more from Richard Cartwright

Single Idea 13945

[catalogued under 9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 4. Type Identity]

Full Idea

We cannot take a token of a word to be an occurrence of it. Suppose there is exactly one occurrence of the word 'etherized' in the whole of English poetry? Exactly one 'token'? This sort of occurrence is like the occurrence of a number in a sequence.

Gist of Idea

A token isn't a unique occurrence, as the case of a word or a number shows


Richard Cartwright (Propositions [1962], Add 2)

Book Reference

Cartwright,Richard: 'Philosophical Essays' [MIT 1987], p.53

A Reaction

This remark is in an addendum to his paper, criticising his own lax use of the idea of 'token' in the actual paper. The example nicely shows that the type/token distinction isn't neat and tidy - though I consider it very useful.