Logical Reasoning -Statements and Arguments updated on Nov 2021

# Statements and Arguments-Statements and Arguments

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Statements and Arguments  Aptitude basics, practice questions, answers and explanations
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Introduction: In these questions a proposal followed by two arguments is given. One has to examine the arguments in the context of the given proposal so as to determine their strength. The statements given in these questions, normally, are of interrogative nature.

They are two important concepts:- “Proposal” and “Argument”.

Proposal: Most of the questions are based on a “Proposal”. A proposal, here means a course of action to be taken up.

Argument: A proposal is followed by two arguments. An argument maybe in favour of or against the proposal. One has to check the strength of the argument. This cannot be misconstrued as considering only favourable arguments.

Preliminary Screening:

a)Ambiguous

b)Disproportionate

c)Irrelevant

d)Comparative

e)Simplistic

a) Ambiguous:

The argument should have clarity in the reason suggested in it. The argument should be contextual and express its support or opposition to the given statement in explicit terms.

Example:

Statement: Should India wage war against Pakistan ?

Argument: No, both India and Pakistan are at fault.

Analysis: Here, though the argument refers to the subject in the statement, it has no clarity. Thus, the argument is ambiguous.

b) Disproportionate:

The reasons given in the argument, in support or against the given statement, should be comparable to the magnitude of the situation given in the statement.

Example:

Statement:  Should every citizen be asked to use only pencil to write instead of pen?

Argument:   Yes, usage of pencil leads to reduction in wastage of paper. This helps in protection of environment.

Analysis: The argument links usage of pencil to protection environment., because errors can be rectified on the same paper. This measure, in practice, makes little difference to the environment, hence, the argument is rejected.

c) Irrelevant

The argument should relate its reasoning to the context given in the statement.

Example:

Statement: Should the syllabus for primary classes be reduced, to enable the students to understand the concepts piece meal?

Argument:

1. No, it gives more leisure to students, which may lead to juvenile delinquency.

2. No, the syllabus should include subjects that help in increasing IQ levels of students.

Analysis: The reason given in argument (1) is out of context when compared to the statement. Hence, this argument is irrelevant.

d) Comparative

The argument should suggest why or why not the proposed action be implemented, basing on favourable or adverse results that follow after implementation.

Example:

Statement: Should India reform its taxation policy?

Argument:

1. Yes, it helps in rationalisation of taxes.

2. Yes, many countries are doing so.

Analysis:  Argument (1) is a valid argument because it is based on a positive result that would follow the suggested action.

Argument(2) is not based on any resulting effect of the suggested action .

Hence, this is not a valid argument.

e) Simplistic:

These kind of arguments, though they are related to the statements, make a simple assertion or there is no substantiation to strengthen the argument.

Example:

Statement: Should India wage war against Pakistan?

Argument: 1. Yes, it should be done immediately.

Argument: 2. No, it is not going to help.

Analysis:

Argument (1) simply suggests that it should be done immediately. Hence, this argument is too simple.

Argument (2) does not show how it is not going to help. Hence, argument (2) is also simplistic.

Exercise Questions:

1)  Statement: Should Yoga be introduced as a part of the curriculum by schools?

Argument 1:  Yes: This will help students improve their mental ability.

Argument 2:No: This will not help students to improve studentship qualities but will burden them with extra school-hours.

Options:

(1) if only argument I is strong.
(2) if only argument II is strong.
(3) if either I or II is strong.
(4) if neither I nor II is strong.
(5) if both I and II are strong.

Solution:  Both the statements, if true, are valid and strong arguments.

2) Statement: Should we switch to a green fuel (fuel extracted from food grains)?

Arguments:

I. Yes, it does not pollute the environment.

II. No, it will increase the prices of food products.

Options:

(1) if only argument I is strong.
(2) if only argument II is strong.
(3) if either I or II is strong.
(4) if neither I nor II is strong.
(5) if both I and II are strong.

Solution: I is based on a positive result and desirable.Hence I is strong.II is not strong because there can be separate production for this purpose. Only I is strong.

3)  Statement: Should students pursue higher education?

Arguments:

I. Yes, they would be able to earn more money.
II. No, there is no need as such.

Options:

(1) if only argument I is strong.
(2) if only argument II is strong.
(3) if either I or II is strong.
(4) if neither I nor II is strong.
(5) if both I and II are strong.