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Critical Reasoning: Argument Structure - Identifying the Conclusion without Clues

(1) In numerous factories, automated equipment is replacing employees in order to save money. (2) These employees will need government assistance to survive, (3) and the same factories that fire employees will eventually pay for that assistance through a heavier tax burden and unemployment insurance fees.

The argument's conclusion is in which sentence?

While sentence 3 is indeed a conclusion, it is not the only conclusion in the argument.

Sentence 1 is a premise.

While sentence 2 is indeed a conclusion, it is not the only conclusion in the argument.

While sentence 2 is indeed a conclusion, sentence 1 is a premise.

While sentence 3 is indeed a conclusionsentence 1 is a premise.

Well done!

The fact that the automated equipment is replacing employees in order to save money is a Premise. It cannot be challenged - this is something that is actually happening.

Whether the money will actually be saved or not is the question in the argument. The conclusion of the argument is that the workers will need government assistance to survive, and that factories will eventually indirectly pay for firing their employees. We identify this part as a conclusion because it presents a prediction about the future, which may or may not come about. The conclusion can be challenged - it is possible that the employees will find other work, leave the country, or some other sector will pay for their unemployment insurance fees.

While there are arguments that consist of premises only, without a conclusion, this argument is not one of them. At least one of the sentences includes the argument's conclusion.

Sentence 1
Sentence 2
Sentence 3
Sentences 1 and 2
Sentences 1 and 3
Sentences 2 and 3
None. This argument consists of premises only.