C. S. Peirce illustrates the distinction between types and their tokens by using words as an example. The length of a manuscript is measured by counting word tokens, but a person's vocabulary can be measured by counting word types. According to Peirce, a word type is not an existing object but a "significant form" of a token; thus he seems to make a distinction between the orthographic or phonological character of a word and its individual occurrences (inscriptions or utterances). However, there is more to words than their character and their individual occurrences. This paper examines different interpretations of the concept of type, distinguishes four different ways of individuating names and other words, and discusses the relevance of the ontology of words to questions about the sense and reference of names.
- Charles peirce
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