Words like "employee," "payee," and "detainee" support the generalization, crudely stated, that words with the ending...

Sean on July 22, 2018

Please explain.

I don't understand this question. Could you please break it down? Thank you!

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Mehran on July 23, 2018

Hi @smilde11, thanks for your post.

This stimulus presents an argument.

First, you are given examples of - ee words (employee, payee, detainee) that "support the generalization . . that [such words] designate the person affected by an action performed by someone else."

But then a counterexample is presented: the word "absentee," which is an example of an - ee word that refers "to the person who actually performs that action."

The conclusion is introduced by a structural indicator (the word "clearly"): "putting forward the following resolves the impasse: if a word with the ending - ee refers to one party in a two-party transaction, it refers to the party at which the other party's action is directed."

This assertion is meant to counter the putative counterexample. How? Well, the counterexample is a situation in which only one person is involved. The generalization set out in the conclusion applies to two-party transactions. Thus, the word "absentee" is no longer relevant (because it is not describing a two-party transaction).

This Methods of Reasoning question then asks you to explain how the argument deals with the offered counterexample.

Answer choice (D) correctly describes the method of reasoning on display in this stimulus: the argument "narrows the scope of the generalization at issue [i.e., to refer only to two-party transactions] in such a way that the putative counterexample ["absentee"] is no longer relevant [because "absentee" does not involve a two-party transaction]."

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any additional questions.