Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Terminology Tuesday: Category Mistake

Category Mistake / Category Error: the error of assigning to something a quality or action which can only properly be assigned to things of another category, for example treating abstract concepts as though they had a physical location. A semantic or ontological error in which "things of one kind are presented as if they belonged to another", or, alternatively, a property is ascribed to a thing that could not possibly have that property. For example, "how much does the number six weigh?"1

1. Various online dictionaries as well as wikipedia and the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy.

3 comments :

Miguel Rodríguez said...

This is a great fallacy to point out when debating about the "new phisical" definition of the word nothing popularized by Dr. Lawrence Krauss in his book A Universe from Nothing.

LittleGoose said...

What is Dr. Krauss' definition?

Miguel Rodríguez said...

That nothing is a quantum empty space vacuum or something like that.

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