Alex Marcus: GMAT & LSAT Trainer - 16+ years of experience
RSS

Recent Posts

How LSAT formal logic applies directly to the law

Categories

The LSAT
powered by

My Blog

How LSAT formal logic applies directly to the law

Please note that this article discusses formal logic concepts, such as "conditional statements" and "the contra-positive". A full explanation for these concepts won't be provided here, but that shouldn't be necessary. For anyone not familiar with these concepts, just know that this article isn't expressing an opinion about the Bill of Rights (see below), but a formulaic application of formal logic.

The LSAT Analytical Reasoning (games) section is riddled with formal logic. That is, "if-then" statements and the infamous contra-positive, the only deduction that can made from such conditional statements. We all know that the law is all about logic, which is the foundation of the LSAT, but isn't most of life all about logic? What is it about the law that requires students to agonize over switching and negating, changing "or" to "and", while remembering that "neither...nor" means "not...and"?  A great answer can be found in the good old Bill of Rights.

Let's start with the Fourth Amendment and how formal logic shows that  warrantless searches are actually constitutional (BTW - I'm a libertarian):

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

This sentence can be accurately (though not completely) rephrased into four conditional statements:
IF unreasonable search THEN search not permitted.
IF search permitted THEN search is reasonable (contra-positive of previous statement)
IF warrant THEN probable cause AND particular description.
IF no probable cause OR no particular description, THEN no warrant (contra-positive of previous).

Notice how the second conditional statement provides the only necessary condition to conduct a search: it needs to be reasonable. Nothing about warrants.

Yes, yes, this begs the question of what is meant by "reasonable", but that's beyond the scope of this article (but not my LSAT training, BTW).

For those familiar with LSAT formal logic - did you notice the "not...unless" phrase in "no Warrants...but upon"? And that's not the only place you'll see it in the Bill of Rights, but I'll get back to that.

Back to the Fourth Amendment. Nowhere does it say, or even imply, the following:
IF search permitted THEN warrant.
Or the contra-positive:
IF no warrant THEN no search permitted.

To repeat: the two above conditional statements are NOT logical deductions that can be drawn from the Fourth Amendment. The logical implications of a warrant support this:
IF warrant THEN search permitted.
Or the contra-positive
IF search not permitted THEN no warrant.

This creates an interesting connection to the explicit text, namely:
IF warrant THEN search is reasonable.
(IF warrant THEN search; IF search THEN reasonable; therefore: IF warrant THEN search is reasonable).
Or the contrapositive:
IF search is not reasonable, THEN no warrant.

Fun, right? Head spinning yet? If not, then congratulations - you're ready for the LSAT. If so, then rest assured that many students are in the same boat. Just know that formal logic isn't just some abstract concept designed to drive students crazy. In fact, it has actual life or death implications, as found in parts of the Fifth Amendment:

"No person shall...be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..."

Accurately rephrased into a conditional statement:
IF deprivation of life THEN due process.
Or the contra-positive:
IF no due process THEN no deprivation of life.

Notice the "not...unless" statement ("no...without")? 
Discuss...




31 Comments to How LSAT formal logic applies directly to the law:

Comments RSS
Tyrell Hooker on Thursday, October 15, 2015 9:19 AM
guest think within impressive and?
Reply to comment
 
https://www.researchwritingkings.com/review-of-rushessay-com/ on Friday, October 12, 2018 6:22 AM
People also should know their rights because most people do not know that if there are no warrants, police can not do anything or search for anything in your place. People need to be aware of the things they have the a right. Thank you for posting this article and letting many people know about what are their rights. Some authorities just used their power to abuse people and people should be ready for those authorities.


Nettikasino bonukset 24 on Monday, October 19, 2015 7:11 AM
amateurs have no a good clue?
Reply to comment


Marta Corron on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 1:17 PM
wall in the hallway?
Reply to comment


Roy Bordeau on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 4:02 PM
The contemplation and even idea?
Reply to comment


car accidents on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 7:46 AM
The LSAT Analytical Reasoning (amusements) segment is loaded with formal rationale. That is, "if-then" proclamations and the scandalous contra-positive, the main derivation that can produced using such restrictive articulations. We all realize that the law is about rationale, which is the establishment of the LSAT, yet isn't the vast majority of life about rationale? What is it about the law that obliges understudies to struggle with exchanging and discrediting, evolving "or" to "and", while recollecting that "neither...nor" signifies "not...and"? An incredible answer can be found in the great old Bill of Rights. Thanks!
Reply to comment


asdfas on Thursday, December 22, 2016 2:14 AM
oasdflk
Reply to comment


www.barretttaxlaw.com on Thursday, December 22, 2016 2:15 AM
The two above restrictive proclamations are not coherent conclusions that can be drawn from the fourth amendment. The consistent ramifications of a warrant bolster this.
Reply to comment


researchpaperwriter on Monday, December 26, 2016 7:00 AM
This blog shared articles may helpful to find formal logic applies directly to the law of this blog. The details are everything I have read from this website, and thanks for every update.
Reply to comment


Personal injury lawyers on Tuesday, May 09, 2017 3:28 AM
I am happy to find so many useful information here in the blog post, we need develop more strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing.
Reply to comment


Tax Lawyer Toronto on Friday, June 09, 2017 5:02 AM
Fantastic logical article. Thanks for the info.
Reply to comment


Toronto Tax Lawyer on Friday, June 09, 2017 5:37 AM
I went thorough the blog and thought its just awesome. Thanks for logical explanation.
Reply to comment


personal-injury-solicitors on Sunday, November 26, 2017 6:47 AM
Thanks for this I will try more
Reply to comment


Franklin on Monday, June 04, 2018 7:32 AM
Wow! what a nice post.
Reply to comment


premieressay on Saturday, June 23, 2018 12:44 PM
This article with explain to the reader the comparison between civil and common law. There are many differences among the two but there are also several similarities. It also talks about the establishment of both laws such as where they came from, how they were brought up, and where they are in today’s societies.
Reply to comment


djhd on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 3:51 AM
Hello! I think you will write my paper reviews need help in writing essays. Click and get more information
Reply to comment


George Hurst on Wednesday, March 06, 2019 7:01 AM
sdsadsd
Reply to comment


science homework help on Thursday, March 07, 2019 2:31 PM
I must say you have done a very good job by sharing the full information and guidance about the work. I will write about this on my writing for sure. Thank you once again for the good work!
Reply to comment


Workmans Comp Lawyer on Friday, March 15, 2019 5:31 AM
I admire your unique way of writing about the legal. Thanks for sharing..
Reply to comment


Abbie Obenour on Friday, March 15, 2019 8:19 AM
Thank you for sharing constructive information with us. I am also an attorney to provide legal consultation in Worthington.
Reply to comment


papersplanet on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 10:15 AM
This is a zenithal article for substantiation the training skills. This is a very versatile post which can make the complexity of training so feasible. This post is very confidential and trustworthy
Reply to comment


Dissertation Help UK on Thursday, April 25, 2019 3:09 PM
I am also not very happy about this statement. This is somehow unfair for some poor people.
Reply to comment


Barkan Meizlish, LLP on Friday, April 26, 2019 3:22 AM
Thank you for sharing this explanatory information with us. As I am your regular reader, always get something new on your website. Your deep research and knowledge provide us the best reading experience.
Reply to comment


assignment help on Friday, May 10, 2019 6:01 PM
These legal matters are very complicated.I think a right legal advisor should be hired at right time before it gets too late.You shared amazing information.Thanks.
Reply to comment


Best Divorce Lawyers in Newton, MA on Friday, May 17, 2019 6:26 AM
I like your writing style and I agree with what you said in this blog post. Writing essay is not so easy task and you suggestion would help to write the essay correctly.
Reply to comment


lightwordreviews.com on Friday, May 31, 2019 4:02 PM
I am unable to understand this topic. Then my colleague referred me a link where all related information is available so finally, I got to know the purpose behind it.
Reply to comment


tableclothsfactory on Saturday, June 01, 2019 12:22 AM
How LSAT formal logic applies directly to the law
Reply to comment


wholesale eyelashes on Tuesday, June 04, 2019 5:02 AM
How LSAT formal logic applies directly to the law
Reply to comment


iphone 8 plus cases on Sunday, June 23, 2019 1:28 AM
How LSAT formal logic applies directly to the law
Reply to comment


Hip Surgery Monee on Tuesday, July 02, 2019 3:17 AM
This site is excellent and so is how the subject matter was explained. I also like some of the comments too. Waiting for the next post.
Reply to comment


Disc Herniation Frankfort on Tuesday, July 02, 2019 7:41 AM
Been reading this site for awhile now, always has really good posts and topics please keep it up! loads of blogs are going under lately from lack of new posts etc!
Reply to comment

Add a Comment

Your Name:
Email Address: (Required)
Website:
Comment:
Make your text bigger, bold, italic and more with HTML tags. We'll show you how.
Post Comment
Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint