more from Ofra Magidor

Single Idea 18015

[catalogued under 2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 8. Category Mistake / c. Category mistake as semantic]

Full Idea

The principle that if a competent speaker understands some terms then they understand a sentence made up of them entails that category mistakes are meaningful (as in understanding 'the number two' and 'is green').

Gist of Idea

The normal compositional view makes category mistakes meaningful


Ofra Magidor (Category Mistakes [2013], 3.2.1)

Book Reference

Magidor,Ofra: 'Category Mistakes' [OUP 2013], p.47

A Reaction

[compressed version] It is normal to impose restrictions on plausible compositionality, and thus back away from this claim, but I rather sympathise with it. She adds to a second version of the principle the proviso 'IF the sentence is meaningful'.