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Political scientist: As a political system

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Political scientist: As a political system, democracy does [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2009, 11:30
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A
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D
E

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21. Political scientist: As a political system, democracy does not promote political freedom. There are historical examples of democracies that ultimately resulted in some of the most oppressive societies. Likewise, there have been enlightened despotisms and oligarchies that have provided a remarkable level of political freedom to their subjects.
The reasoning in the political scientist’s argument is flawed because it
(A) confuses the conditions necessary for political freedom with the conditions sufficient to bring it about
(B) fail to consider that a substantial increase in the level of political freedom might cause a society to become more democratic
(C) appeals to historical examples that are irrelevant to the causal claim being made
(D) overlooks the possibility that democracy promotes political freedom without being necessary or sufficient by itself to produce it
(E) bases its historical case on a personal point of view
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: political freedom [#permalink]

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To deal with a flaw question, the key is the same as for the majority of CR questions on the GMAT: figure out the flawed assumption by first IDing the author's conclusion and his evidence.

The author's conclusion is the Democracy doesn't help with political freedom. We know this is his conclusion because it is a broad principle, supported by specific examples.

He bases this on the fact that there exist some non-free democracies and some free dictatorships--we identify these as evidence because they take the form of specific cases.

So, we need to find the assumption--the unstated piece of evidence that bridges the gap between his supporting facts and his overall claim. In this case, we zero in on the major shift in scope between C and E: the conclusion concerns what 'promotes' freedom, while the evidence show democracy not guaranteeing freedom.

Thus, his assumption is that because democracy does not guarantee freedom, it does not promote freedom. Since this assumption is silly, we look for the answer the best explains why--choice D.
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Re: political freedom [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2009, 18:08
noboru wrote:
21. Political scientist: As a political system, democracy does not promote political freedom. There are historical examples of democracies that ultimately resulted in some of the most oppressive societies. Likewise, there have been enlightened despotisms and oligarchies that have provided a remarkable level of political freedom to their subjects.
The reasoning in the political scientist’s argument is flawed because it
(A) confuses the conditions necessary for political freedom with the conditions sufficient to bring it about
(B) fail to consider that a substantial increase in the level of political freedom might cause a society to become more democratic
(C) appeals to historical examples that are irrelevant to the causal claim being made
(D) overlooks the possibility that democracy promotes political freedom without being necessary or sufficient by itself to produce it
(E) bases its historical case on a personal point of view


I am probably wrong on this but I chose C.

The conclusion: democracy does not promote political freedom.

In order for the argument to be flawed it has to have evidence that does not substantiate the conclusion. Here the political scientist states historical examples democracies resulted in some of the most oppressive societies and enlightened despotisms and oligarchies provided a remarkable level of political freedom.

I say so what! to the phrase enlightened despotisms and oligarchies provided a remarkable level of political freedom. This is totally irrelevant to the argument of democracy not promoting political freedom. So the historical examples are irrelevant to the causal claim being made of democracy not promoting political freedom.
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Political scientist: As a political system, democracy does [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2012, 10:47
Political scientist: As a political system, democracy does not promote political freedom. There are historical examples of democracies that ultimately resulted in some of the most oppressive societies. Likewise, there have been enlightened despotisms and oligarchies that have provided a remarkable level of political freedom to their subjects.
The reasoning in the political scientist’s argument is flawed because it
(A) confuses the conditions necessary for political freedom with the conditions sufficient to bring it about
(B) fail to consider that a substantial increase in the level of political freedom might cause a society to become more democratic
(C) appeals to historical examples that are irrelevant to the causal claim being made
(D) overlooks the possibility that democracy promotes political freedom without being necessary or sufficient by itself to produce it
(E) bases its historical case on a personal point of view

Can any one solve it...
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Re: Critical Reasoning - LSAT [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2012, 14:59
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this is definitely a tricky question bc of the convoluted language, but I would choose D
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Re: Critical Reasoning - LSAT [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2012, 10:00
You are correct. OA is D. Can you explain.
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Re: Critical Reasoning - LSAT [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2012, 10:50
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Let's look at the argument.

Conclusion - "As a political system, democracy does not promote political freedom".
Evidence (1) - "There are historical examples of democracies that ultimately resulted in some of the most oppressive societies. "
Evidence (2) - "Likewise, there have been enlightened despotisms and oligarchies that have provided a remarkable level of political freedom to their subjects."

We are asked to determine where the argument is flawed. Basically, this question stem is asking you for an embedded assumption that makes the argument flawed.

Ultimately (D) says that it's possible that a democracy can promote freedom (which the political scientist says is not true) without being sufficient by itself to produce. In other words, there are other factors that lead to political freedom outside of a democracy. Exogenous factors, if you will.

An analogy. It is possible that getting a good night's sleep can help give you energy the next day, but it is not sufficient by itself to produce more energy. Eating a big breakfast, a healthy lunch, and snacks could be factors.

Make sense?
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Re: political freedom [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2012, 08:31
KapTeacherEli wrote:
To deal with a flaw question, the key is the same as for the majority of CR questions on the GMAT: figure out the flawed assumption by first IDing the author's conclusion and his evidence.

The author's conclusion is the Democracy doesn't help with political freedom. We know this is his conclusion because it is a broad principle, supported by specific examples.

He bases this on the fact that there exist some non-free democracies and some free dictatorships--we identify these as evidence because they take the form of specific cases.

So, we need to find the assumption--the unstated piece of evidence that bridges the gap between his supporting facts and his overall claim. In this case, we zero in on the major shift in scope between C and E: the conclusion concerns what 'promotes' freedom, while the evidence show democracy not guaranteeing freedom.

Thus, his assumption is that because democracy does not guarantee freedom, it does not promote freedom. Since this assumption is silly, we look for the answer the best explains why--choice D.



Sir,

I chose D, but I was not very sure why A is wrong can you please explain how to eliminate A.
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Re: political freedom [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2012, 09:51
vivekdixit07 wrote:


Sir,

I chose D, but I was not very sure why A is wrong can you please explain how to eliminate A.
Hi Vivek,

What about A makes it seem tempting?
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Political scientist: As a political system [#permalink]

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Political scientist: As a political system, democracy does not promote political freedom. There are historical examples of democracies that ultimately resulted in some of the most oppressive societies. Likewise, there have been enlightened despotisms and oligarchies that have provided a remarkable level of political freedom to their subjects.

The reasoning in the political scientist's argument is flawed because it

A.confuses the conditions necessary for political freedom with the conditions sufficient to bring it about
B. fails to consider that a substantial increase in the level of political freedom might cause a society to become more democratic
C. appeals to historical examples that are irrelevant to the causal claim being made
D. overlooks the possibility that democracy promotes political freedom without being necessary or sufficient by itself to produce it
E. bases its historical case on a personal point of view


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Re: Political scientist: As a political system [#permalink]

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New post 13 Dec 2014, 08:10
Political scientist overlooked the possibility that democracy itself can't guarantee political freedom. It is just a condition but "democracy=political freedom" is not correct.
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Re: Political scientist: As a political system [#permalink]

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OA is D.
Conclusion: Democracy (D) does not promote political freedom (P).
Premise: Conflicting examples from past.
Authors wants to reach to his conclusion by showing that there are examples in past when D did not promote P.
Author tries to weaken an assumption that when ever D is present P is promoted by D, i.e. D is necessary for P.
Argument becomes flawed when this assumption is not true.
Hence the option D is best fit.
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Re: Political scientist: As a political system [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2016, 04:35
can someone please explain why C is wrong?
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Re: Political scientist: As a political system [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2016, 05:09
nileshsharma2105 wrote:
can someone please explain why C is wrong?


C is wrong since it states vice versa. Argument appeals to examples that are relevant to the claims made. Second sentence illustrates what is said in the first sentence. Hence, C is wrong.
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Re: Political scientist: As a political system [#permalink]

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Let us talk about conditional statements -

If X happens, then Y happens. I can write this as - X --> Y.
Here X is the sufficient condition and Y is the necessary condition.
Why is X called the sufficient condition? If X happens, then it is sufficient for Y to happen.
Also, note that when X happens, Y does necessarily occur. i.e. Whenever X happens, Y always happens.
Consequently, If Y does not happen then X also cannot happen. i.e. Not Y --> Not X.

Let me illustrate this with a simple example - If it rains, then there will be a traffic jam.
Rains --> Traffic Jam.
Here, 'rains' is the sufficient condition. This means that WHENEVER it rains, there will be a traffic jam.
'traffic jam' is the necessary condition. Consequently, If there is NO traffic jam, it cannot rain.
Also, note that traffic jam --> may or may not mean rains. (Traffic jams can occur because of other reasons - strikes, processions etc.)

Let us now look at the argument -
Premise 1 - Some Democracies --> No political freedom (most oppressive societies)
Premise 2 - Political Freedom --> Some despotisms and oligarchies (No democracy).
Conclusion - Democracy --> Does not promote freedom.

Let us again look at Premise 1 and this argument - Democracy --> Political Freedom.
From this, we know that Democracy is not a sufficient condition for Political Freedom. If it were, Premise 1 would be incorrect.

Let us look at Premise 2 and this argument - Political Freedom --> Democracy
From this, we know that Democracy is not a necessary condition for Political Freedom. If it were, Premise 2 would be incorrect.

Based on these two, the author makes the conclusion that democracy does not promote freedom.

A - the author does not confuse necessary and sufficient conditions in his/her argument. All we know from the premises is that democracy is neither sufficient/necessary for political freedom.
Also, note that the author's conclusion (Democracy does not promote freedom) does not mention if any conditions are necessary/sufficient to bring about political freedom.

B - look at this argument - Democracy --> Freedom. (The author's conclusion is trying to weaken this argument.)
One way to weaken this argument is through reverse causation.
That is by saying that Freedom --> Democracy
B weakens the argument above through this. Hence, it acts as a strengthener to the author's argument.

C - is incorrect. Note that the premises 1 and 2 are very much relevant to the author's argument.
The states that based on premises 1 and 2, democracy is not sufficient/necessary for political freedom. Hence, it does not promote political freedom.

D - correct answer. The argument ignores the possibility that even if democracy is not sufficient/necessary for political freedom, it can still support political freedom.
Premise 1 states Democracy is not sufficient for political freedom. This does not mean that Democracy does not support political freedom. For example - there might be other factors (such as a deeply theocratic society) that might prevent Democracy from guaranteeing political freedom.

Premise 2 states that Democracy is not a necessary condition for political freedom. Does not mean that democracy does not promote freedom. There might be other factors (such as a secular constitution, powerful court system) that can guarantee freedom in the absence of democracy.

E - The historical examples given are facts, not the author's personal points of view.

Hope this helps
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Re: Political scientist: As a political system [#permalink]

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