2012 presidential address:Types and tokens: On the identity and meaning of names and other words

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-284
Number of pages26
JournalTransactions of the Charles S Peirce Society
Volume48
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

Keywords

  • Charles peirce
  • Interpretant
  • Lexeme
  • Meaning
  • Name
  • Token
  • Type
  • Word

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy

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