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# Several of a certain bank s top executives have recently

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Several of a certain bank s top executives have recently [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2005, 20:14
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Several of a certain bankâ€™s top executives have recently been purchasing shares in their own bank. This activity has occasioned some surprise, since it is widely believed that the bank, carrying a large number of bad loans, is on the brink of collapse. Since the executives are well placed to know their bankâ€™s true condition, it might seem that their share purchases show that the danger of collapse is exaggerated. However, the available information about the bankâ€™s condition is from reliable and informed sources, and corporate executives do sometimes buy shares in their own company in a calculated attempt to calm worries about their companyâ€™s condition. On balance, therefore, it is likely that the executives of the bank are following this example.
In the argument given, the two boldfaced portions play which of the following roles?

A. The first describes the circumstance the explanation of which is the issue that the argument addresses; the second states the main conclusion of the argument.
B. The first describes the circumstance the explanation of which is the issue the argument addresses; the second states a conclusion that is drawn in order to support the main conclusion of the argument.
C. The first provides evidence to defend the position that the argument seeks to establish against opposing positions; the second states the main conclusion of the argument.
D. The first provides evidence to support the position that the argument seeks to establish; the second states a conclusion that is drawn in order to support the argumentâ€™s main conclusion.
E. Each provides evidence to support the position that the argument seeks to establish.

Explain .... lets learn!

Last edited by nocilis on 01 Feb 2005, 20:54, edited 1 time in total.
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01 Feb 2005, 23:01
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Principle: something fundamental that we do not question. This would be somewhat stronger than a fact because it is not specific to a limited number of cases but instead, apply to a broader range of scenarios(and often deeper in meaning). For instance, you will not talk about the principle that crime is increasing in large cities. Instead, it is a fact which applies to large cities. However, you will talk about the principles of Physics or the fundamental principles of Human Rights. I believe principles convey a stronger connotation than mere facts.

Fact: something taken as true at face value (stats, historical events)

Evidence: what is used to support a conclusion (examples, stats, historical events). Although these may include facts, it is usually stronger than facts because they are direct elements needed for the conclusion to stand whereas facts are not necessary for the latter to stand

Pre-evidence: This is a bit of a stretch. It will not often be on the test but it seems very similar to "background" information as described below.

Background: Elements needed to put the evidence into context but which, as stand alone pieces of information, might not constitute what is called an evidence necessary to arrive at a conclusion. For instance, blood tests performed on one thousand persons may reveal that 35% of those persons were HIV infected. However, the background information could be that the test was performed in more underinformed regions of the world where AIDS knowledge is at a minimum. As you can see, the fact that the test was performed in more underinformed regions is not in and of itself an evidence because it does not allow us to come to a conclusion. Instead, the 35% stats, as a stand-alone piece of info, is what will lead us to the conclusion we want. However, the background info is also crucial and cannot be omitted; it is required background info.

Consideration: Something which was taken into account or given some thought before arriving to the conclusion.

Premise: This is usually a required statement to arrive at a conclusion. Evidence and facts want to prove something to you whereas premises are there to logically lead you to a conclusion. The best example of premises is the ones included in syllogisms. For instance, you can say that(premise1) when it rains, you go outside. Then, it rains(premise2). You have to be outside(conclusion).

Assumption: Unstated information which will link the argument to a logical conclusion. Without this, the argument falls apart.

Conclusion: Self-explanatory

Inference: Something that might not be explicitly stated or proved. For instance, you may say that 95% of GMAT test-takers have over 340. We can reasonably infer that Anthony will get more than 340 on his GMAT based on the fact given. I think the main difference b/w an inference and a conclusion is that the former might not be the final line of an argument. For instance, there could be facts/evidence given, an inference in b/w, and then the conclusion. An inference can be an intermediate step before the conclusion which will sum up the whole passage. Also, a conclusion seems to be stronger because it is based on stronger facts/evidence. As in my previous example, we can reasonably infer that Anthony got 340+ on his GMAT but we cannot conclude that he got 340+. See the nuance?

Feel free to disagree or add your thoughts to what I said. Some of these have very subtle differences though and in some cases, can even be interchanged.
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01 Feb 2005, 20:38
I believe you forgot to bold the passages
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01 Feb 2005, 20:59
I bolded them now.
Paul, while you are here, can you explain what the following terms mean in general when solving a BF:

Principle:

Fact:

Evidence:

Pre-evidence:

Background:

Consideration:

Premise:

Assumption:

Conclusion:

Inference:

What is the difference between conclusion and inference?
I always seem to have a problem differentiating them.
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01 Feb 2005, 21:23
Ok my attempt.

C and D is definitely out, since the first one is not a supporting evidence to either position.
E is out because the second does not provide evidence.

Choose from A and B, I'd choose A, since the second is the major conclusion, rather than a secondery conclusion.
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01 Feb 2005, 22:04
A.

I think the question is testing the distinction between main conlusion and a derivative of the main conclusion. the situation reference in A seems to make sense as well.

Just my thoughts.
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02 Feb 2005, 01:00
Great post, Paul! Thanks so much. I would recommend this thread be topped for other people's reference.
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02 Feb 2005, 03:56
Wonderful explaination, Paul. Would request you to make this post sticky!
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02 Feb 2005, 07:59
awesome explanation Paul thanks.
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02 Feb 2005, 08:00
for the answer i am leaning towards B. any more thoughts?
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02 Feb 2005, 08:09
Bet A and B, I pick "A"......the last BF seems to me is the final conclusion and not a secondary one.
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02 Feb 2005, 08:43
Several of a certain bankâ€™s top executives have recently been purchasing shares in their own bank
isn't it the main conclusion...?
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02 Feb 2005, 22:26
Quote:
Conclusion: Self-explanatory

Inference: Something that might not be explicitly stated or proved. For instance, you may say that 95% of GMAT test-takers have over 340. We can reasonably infer that Anthony will get more than 340 on his GMAT based on the fact given. I think the main difference b/w an inference and a conclusion is that the former might not be the final line of an argument. For instance, there could be facts/evidence given, an inference in b/w, and then the conclusion. An inference can be an intermediate step before the conclusion which will sum up the whole passage. Also, a conclusion seems to be stronger because it is based on stronger facts/evidence. As in my previous example, we can reasonably infer that Anthony got 340+ on his GMAT but we cannot conclude that he got 340+. See the nuance?

Paul:
Thanks a lot for your great explanations!
I always thought that inference is something that the argument does not include and it is up to the reader to infer. Conclusion is typically in the argument. Then, I came across a BF where one of the bold face in the argument was supposed to be inference. This threw my therories off completely. If I find that BF again, I will post it here. What do you think can Inference be a part of the argument?
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03 Feb 2005, 05:01
I think the answer is B. The first bold highlight does describe a circumstance (i.e. the fact that execs are buying shares in their own company). The second explains the real reason (i.e. to hide problems) but it also supports the main conclusion that the bank is experiencing problems.

I was actually caught between B&D but choose B.
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03 Feb 2005, 06:45
I go for 'A'. The second sentence definetly looks like main conclusion.

Thanks
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03 Feb 2005, 07:33
I will go with â€˜Aâ€™
â€˜Bâ€™, â€˜Dâ€™ & â€˜Eâ€™ â€“ can be eliminated becos the second states the main conclusion of the argument.
â€˜Câ€™ â€“ There are no opposing positions in the argument, so this can be eliminated
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03 Feb 2005, 08:59
nocilis, as I was explaining, yes, an inference can be part of the argument. The only element which I believe cannot be explicitly written down in a BFCR is an assumption.
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03 Feb 2005, 09:11
A for me too

Paul that was a wonderful explanation
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03 Feb 2005, 17:39
Make it Official Answer.

I do not have the OA for this. I guess we have to discuss and agree.
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03 Feb 2005, 22:55
I think he was asking which answer is the OA.
03 Feb 2005, 22:55

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