the theorem is provable.



Thanks , your explanations clarifies the OA. But it will be difficult to understand for those members who doesn't have an idea about the relation between necessary condition and sufficient condition.

Could you please make a post explaining about those.
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Re: Joseph: My encyclopedia says that the mathematician Pierre  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2017, 10:44
sriamlan wrote:
Thanks , your explanations clarifies the OA. But it will be difficult to understand for those members who doesn't have an idea about the relation between necessary condition and sufficient condition.

Could you please make a post explaining about those.


It's funny, we're working on a Topic of the Week on the distinction between necessary and sufficient. There are a few topics in line ahead of it, but we'll get to it. :)

And in the meantime, there are a couple of pretty good explanations of the issue here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/a-sufficient ... 50740.html

I hope this helps!
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Re: Joseph: My encyclopedia says that the mathematician Pierre  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2017, 20:05
Joseph: My encyclopedia says that the mathematician Pierre de Fermat died in 1665 without leaving behind any written proof for a theorem that he claimed nonetheless to have proved. Probably this alleged theorem simply cannot be proved, since---as the article points out---no one else has been able to prove it. Therefore it is likely that Fermat was either lying or else mistaken when he made his claim.

Laura: Your encyclopedia is out of date. Recently someone has in fact proved Fermat’s theorem. And since the theorem is provable, your claim---that Fermat was lying or mistaken---clearly is wrong.

Which one of the following most accurately describes a reasoning error in Laura’s argument?

(A) It purports to establish its conclusion by making a claim that, if true, would actually contradict that conclusion.

(B) It mistakenly assumes that the quality of a person’s character can legitimately be taken to guarantee the accuracy of the claims that person has made.

(C) It mistakes something that is necessary for its conclusion to follow for something that ensures that the conclusion follows.

Laura's argument says what is necessary for its conclusion to follow. But, her argument DOES NOT ensure that the conclusion follows, because even if the the theorem is provable, there is no mention whether Fermat has proved it or not. So, still the fact that - "Fermat was lying or...." can be true.

Hence C is right.


(D) It uses the term “provable” without defining it.

(E) It fails to distinguish between a true claim that has mistakenly between believed to be false and a false claim that has mistakenly been believed to be true.
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Re: Joseph: My encyclopedia says that the mathematician Pierre  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2018, 04:24
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Tough one to crack. Nice explanation by AbhayPrasanna and GMATninja...
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Re: Joseph: My encyclopedia says that the mathematician Pierre &nbs [#permalink] 01 Dec 2018, 04:24
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