• Nathan Fox

Faigmanism in the LSAT

Test 9 - Section 2 - Question 22

Logical Reasoning Difficulty: 5


Explanation


The logic here is positively Faigman-esque.


Faigmanism

noun


1. a false statement "supported" by statistics that tend to undermine the statement more than support it. Example:

"Whereas the overall July 2018 California Bar Exam first-time pass rate declined by 6% for ABA accredited schools, from 70% in 2017 to 64% this year, the UC Hastings first-time pass rate declined by about 2% to 60%… We’ve done much already to ensure our students’ success, as indicated by our bucking the state-wide trend this year."David L. Faigman, Chancellor and Dean, University of California Hastings College of the Law, letter to UC Hastings community, November 28, 2018


Only via Faigmanism can we cite a falling bar passage rate that was already below the state average as "bucking the trend." It's a gloriously audacious form of bullshit. Tune into it, because law schools are expert at it and sometimes it even appears on the LSAT. It does here.

The politician said, right off the top, "From the time our party took office almost four years ago the number of people unemployed city-wide increased by less than 20 percent." Um.


"Increased by less than 20%." So, increased? Somewhere between 1 and 19%? But increased. Not decreased? Ahh, yeah. But then: "Due to our leadership, fewer people now find themselves among the ranks of the unemployed." Haha nope. Faigmanism. 

A) No, the politician did cite the opponents' claim—that unemployment has risen. Which it has.


B) No, there was just straight up no evidence shown that unemployment fell, period. Rather, there was evidence shown that unemployment rose.


C) Any possible seasonal fluctuations pale in comparison to the Faigmanism. It's just such a blatant lie.


D) Haha yep, exactly. That's what the politician did! A beautiful example of Faigmanism.


E) This is just an over-complicated mess. D perfectly described the argument's obvious flaw. I don't need to even parse this answer—the answer is D.


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