QUESTION TYPE: Sufficient Assumption
CONCLUSION: Smith doesn’t understand her own words.
REASONING: If Smith is right, we should only be able to understand an author’s meaning if we understand their social circumstances.
ANALYSIS: Smith gave exactly one conditional premise. I’ll draw that premise and its contrapositive:
Understand meaning ➞ Know social circumstances
Know social circumstances ➞ Understand meaning
The speakers wants to prove that Smith doesn’t understand her own words. So use the contrapositive above: if Smith doesn’t know her social circumstances, then she can’t understand her own meaning.
All of the wrong answers are nonsense. Three of them talk about “intended” meaning, which wasn’t mentioned in the stimulus. The other answer talks about a theory lacking insight. But the stimulus was about lacking insight into social circumstances.
Don’t choose nonsense answers that have nothing to do with the stimulus.
- The argument didn’t talk about “intended” meaning. This answer is just gibberish.
- CORRECT. See the analysis above. This answer provides the sufficient condition of the conditional statement, which lets us prove the necessary condition, which is the conclusion.
- The argument didn’t talk about intended meaning. Like A, this answer is total nonsense.
- This just jumbles together random words from the stimulus. The stimulus talked about lacking insight into social circumstances. The stimulus didn’t talk about theories lacking insight.
- Another nonsense answer. The stimulus didn’t talk about intended meaning!
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