Tag Archive: logical fallacy

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Flow Chart Contest: Win a Free Blueprint for LSAT Logic Games Book

Looking for a way to work on your diagrams? Want to test your logical prowess? Have we got a contest for you! <end Billy Mays voice>

Blueprint is happy to announce its first ever flow chart contest. Make us your best, funniest LSAT-related flow chart and win a free copy of The Blueprint for LSAT Logic Games, or a $30 gift certificate to Amazon. Send your submission to greg.nix@blueprintlsat.com by Sunday, September 14th and we’ll announce one winner — picked by the Blueprint LSAT Prep staff —right here on the LSAT blog.

The contest is open to anyone, not just Blueprint students, but we’re limiting entries to one per person.

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Throwback to These Pop Music Fallacies

One of the things you’ve probably noticed about studying for the LSAT is that it changes the way you think – for instance, you suddenly start seeing logical fallacies everywhere. When I was studying for the LSAT, one of the most annoying side effects was that whenever I heard a conditional statement, I would reflexively diagram it and take the contrapositive in my mind. (Hey, that’s a conditional statement too!) So in honor of the impossibility of avoiding conditional logic, here are three songs you’ll never be able to think about the same way again.

      1. Spice Girls – Wannabe

A past student (hi, if you’re reading this, Meaghen!) came into my LSAT class one day and told me that she was listening to “Wannabe” and suddenly noticed the Spice Girls’ secret plot to educate their listeners about conditional logic.

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A Look at the LSAT Flaws in the Oscar Pistorius Case

As those of you who have been following it know, the Oscar Pistorius case has been pretty crazy. A few weeks ago the South African Paralympian fired rounds through a closed door, killing his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius maintains he thought she was an intruder, while the prosecution is claiming that it was a crime of passion. No one can say for certain at this point, but using LSAT logic we can deconstruct some of the claims that are being thrown around. Claims such as:

There have been allegations of abuse prior to this; he therefore killed Steenkamp purposefully. – Just because he was abusive before doesn’t actually prove that he murdered her. Does it make it more likely? Maybe. But just because something is more likely, that doesn’t show that it’s definite. Relevant data can strengthen a claim, but that doesn’t imply sufficiency to know that that claim is in fact certain.

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Cycle Through Some Lance Armstrong LSAT Flaws

Last week, professional cyclist and hall-of-fame liar Lance Armstrong surprised no one when he admitted to longstanding doping allegations during an interview with a sleeping Oprah Winfrey. What’s to be gained from all this? Well, aside from a healthy dose of schadenfreude, the whole ordeal highlights some commonly-found LSAT flaws. You may have seen the following arguments bandied about in the last few days…

Lance Armstrong wasn’t very forthcoming; he therefore must have even more to hide.

Alright, let’s be honest – that was one of the most softball interviews in recent memory, and Lance didn’t give out much more than broad, sweeping confessions. Does that make it seem like there’s even more lurid details that he’s trying to gloss over? Sure. But it doesn’t have to be the case.

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Geraldo Rivera’s Questionable Reasoning in the Trayvon Martin Case

The much-publicized death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin took an interesting twist when Geraldo Rivera pronounced in an interview on “Fox and Friends” last week that “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin‘s death as much as George Zimmerman was.” Later in the interview Rivera also said “Trayvon Martin, God bless him, an innocent kid, a wonderful kid, a box of Skittles in his hands. He didn’t deserve to die. But I bet you money, if he didn’t have that hoodie on, that nutty neighborhood watch guy wouldn’t have responded in that violent and aggressive way.”

Without commenting on the tragedy of Trayvon’s death or the hoodie movement it has spawned across the country and at institutions like Harvard Law School, we at Blueprint were interested in the outrageous errors in reasoning Rivera’s comments displayed. One of the few bright spots in studying for the LSAT is that, if done correctly, it trains you to spot fallacious reasoning. This comes in handy as a law student, a law practitioner, and, in this case, as a media consumer.

Perhaps the journalism standards for someone who hosted episodes such as “My Ex Hired a Hitman to Kill Me”