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Course: LSAT (DEPRECATED) > Unit 1

Lesson 10: Reading Comprehension - Worked Examples

Analogies | Law passage | Cosmic Justice

Watch a demonstration of one way to approach an analogy question on a LSAT reading comprehension law passage. Created by Dave Travis.

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Video transcript

- [Instructor] Which one of the following is most analogous to the kind of approach both authors criticize? Okay, an analogy question. In order to get this right, we really need to nail down in our head like what is the approach that both authors criticize. You know, the approach to both authors criticize is cosmic justice. So we really should make sure we understand what we mean when we say cosmic justice. Passage A and passage B, discussed this justice that they're criticizing, as being the kind of justice that tries to have us be omniscient as a judge and a jury, have to take in every factor, all the inputs before a crime was committed, in order to consider what the punishment should be. So the approach for both authors criticize is one that attempts to be omniscient and attempts to deal with individual factors there might be, you know, unique to the story of a criminal. So that's what we're looking for in a choice. It's really important on questions like this to get a sense and lock down in your head what you're looking for. The kind of approach is this cosmic justice approach. So let's see what we have at the choice of A. A local library charges children lower fines for overdue materials and lost books than it charges adults. So that's, that's children versus adults, having, you know, different rules. The approach that we're looking that criticize is one that attempts to re-implement cosmic justice. B, in assigning grades, a teacher takes into account not only written assignments and class performance but also background factors unique to individual students. So background factors, that sounds a lot like, that sounds a lot like what we're talking about. It's a lot like the example that Thomas Saw uses in passage B. I really like choice B. Let's see whether C, D and E sort of disqualify themselves for their own reasons. C, in assigning employee parking spaces, management takes into account an employee's rank within and years of experience to the company. So that's, you know, that's sort of like a seniority thing. So now is seniority a problem here? Is that cosmic justice? No, it seems, you know, it is taking into account something but that doesn't make this relevant to the, to what we're looking for. C is out. Again, we're looking for cosmic justice. D. An employer with a proven history of age discrimination is forced by a court to hire qualified older employees. That might, you know, seem fair, but is that an example of cosmic justice? No, it is not. E. A university admits students based not just on academic achievement, but also on documented extracurricular activities and community service. Okay, documented is pretty, pretty key here. You know, documented extracurricular activities and community service are very specific things that are knowable. And the approach that's being critiqued or criticized for the passage A and passage B, are all those things that are unknowable. So I don't like E either. And B really comes out shining. It is exactly what we're looking for in this would-- you know. The approach as described here is saying "I'm gonna give you a grade based on stuff that you didn't do in class." In the same way that cosmic justice would say, "We're going to sentence you or convict you or acquit you based on stuff that is not related to the grade itself, to the crime itself. So B is definitely looking really good.