LSAT Kung Fu Blog / Quick Hit: Bear Suits and The Causal Flaw (some more)
Quick Hit: Bear Suits and The Causal Flaw (some more)
The re-re-return of the causal flaw and your continued best LSAT prep.
Just when you thought you'd seen the last of the causal flaw in a Logical Reasoning section.
I mean, maaan. Just when you think the section has gracefully ended its causal-flaw-career like the tween star of a Disney afternoon show heading quietly into obscurity doing bland corporate pop songs... BOOM! There it is again, this causal flaw, dressed in a strange half bear suit, singing bland corporate pop, sure, but TWERKING ALL OVER YOUR FACE with its tongue wildly trying to escape its mouth the whole time.
Oh, causal flaw, what would your daddy think of your strange public liaise-ing with a creepy older flaw that couldn't dance his way out of a soggy paper bag? Also, why the foam finger? Just why?
But we digress.
So, question 23 is a Method question. Notice that the question type has nothing to do with whether an argument has exhibited a typical flaw; this arguer points out for us the causal assumption espoused by some researchers. Those dummies say that the cause of our taboos is practical considerations (you don't eat your dogs because they are useful for fetching sticks for you), to which this arguer says, "Well, maybe..."
But, then again, she points out, the causal relationship may have run the other way. Maybe we actually stopped eating dogs because of religion or superstition or whatnot, and then the practical uses arose later ("Well, now that we've stopped eating dogs we've got all these excess dogs running around. Do you think we can teach them to twerk? No, you're probably right. But we could make them start fetching our sticks for us, though").
And the point is this: LEAVE THE FOAM FINGER AT HOME. THERE'S NO SANE USE FOR A GIANT FOAM FINGER.
No. That's not the point. This is the point: If you can recognize the causal flaw whenever it occurs, then your job in this question becomes much easier and faster. You read the passage and describe it quickly by saying to yourself "This author has pointed out the causal assumption, and provided an alternate causal explanation". When you're able to get that description in hand, your assessment of answer choices becomes a simple match game.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some Disney shows to not watch.