How To Spot The LSAT’s Logical Fallacies
Logical fallacies are a core component of the LSAT.
The exam’s Flaw in the Reasoning questions will have an argument with some sort of logical fallacy that requires test takers to think critically and respond. Knowing what types of logical fallacies that the LSAT tests may be helpful as you prepare for the exam. Gabriel Kuris, founder of Top Law Coach and contributor at US News, recently broke down the most common logical fallacies that test takers should know.
One of the most common fallacies is a source argument.
According to PowerScore, a source argument “commits a singular, consistent mistake by attacking the person/group making a claim (the source), as opposed to attacking the details of the claim itself.”
In other words – a source argument will focus on the character, or source, of an argument rather than the important details.
“On the LSAT, keep your eye out for critique of an argument based merely on the identity or past beliefs of the speaker,” Kuris writes.
The straw man argument, according to Manhattan Prep, is when “a speaker argues against an argument the other side didn’t quite make.”
This fallacy will often reframe an argument as a means to make it weaker.
“If a speaker on the LSAT oversimplifies, overgeneralizes or exaggerates an argument before critiquing it, look for an answer choice that describes mischaracterization,” Kuris writes.
The false dilemma argument, according to PowerScore, “assumes that only two possible courses of action (or two possible choices) are available, when in fact there may be others.”
Often, the false dilemma argument follows a consistent structure that can be easy to spot.
“If an argument in a flaw question rules out one option to settle conclusively on another, see if it fails to consider other obvious possibilities,” Kuris writes.
Check out the full list of logical fallacies here.