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PrepTest 73, Logical Reasoning 2, Question 23


Question 23. When the question asked for a principle that will justify the reasoning in something, usually we're doing a strengthened question. However, if you're going to be given a whole bunch of arguments in the answer choices, that makes this a principal application question. Rather than strengthening an argument that we're given in the original stimulus, we're going to be applying the principle to the arguments in the answer choices.

The answer that matches the principle that we've got is gonna be our answer. This question helpfully flags the principle right there in the middle. One should never be insincere, in other words, you shouldn't lie about your feelings. Except possibly where one believes that the person with whom one is speaking would prefer kindness to honesty.

This is establishing a requirement for being able to be insincere. You can't be insincere unless you believe that the person that you're talking to. That you potentially would lie to, would prefer you to be kind than to be honest. So if we were to write that rule in formal logic shorthand, it would look something like this. If you don't believe that the person prefers kindness to honesty, it's not okay to be insincere.

If it is okay to be insincere, then you must believe that the person prefers kindness to honesty. The second one there would be the counter opposite of the first. There are logically equivalent ways of writing a rule and we need to write both of them every time we write a formal logic rule. Now we're supposed to be applying this to the problem and then looking for the answer choice that marks the correct application.

So the problem is that if Shayna congratulates Daniel, she'll misrepresent her true feelings, she'll be insincere. But if she doesn't congratulate him, she'll hurt his feelings. And note that we can't quite apply this rule yet because the rule is, if you don't believe they prefer kindness to honesty, you can't be insincere. And I don't know what Shayna thinks about Daniel's thoughts on this.

Would Daniel prefer kindness to honesty? Does Shayna know this? I need to know that in order to apply the rule. So let's look at the answer choices and see what the scenarios we're given are. Answer choice A says, if she congratulate him, she'll avoid hurting his feelings so she should congratulate him.

This is not a standard that we were given to apply. It's not what will she actually do to his feelings, it's what does she believe he prefers. This answer choice doesn't tell me what she believes he prefers, so it can't be my answer. So we go to B, Daniel might prefer for Shayna to congratulate him even if insincerely, rather than for her to express her true feelings.

And so Shayna would be doing nothing wrong and insincerely congratulating Daniel will. Once again, this doesn't tell me what Shayna thinks Daniel wants, just what he might want. So since this doesn't give us Shayna's thoughts, it's not our answer. Answer choice C, Shayna believes that kindness should be preferred to dishonesty.

This may sound silly, but the question isn't about what Shayna believes about kindness. What Shayna believes that Daniel believes about kindness, or at least her perception of his preferences, so C is not our answer. Answer choice D, Daniel's feelings would be hurt if he knew congratulations from Shayna were insincere so she shouldn't congratulate him.

Well, this doesn't give us what he thinks about kindness to honesty, so we're not gonna be able to apply our rule. Which means that answer choice E must be it. Shayna has no opinion about whether Daniel would prefer kindness to honesty. Well, if she has no opinion, then I know she doesn't believe that he prefers kindness to honesty because she doesn't believe anything about him.

And then the rest of it, so she should not congratulate him, that is true. If she doesn't believe that he prefers kindness to honesty, then it's not okay for her to be insincere. We're gold, answer choice E is our answer.

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