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Sonya: Anyone who lives without constant awareness of the fragility an

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Sonya: Anyone who lives without constant awareness of the fragility an  [#permalink]

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27 May 2017, 23:11
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Difficulty:

95% (hard)

Question Stats:

47% (02:18) correct 53% (02:16) wrong based on 262 sessions

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Sonya: Anyone who lives without constant awareness of the fragility and precariousness of human life has a mind clouded by illusion. Yet those people who are perpetually cognizant of the fragility and precariousness of human life surely taint their emotional outlook on existence.

Sonya’s statements, if true, most strongly support which one of the following?

(A) Anyone who places a higher priority on maintaining a positive emotional outlook than on dispelling illusion will be completely unaware of the fragility and precariousness of human life.
(B) Either no one has a tainted emotional outlook on existence, or no one has a mind clouded by illusion.
(C) It is impossible for anyone to live without some degree of self-deception.
(D) Everyone whose emotional outlook on existence is untainted has a mind clouded by illusion.
(E) It is better to be aware of the fragility and precariousness of human life than to have an untainted emotional outlook on existence.

Source : LSAT PrepTest 50 Q#15

The stimulus of this inference question boils down to two statements:

No constant awareness --> clouded mind
Constant awareness --> tainted emotion

Pretty bleak!

We can combine these statements by using the contrapositive of the second one:

Not tainted emotions --> Not constant awareness --> clouded mind

And that's what (D) is based upon.

(A) is out of scope - we're not interested in folks' priorities.

(B) is tempting, however the stimulus doesn't suggest that everyone is in one group or another. There's no reason to believe that some people could have constant awareness while others don't.

(C) is out of scope - self-deception? Tempting if you though a mind clouded by illusion is a case of self-deception. But even if that were true, couldn't there be some folks that have constant awareness and thus none of this illusion/self-deception?

(E) is about what's better? No opinions in the stimulus, no opinion in any inference.

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Re: Sonya: Anyone who lives without constant awareness of the fragility an  [#permalink]

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08 Jul 2017, 22:31
2
I believe this one can be tackled using some cause and effect diagramming and the principle of contrapositive.

The principle states if "cause" causes the "Effect" or in other words C --> E, then the only inference that you can make in Not E --> Not C. This is called the contrapositive.

Now in this question, I diagrammed it in this manner:

#1) No awareness --> Illusion
#2) Too much awareness --> Tainted emotions

Take contrapositive of #2, No emotions --> No awareness --> Illusion.

This is exactly what choice D says.
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Re: Sonya: Anyone who lives without constant awareness of the fragility an  [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2017, 20:36
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mostasha wrote:
I believe this one can be tackled using some cause and effect diagramming and the principle of contrapositive.

The principle states if "cause" causes the "Effect" or in other words C --> E, then the only inference that you can make in Not E --> Not C. This is called the contrapositive.

Now in this question, I diagrammed it in this manner:

#1) No awareness --> Illusion
#2) Too much awareness --> Tainted emotions

Take contrapositive of #2, No emotions --> No awareness --> Illusion.

This is exactly what choice D says.

Thanks mostasha!

I think you clearly understand what's going on here, but I'd like to use this opportunity to point out the pitfalls that can arise when diagramming a sentence: namely, losing key details in the process. For example, I'd replace "No awareness" in step #1 with "No CONSTANT awareness." That little word "constant" entirely changes the meaning. The passage says that if you don't live with constant awareness, then your mind will be clouded by illusion. So even someone with SOME awareness would still have a mind clouded by illusion to some degree. Living with a constant awareness is NECESSARY if you don't want to have a mind clouded by illusion. Living WITHOUT constant awareness is SUFFICIENT for having a mind clouded by illusion. (And we'll say much more about this necessary vs. sufficient business in an upcoming Topic of the Week.)

Similarly, the passage does not say that "too much awareness" causes a tainted emotional outlook; rather, the passage says that having CONSTANT awareness (or being "perpetually cognizant") will lead to a tainted emotional outlook. So what if someone is OFTEN cognizant of the fragility and precariousness of human life? Will that person have a tainted emotional outlook? We can't be sure, based on the information in the passage. We only know that being CONSTANTLY cognizant will cause a tainted emotional outlook.

To summarize...

• If you have a constant awareness, you will have a tainted emotional outlook, but your mind will not be clouded by illusion.
• If you do NOT have a constant awareness, your mind WILL be clouded by illusion, but you may not have a tainted emotional outlook.

Quote:
(D) Everyone whose emotional outlook on existence is untainted has a mind clouded by illusion.

Referring to the first bullet point, anyone with a constant awareness WILL have a tainted emotional outlook. Thus, anyone WITHOUT a tainted emotional outlook must NOT have a constant awareness. If you do not have a constant awareness, then, referring to the second bullet point, your mind will be clouded by illusion.

Choice (D) is the clear answer.
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Re: Sonya: Anyone who lives without constant awareness of the fragility an  [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2018, 12:51
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: Sonya: Anyone who lives without constant awareness of the fragility an   [#permalink] 15 Sep 2018, 12:51
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