Please take a look at a passage from an LSAT:

The economy is doing badly. First, the real estate slump has been with us for some time. Second, car sales are at their lowest in years. Of course, had either one or the other phenomenon failed to occur, this would be consistent with the economy as a whole being healthy.

I have trouble understanding the italicized sentence and what interferences I could make from it. I simplified it as below:

Had either A or B has not happened, this would be consistent with C.

I am not sure what valid inferences I can make from it. As far as I can tell, this statement combines counterfactual condition and logic consistency. I did some research on the web about what's the concept of consistency in logic. Also, I learned from an oxford open course that a counterfactual conditional statement can be seen as a causation statement. Based on these, I tried to make the following inferences:

  1. If both A and B happened, it was contradictory that C is true.
  2. If C is true, then either A or B must not have happened.
  3. A and B together would have falsified C.

Would you please help explain whether my inferences are correct? Thank you very much for your time.

  • Did you mean, "Had either A or B not happened, this would be consistent with C." Just grammar. Please use the exact quote if available, because wording may make a difference.
    – causative
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 4:51
  • Thank you for the comment, causative. I've edited the question accordingly.
    – Lenny
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 4:57

1 Answer 1


It's saying that, if we didn't have the real estate slump or if car sales were not at their lowest in years, then maybe the economy would be healthy.

It's suggested by this - but not implied - that the combination of the real estate slump and car sales being at their lowest in years, does indicate that the economy is not healthy.

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