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Odysseus answered well when the priests showed him a picture of those

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Odysseus answered well when the priests showed him a picture of those  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2020, 02:54
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Odysseus answered well when the priests showed him a picture of those who had honored the gods and then escaped shipwreck, and asked him whether he did not now acknowledge the power of the gods—“Yes,” he asked, “but where are those pictured who were drowned after their prayers?” And such is the way of all superstitions; wherein humans, having a delight in such vanities, mark the events where they are fulfilled, but where they fail, though this happens much oftener, neglect and pass them by.

Which one of the following contains the error of reasoning described by the author in the passage?


(A) I have discovered that Friday the 13th really is a day of misfortune. Just this past Friday, the 13th, I locked myself out of the house.

(B) Although Napoleon and Alexander the Great were short, Abraham Lincoln and Charles de Gaulle were tall. So short people seek leadership in order to overcome feelings of inferiority.

(C) Every semester for the past 15 years, an average of 10 percent of Ms. Elliot’s history students have dropped her course before the exam. So, it seems likely that we can expect 10 percent to drop out this year.

(D) No reliable observer has ever actually seen a yeti. The strongest evidence seems to be some suspicious tracks. So I think this search for a yeti is probably a wild-goose chase.

(E) I cannot trust my lucky shirt any longer. I wore it to the game today and our team lost.

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Odysseus answered well when the priests showed him a picture of those  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2020, 01:13
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Bunuel wrote:
Odysseus answered well when the priests showed him a picture of those who had honored the gods and then escaped shipwreck, and asked him whether he did not now acknowledge the power of the gods—“Yes,” he asked, “but where are those pictured who were drowned after their prayers?” And such is the way of all superstitions; wherein humans, having a delight in such vanities, mark the events where they are fulfilled, but where they fail, though this happens much oftener, neglect and pass them by.

Which one of the following contains the error of reasoning described by the author in the passage?


(A) I have discovered that Friday the 13th really is a day of misfortune. Just this past Friday, the 13th, I locked myself out of the house.

(B) Although Napoleon and Alexander the Great were short, Abraham Lincoln and Charles de Gaulle were tall. So short people seek leadership in order to overcome feelings of inferiority.

(C) Every semester for the past 15 years, an average of 10 percent of Ms. Elliot’s history students have dropped her course before the exam. So, it seems likely that we can expect 10 percent to drop out this year.

(D) No reliable observer has ever actually seen a yeti. The strongest evidence seems to be some suspicious tracks. So I think this search for a yeti is probably a wild-goose chase.

(E) I cannot trust my lucky shirt any longer. I wore it to the game today and our team lost.


To Answer this question correctly, first we have to identify , what is the error of reasoning by the Author in the first place.

The Author based on one reply, that of Odysseus, has jumped to the conclusion that humans behave in a similar manner with regard to all Superstitions. So based on just one case , it was wrong for the Author to generalize our behavior with regard to all superstitions.


Reasoning error: One case applies to all.

(A) Here too, based on just one Friday the 13th , I am deducing that all Friday the 13th's will be similar.
Reasoning error: One case applies to all. Seems correct. KEEP.

(B) Nothing of the sort, wherein based on one case, I am generalizing. irrelevant. INCORRECT.

(C) Reasoning error: Something that has happened every time till date, will happen this time also.irrelevant. INCORRECT.

(D) Reasoning error: Something that has never happened in the past, will never happen in the future. Not the kind of flaw the Author makes in the passage. INCORRECT.

(E) The shirt has been lucky till date, but today it was not so lucky and hence it will never be lucky again.
What is the one case based on which we will generalize on all cases , is it loosing the game? In this case it presents similar reasoning as the Author. I lost today's game so I will loose all future games. One case applies to all.

Or is the shirt lucky in general. So whenever the person wears the shirt, everything happens favorably.If this is the scenario then this is not of the kind wherein once case applies to all cases. We don't even have that one case to apply to all cases. Just being lucky is too vague and unspecific.

Since this option can go both ways, depending upon interpretation, this is ambiguous.
INCORRECT.

Option A is clearer and stronger. Hence we can conclude that option A is the Correct choice.

Ans - A

Hope it's clear.
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Re: Odysseus answered well when the priests showed him a picture of those  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2020, 02:17
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Bunuel wrote:
Odysseus answered well when the priests showed him a picture of those who had honored the gods and then escaped shipwreck, and asked him whether he did not now acknowledge the power of the gods—“Yes,” he asked, “but where are those pictured who were drowned after their prayers?” And such is the way of all superstitions; wherein humans, having a delight in such vanities, mark the events where they are fulfilled, but where they fail, though this happens much oftener, neglect and pass them by.

Which one of the following contains the error of reasoning described by the author in the passage?


(A) I have discovered that Friday the 13th really is a day of misfortune. Just this past Friday, the 13th, I locked myself out of the house.

(B) Although Napoleon and Alexander the Great were short, Abraham Lincoln and Charles de Gaulle were tall. So short people seek leadership in order to overcome feelings of inferiority.

(C) Every semester for the past 15 years, an average of 10 percent of Ms. Elliot’s history students have dropped her course before the exam. So, it seems likely that we can expect 10 percent to drop out this year.

(D) No reliable observer has ever actually seen a yeti. The strongest evidence seems to be some suspicious tracks. So I think this search for a yeti is probably a wild-goose chase.

(E) I cannot trust my lucky shirt any longer. I wore it to the game today and our team lost.


What is the error in reasoning?
Just because odyddeus said so, the author generalized that all superstitions are similar. So we have to look for an answer choice that will exhibit similar error in reasoning.
A. Just because 1 friday I got locked out, all fridays are a day of misfortune. It contains the similar error in reasoning- Correct.
B. Completely different line of reasoning.
C. This is not generalization, this is keeping faith in the expected trend. Incorrect.
D. This is also not generalization, this is deduction from observation.
E. This is tricky, this is on the similar lines of reasoning. But it says the shirt is lucky, so it must have helped him win many games before, and only one instance it lost. But what if the shirt is lucky for all other purpose as well, then it is not generalization.
I think it is A
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Re: Odysseus answered well when the priests showed him a picture of those  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2020, 04:25
Bunuel wrote:
Odysseus answered well when the priests showed him a picture of those who had honored the gods and then escaped shipwreck, and asked him whether he did not now acknowledge the power of the gods—“Yes,” he asked, “but where are those pictured who were drowned after their prayers?” And such is the way of all superstitions; wherein humans, having a delight in such vanities, mark the events where they are fulfilled, but where they fail, though this happens much oftener, neglect and pass them by.

Which one of the following contains the error of reasoning described by the author in the passage?


(A) I have discovered that Friday the 13th really is a day of misfortune. Just this past Friday, the 13th, I locked myself out of the house.

(B) Although Napoleon and Alexander the Great were short, Abraham Lincoln and Charles de Gaulle were tall. So short people seek leadership in order to overcome feelings of inferiority.

(C) Every semester for the past 15 years, an average of 10 percent of Ms. Elliot’s history students have dropped her course before the exam. So, it seems likely that we can expect 10 percent to drop out this year.

(D) No reliable observer has ever actually seen a yeti. The strongest evidence seems to be some suspicious tracks. So I think this search for a yeti is probably a wild-goose chase.

(E) I cannot trust my lucky shirt any longer. I wore it to the game today and our team lost.



The question says Which one of the following contains the error of reasoning described by the author in the passage?
So the error that we need to define and find in the answer choices is the one described by the author, not the flaw of his own reasoning.
The error of reasoning the author describes is people's attitude and conclusions about some events. From people who prayed, a small portion survived the shipwreck, but the larger portion died. However, people still concentrate on the survival part of the story and draw conclusions about God's power, basing their argument solely on the favorable part of the evidence.

The answer choice that contains a reasoning error that is most similar to the one described above is E.
the author is making conclusion about his /her shirt considering only one event in the past (when his/her team lost) and ignores all other cases when they won (the shirt wouldn't be called lucky if there were no victories with it).
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Re: Odysseus answered well when the priests showed him a picture of those  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2020, 04:38
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(A) I have discovered that Friday the 13th really is a day of misfortune. Just this past Friday, the 13th, I locked myself out of the house. -- Correct answer. Concluding that Friday the 13th is a day of misfortune based on a single unfavorable event when the favorable ones could have outnumbered the unfavorable ones. Similar to the reasoning presented in the passage.

(B) Although Napoleon and Alexander the Great were short, Abraham Lincoln and Charles de Gaulle were tall. So short people seek leadership in order to overcome feelings of inferiority. -- Completely irrelevant to the passage. The passage speaks of generalising a superstition by considering only its intended outcomes. This answer choice is nowhere related to it.

(C) Every semester for the past 15 years, an average of 10 percent of Ms. Elliot’s history students have dropped her course before the exam. So, it seems likely that we can expect 10 percent to drop out this year. -- Incorrect. It is only expecting 10% to drop out this year and not generalising based on a data point, which is the logic used in the passage (relatively fewer numbered data point used to make a generalising principle)

(D) No reliable observer has ever actually seen a yeti. The strongest evidence seems to be some suspicious tracks. So I think this search for a yeti is probably a wild-goose chase. -- Irrelevant. Not related to the reasoning in the passage.

(E) I cannot trust my lucky shirt any longer. I wore it to the game today and our team lost. -- Close choice. But the difference here is that the answer choice doesn't make a generalisation unlike the passage and answer choice A. Therefore, eliminated.
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Re: Odysseus answered well when the priests showed him a picture of those   [#permalink] 05 Apr 2020, 04:38

Odysseus answered well when the priests showed him a picture of those

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