We did not see enough lawyer jokes during the editorial meeting two week's ago. Therefore, we will continue using questions created by the LSAT people until the number of lawyer jokes rises to acceptable levels. Or until all of you are prepared to be lawyers (what a scary thought). Let the tomfoolery commence!
Laird: “Pure research provides us with new technologies that contribute to saving lives. Even more worthwhile than this, however, is its role in expanding our knowledge and providing new, unexplored ideas.”
Kim: “Your priorities are mistaken. Saving lives is what counts most of all. Without pure research, medicine would not be as advanced as it is.”
Laird and Kim disagree on whether pure research
(A) derives its significance in part from its providing new technologies
(B) expands the boundaries of our knowledge of medicine
(C) should have the saving of human lives as an important goal
(D) has its most valuable achievements in medical applications
(E) has any value apart from its role in providing new technologies to save lives
Executive: We recently ran a set of advertisements in the print version of a travel magazine and on that magazine’s website. We were unable to get any direct information about consumer response to the print ads. However, we found that consumer response to the ads on the website was much more limited than is typical for website ads. We concluded that consumer response to the print ads was probably below par as well.
The executive’s reasoning does which one of the following?
(A) bases a prediction of the intensity of a phenomenon on information about the intensity of that phenomenon’s cause
(B) uses information about the typical frequency of events of a general kind to draw a conclusion about the probability of a particular event of that kind
(C) infers a statistical generalization from claims about a large number of specific instances
(D) uses a case in which direct evidence is available to draw a conclusion about an analogous case in which direct evidence is unavailable
(E) bases a prediction about future events on facts about recent comparable events
During the construction of the Quebec Bridge in 1907, the bridge’s designer, Theodore Cooper, received word that the suspended span being built out from the bridge’s cantilever was deflecting downward by a fraction of an inch [2.56 centimeters]. Before he could telegraph to freeze the project, the whole cantilever arm broke off and plunged, along with seven dozen workers, into the St. Lawrence River. It was the worst bridge construction disaster in history. As a direct result of the inquiry that followed, the engineering “rules of thumb” by which thousands of bridges had been built around the world went down with the Quebec Bridge. Twentieth-century bridge engineers would thereafter depend on far more rigorous applications of mathematical analysis.
Which one of the following statements can be properly inferred from the passage?
(A) Bridges built before about 1907 were built without thorough mathematical analysis and, therefore, were unsafe for the public to use.
(B) Cooper’s absence from the Quebec Bridge construction site resulted in the breaking off of the cantilever.
(C) Nineteenth-century bridge engineers relied on their rules of thumb because analytical methods were inadequate to solve their design problems.
(D) Only a more rigorous application of mathematical analysis to the design of the Quebec Bridge could have prevented its collapse.
(E) Prior to 1907 the mathematical analysis incorporated in engineering rules of thumb was insufficient to completely assure the safety of bridges under construction.
The supernova event of 1987 is interesting in that there is still no evidence of the neutron star that current theory says should have remained after a supernova of that size. This is in spite of the fact that many of the most sensitive instruments ever developed have searched for the tell-tale pulse of radiation that neutron stars emit. Thus, current theory is wrong in claiming that supernovas of a certain size always produce neutron stars.
Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?
(A) Most supernova remnants that astronomers have detected have a neutron star nearby.
(B) Sensitive astronomical instruments have detected neutron stars much farther away than the location of the 1987 supernova.
(C) The supernova of 1987 was the first that scientists were able to observe in progress.
(D) Several important features of the 1987 supernova are correctly predicted by the current theory.
(E) Some neutron stars are known to have come into existence by a cause other than supernova explosion
Political scientist: “As a political system, democracy does not promote political freedom. There are historical examples of democracies that ultimately resulted in some of the most oppressive societies. Likewise, there have been enlightened despotisms and oligarchies that have provided a remarkable level of political freedom to their subjects.”
The reasoning in the political scientist’s argument is flawed because it...
(A) confuses the conditions necessary for political freedom with the conditions sufficient to bring it about
(B) fails to consider that a substantial increase in the level of political freedom might cause a society to become more democratic
(C) appeals to historical examples that are irrelevant to the causal claim being made
(D) overlooks the possibility that democracy promotes political freedom without being necessary or sufficient by itself to produce it
(E) bases its historical case on a personal point of view
Journalist: “To reconcile the need for profits sufficient to support new drug research with the moral imperative to provide medicines to those who most need them but cannot afford them, some pharmaceutical companies feel justified in selling a drug in rich nations at one price and in poor nations at a much lower price. But this practice is unjustified. A nation with a low average income may still have a substantial middle class better able to pay for new drugs than are many of the poorer citizens of an overall wealthier nation.”
Which one of the following principles, if valid, most helps to justify the journalist’s reasoning?
(A) People who are ill deserve more consideration than do healthy people, regardless of their relative socioeconomic positions.
(B) Wealthy institutions have an obligation to expend at least some of their resources to assist those incapable of assisting themselves.
(C) Whether one deserves special consideration depends on one’s needs rather than on characteristics of the society to which one belongs.
(D) The people in wealthy nations should not have better access to health care than do the people in poorer nations.
(E) Unequal access to health care is more unfair than an unequal distribution of wealth.
Several critics have claimed that any contemporary poet who writes formal poetry—poetry that is rhymed and metered—is performing a politically conservative act. This is plainly false. Consider Molly Peacock and Marilyn Hacker, two contemporary poets whose poetry is almost exclusively formal and yet who are themselves politically progressive feminists.
The conclusion drawn above follows logically if which one of the following is assumed?
(A) No one who is a feminist is also politically conservative.
(B) No poet who writes unrhymed or unmetered poetry is politically conservative.
(C) No one who is politically progressive is capable of performing a politically conservative act.
(D) Anyone who sometimes writes poetry that is not politically conservative never writes poetry that is politically conservative.
(E) The content of a poet’s work, not the work’s form, is the most decisive factor in determining what political consequences, if any, the work will have.
Situation: In the island nation of Bezun, the government taxes gasoline heavily in order to induce people not to drive. It uses the revenue from the gasoline tax to subsidize electricity in order to reduce prices charged for electricity.
Analysis: The greater the success achieved in meeting the first of these objectives, the less will be the success achieved in meeting the second.
The analysis provided for the situation above would be most appropriate in which one of the following situations?
(A) A library charges a late fee in order to induce borrowers to return books promptly. The library uses revenue from the late fee to send reminders to tardy borrowers in order to reduce the incidence of overdue books.
(B) A mail-order store imposes a stiff surcharge for overnight delivery in order to limit use of this option. The store uses revenue from the surcharge to pay the extra expenses it incurs for providing the overnight delivery service.
(C) The park management charges an admission fee so that a park’s users will contribute to the park’s upkeep. In order to keep admission fees low, the management does not finance any new projects from them.
(D) A restaurant adds a service charge in order to spare customers the trouble of individual tips. The service charge is then shared among the restaurant’s workers in order to augment their low hourly wages.
(E) The highway administration charges a toll for crossing a bridge in order to get motorists to use other routes. It uses the revenue from that toll to generate a reserve fund in order to be able one day to build a new bridge.
The ancient Romans understood the principles of water power very well, and in some outlying parts of their empire they made extensive and excellent use of water as an energy source. This makes it all the more striking that the Romans made do without water power in regions dominated by large cities.
Which one of the following, if true, contributes most to an explanation of the difference described above in the Romans’ use of water power?
(A) The ancient Romans were adept at constructing and maintaining aqueducts that could carry quantities of water sufficient to supply large cities over considerable distances.
(B) In the areas in which water power was not used, water flow in rivers and streams was substantial throughout the year but nevertheless exhibited some seasonal variation.
(C) Water power was relatively vulnerable to sabotage, but any damage could be quickly and inexpensively repaired.
(D) In most areas to which the use of water power was not extended, other, more traditional sources of energy continued to be used.
(E) In heavily populated areas the introduction of water power would have been certain to cause social unrest by depriving large numbers of people of their livelihood.