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Critical Reasoning - Method Questions of Critical Reasoning - II Module

Here are the ten official questions which are discussed in detail in the Critical Reasoning - II module at the end of the Method Questions section. Shout out in the comments section if you have any doubts in the explanations. 


Method Question No. 1


Sarah: Some schools seek to foster a habit of volunteering in their students by requiring them to perform community service. But since a person who has been forced to do something has not really volunteered and since the habit of volunteering cannot be said to have been fostered in a person who has not yet volunteered for anything, there is no way this policy can succeed by itself.


Paul: I disagree. Some students forced to perform community service have enjoyed it so much that they subsequently actually volunteer to do something similar. In such cases, the policy can clearly be said to have fostered a habit of volunteering.


Paul responds to Sarah’s argument using which one of the following argumentative techniques?


(A) He argues that Sarah is assuming just what she sets out to prove.


(B) He argues that Sarah’s conception of what it means to volunteer excludes certain activities that ought to be considered instances of volunteering.


(C) He introduces considerations that call into question one of Sarah’s assumptions.


(D) He questions Sarah’s motives for advancing an argument against the school policy.


(E) He argues that a policy Sarah fails to consider could accomplish the same aim as the policy that Sarah considers.


Method Question No. 2


Mansour: We should both plan to change some of our investments from coal companies to less polluting energy companies. And here's why. Consumers are increasingly demanding nonpolluting energy, and energy companies are increasingly supplying it.


Therese: I'm not sure we should do what you suggest. As demand for nonpolluting energy increases relative to supply, its price will increase, and then the more polluting energy will cost relatively less. Demand for the cheaper, dirtier energy forms will then increase, as will the stock values of the companies that produce them.


Therese responds to Mansour's proposal by doing which of the following?


(A) Advocating that consumers use less expensive forms of energy


(B) Implying that not all uses of coal for energy are necessarily polluting


(C) Disagreeing with Mansour's claim that consumers are increasingly demanding nonpolluting energy


(D) Suggesting that leaving their existing energy investments unchanged could be the better course


(E) Providing a reason to doubt Mansour's assumption that supply of nonpolluting energy will increase in line with demand


Method Question No. 3


Environmentalist: The use of snowmobiles in the vast park north of Milville creates unacceptable levels of air pollution and should be banned.


Milville business spokesperson: Snowmobiling brings many out-of-towners to Milville in winter months, to the great financial benefit of many local residents. So, economics dictate that we put up with the pollution.


Environmentalist: I disagree: A great many cross-country skiers are now kept from visiting Milville by the noise and pollution that snowmobiles generate.


Environmentalist responds to the business spokesperson by doing which of the following?


(A) Challenging an assumption that certain desirable outcome can derive from only one set of circumstances.


(B) Challenging an assumption that certain desirable outcome is outweighed by negative aspects associated with producing that outcome.


(C) Maintaining that the benefit that the spokesperson desires could be achieved in greater degree by a different means.


(D) Claiming that the spokesperson is deliberately misrepresenting the environmentalist’s position in order to be better able to attack it.


(E) Denying that an effect that the spokesperson presents as having benefited a certain group of people actually benefited those people.


Method Question No. 4


Drug Manufacturer: Television audiences are sure to realize that the "physician" recommending our brand of cough syrup in our advertisement is actually an actor playing a role. Hence they will not place undue trust in the advice given by this actor. Therefore, networks should relax their guidelines to permit our company to broadcast this advertisement.


Television Executive: If the audience can tell that the actor is not a physician, then your advertisement need not have a physician figure recommending your product.


Which of the following is an argumentative strategy used by the television executive in response to the drug manufacturer?


(A) Indicating that the reason the drug manufacturer offers for relaxing the guidelines conflicts with the manufacturer's presumed motive for presenting the image of a physician in the advertisement.


(B) Asserting that the drug manufacturer's expressed desire to broadcast the advertisement is motivated by self-interest rather than by genuine interest in the good of the audience.


(C) Invoking subjective opinions concerning audience reaction to television advertisements as if those opinions constituted objective evidence.


(D) Pointing out that the goals of the drug manufacturer's company differ from those of television networks.


(E) Questioning the ability of the drug manufacturer to make any sweeping generalisation about what the many different members of the audience may think.


Method Question No. 5


Sonya: The government of Copeland is raising the cigarette tax. Copeland's cigarette prices will still be reasonably low, so cigarette consumption will probably not be affected much. Consequently, government revenue from the tax will increase.


Raoul: True, smoking is unlikely to decrease, because Copeland's cigarette prices will still not be high. They will, however, no longer be the lowest in the region, so we might begin to see substantial illegal sales of smuggled cigarettes in Copeland.


Raoul responds to Sonya's argument by doing which of the following?


(A) Questioning the support for Sonya's conclusion by distinguishing carefully between No change and no decrease 


(B) calling Sonya's conclusion into question by pointing to a possible effect of a certain change. 


(C) Arguing that Sonya's conclusion would be better supported if Sonya could cite a precedent for what she predicts will happen.


(D) showing that a cause that Sonya claims will be producing a certain effect is not the only cause that could produce that effect 


(E) pointing out that a certain initiative is not bold enough to have the effect that Soniya predicts it will have


Method Question No. 6


A number of serious amateur photographers have tested the new Apheron digital camera. With it, they observed that the camera took photographs with much finer detail both in bright and low light situations than with the 10-megapixel Norwich, even though the Norwich cameras offer a higher resolution at 10 megapixels than the 8-megapixel Apheron cameras. Given these amateur photographers’ observational findings, any serious photographer ought to choose the Apheron if she or he is buying a digital camera for both bright and low light situations.


The argument proceeds by


(A) describing how a testing situation approximates the real-life conditions of ordinary use


(B) using the claims of a subset of a group to make a recommendation to the larger group


(C) evaluating the credibility of a recommendation made by a particular group


(D) distinguishing between the actual reasons why a certain group did a particular thing and the best reasons for doing that thing


(E) placing an experience in a wider context in order to explain it


Method Question No. 7


Business executive: Attempting to create an ethical company by teaching ethics to our employees is a waste of time and money because the corporate structure at its foundation is inherently neither ethical nor unethical. No matter what we do, people will inevitably act in an unethical manner. All we can do is create monitoring systems to prevent problems from occurring and to protect the company when they do.


Ethicist: To claim that we should not train employees in ethics because they will inevitably act unethically makes about as much sense as arguing that we should not spend money on driver’s education because all drivers will inevitably cause an accident.


The method the ethicist uses to object to the business executive’s argument is to


(A) argue that there are problems that time and money, no matter how judiciously spent, cannot solve


(B) attack the character of the business executive rather than the position the business executive is taking


(C) show that the executive’s line of reasoning would lead to an unacceptable conclusion if applied to a different situation


(D) show that the executive must present more evidence to substantiate the business executive’s position


(E) explicate a dilemma that is central to the business executive’s argument 


Method Question No. 8


Jason: The solar cooker provides free energy for cooking, baking, and cleaning water. People who use it avoid indoor smoke inhalation, fire hazards, and injuries from gathering firewood. They also have environmental benefits such as reducing deforestation, lowering energy costs, and reducing CO2 emissions. The solar cooker is a simple solution to a host of problems in the developing world.


Zola: While I agree with your arguments, I disagree with your conclusion. Solar cookers have all of those benefits. Unfortunately, it takes a long time for them to bring water to a boil—usually between two and three hours—and they require ample sunlight, which is not always available in the rainy season. In practice, they are not a perfect solution by far.


Zola responds to Jason’s argument using which one of the following argumentative techniques?


(A) She argues that Jason’s conclusion is just a restatement of his fallacious arguments.


(B) She argues that Jason’s conception of the ills of developing nations is too limited in scope and thus his conclusion is insufficient.


(C) She questions the integrity of Jason’s research and whether his conclusion is based on a faulty foundation.


(D) She gives an alternate interpretation of the assumptions that results in a different conclusion altogether.


(E) She introduces caveats that weaken several of Jason’s assumptions.


Method Question No. 9


Randy: After Mega Cable Television Company refused to carry the competing Azco News Service alongside its own news channels, the mayor used her influence to get Azco time on a community channel, demonstrating her concern for keeping a diversity of news programming in the city.


Marion: The mayor’s action is fully explained by cruder motives: she’s rewarding Azco’s owner, a political supporter of hers. 


Of the following, which one, if true, is the logically strongest counter Randy can make to Marion’s objection? 


(A) The owner of Azco supported the mayor simply because he liked her political agenda, and not for any expected reward. 


(B) The mayor also used her influence to get time on a community channel for another news service, whose owner supported the mayor’s opponent in the last election. 


(C) Azco’s news coverage of the mayor has never been judged to be biased by an impartial, independent organization. 


(D) The many people whose jobs depend on Azco’s continued presence on a community channel are a potential source of political support for the mayor. 


(E) The number of people who watch Mega Cable Television Company’s programming has decreased during the mayor’s term.


Method Question No. 10


Educator: Scholars are concerned that the increasing popularity of online universities and low-residency degree programs will render the classroom experience obscure. They object to this trend, saying that online courses do not offer the level of collaboration and support that the traditional classroom does. At Plymouth Online, however, we offer a fully interactive experience with web video, web-based collaboration software, online chat, and video conferencing sessions. It is therefore possible to join our online university and experience a very close approximation of the in-classroom experience, and in some situations, the experience is a richer and more satisfying one.


The educator’s argument proceeds by


(A) referring to a scholarly authority to challenge a widely held belief


(B) questioning the accuracy of evidence given in support of an opposing position


(C) offering a counterexample to a prevalent belief among experts in the field


(D) proposing an alternative sociological explanation for a pedagogical practice


(E) making a distinction between instructional approaches 



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