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Question 12

The question tells us that we are dealing with an argument. As a result, we should begin by identifying the premise(s) and conclusion. We are asked which of the choices is the best assumption on which the argument relies.

The argument:


1. The role of the press is to cover only those factors which bear on the outcome.

2. The outcome is a victory for a candidate of one of the two major parties.

Leading to the conclusion that:

The press should cover only the campaigns of things that bear on the outcome - i.e. major party candidates.

Covering ONLY the campaigns of major party candidates would preclude covering the campaigns of minor party candidates.

Analysis: This argument assumes that the campaigns of minor party candidates in no way affect the outcome of the election.

Compare and Contrast Answer Choices:

(A) consists of two parts. First, it describes an obligation to cover the campaigns of the major party candidates (so far so good but hold on) Second, because they are likely to be better known. You can reject (A) because of the second part. There is no basis for inferring that they are better known.

(B) Reject. There is no basis for assuming anything about the number of candidates.

(C) Reject. Who cares about any of this stuff?

(D) Sounds good. See my of the argument analysis above. This is the front runner.

But don't select it yet. In critical thinking you are not looking for objectively correct answers. You are looking for the best answer.

(E) Who cares whether anybody is influenced by the press.

Not only is (D) the best choice, but it is a strong choice.

Back to the tutorial. Go to question 13.

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