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II—The Last Dogma of Type Confusions

Ofra Magidor
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9264.2009.00256.x 1-29 First published online: 1 April 2009


In this paper I discuss a certain kind of ‘type confusion’ which involves use of expressions of the wrong grammatical category, as in the string ‘runs eats’. It is (nearly) universally accepted that such strings are meaningless. My purpose in this paper is to question this widespread assumption (or as I call it, ‘the last dogma’). I discuss a range of putative reasons for accepting the last dogma: in §II, semantic and metaphysical reasons; in §III, logical reasons; and in §IV, syntactic reasons. I argue that none of these reasons is conclusive, and that consequently we should be willing to question this last dogma of type confusions.

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