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Critical Reasoning: Argument Flaw Questions

The last decade has seen a steady increase in the purchasing of abstract paintings by the tourists vacationing in the town of Ghenst. Therefore, the number of pictures sold per annum by Paul Fierce, a local painter of abstract paintings, must have been continuously rising.

Which of the following points to the most serious logical flaw in the author's argument?



The argument actually does the opposite of what is stated in this answer choice; it claims something (a continuous rise in sales) about a specific case (Paul Fierce) based on a general rule (a continuous rise in the total sum of abstract paintings sold in Ghenst).



This answer choice fails to capture the logical flaw in the argument because the author makes no predictions about the future based on the premises. The author uses the premises about a trend which was observed to draw a conclusion about a similar trend in a specific case (Paul Fierce's sales).



This cannot be the logical flaw in the argument, since it goes beyond the scope of the argument. The relationship between the sales of abstract paintings worldwide and the sales of abstract paintings in Ghenst is irrelevant to the subject at hand: a conclusion about a specific local artist.



As the conclusion doesn't go into what was known 10 years ago, when the sales of abstract paintings started rising, this answer choice is irrelevant and does not reveal the flaw in the argument.

Well done!


The fact that more abstract paintings in general were sold tells us nothing about the relative sales of abstract paintings by each individual artist. For all we know, Paul Fierce may not have sold a single painting throughout the whole ten years, while others sold many paintings.

The author assumes that the rise that occured in the total number of abstract paintings sold applies also to the sales of each individual artist.
The author draws a general conclusion out of one case.
The author makes a prediction based on observations that span only a decade, hardly enough to reach any conclusions.
The argument fails to take into account the relationship between sales of abstract paintings in the global market and the concomitant sales in the city of Ghenst.
The argument mixes knowledge acquired in hindsight with evidence from before the rise in abstract painting sales.