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Critical Reasoning: Boldface Type Questions

The main service offered by Company G entails a task that, if performed incorrectly, can kill the employee handling it. Although some care is taken to prevent this from happening, the chance of a fatal accident always exists and reports of the company losing employees to death or injury are released at least twice a year. Company G states that it does not force employees to accept the dangerous position, but a non-governmental organization is challenging the ethics of the company, claiming that people are desperate for jobs and are willing to risk their own lives for stable employment. As part of an inquiry conducted by the organization, a robotics engineer stated that machines could quite easily be developed to perform the task. The issue of Company G's method of operation must be addressed immediately.

In the argument, the two portions in boldface play which of the following roles?

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

While this answer choice defines the first boldface part correctly, it defines the second incorrectly. A conclusion is based on previous data, whereas the engineer's opinion is not founded on previous data in the argument.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]



While this answer choice defines the first boldface part correctly, it defines the second incorrectly. The argument's conclusion is that there is something wrong with Company G's operation; the second boldface portion does not object to the conclusion -  it supports the conclusion.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]

While this answer choice defines the first boldface part correctly, it defines the second incorrectly. A conclusion is based on previous data, whereas the engineer's opinion is not founded on previous data in the argument.

Incorrect.

[[snippet]]



The argument's position is that there is something wrong with Company G's operation. The first boldface portion does not undermine (weaken) this position - it supports it. You can immediately eliminate answer choices that incorrectly define the first boldface part; do not waste time reading the rest.

Impressive work!

[[snippet]]



If we focus on the conclusion of the argument it becomes clear that both boldface portions are supportive of it. All that remains to do is to identify that the first is a premise and that the second is an opinion.

The first is factual data that has been advanced in support of the main conclusion of the argument; the second is an opinion that has been advanced in support of the main conclusion of the argument.
The first is a confirmed finding; the second is the conclusion of the argument's main idea.
The first is evidence that undermines the argument's position; the second is a viewpoint that supports this position.
The first provides a base for the argument's issue; the second is an objection to the main conclusion of the argument.
The first is verified information in support of the argument's main conclusion; the second is that conclusion.