Single Idea 10494

[catalogued under 7. Existence / E. Categories / 2. Categorisation]

Full Idea

Words are not always a good guide to the existence of categories: there may be several words which label the same categories (synonyms). and the same word can be used for quite different ideas. Some categories may exist without being labelled.

Gist of Idea

Several words may label a category; one word can name several categories; some categories lack words


Roy Ellen (Categories, Classification, Cogn. Anthropology [2006], I)

Book Reference

Ellen,Roy: 'The Categorical Impulse' [Bergahn Books 2008], p.4

A Reaction

This is the sort of point which seems obvious to anyone outside philosophy, but which philosophers seem to find difficult to accept. Philosophers should pay much more attention to animals, and to illiterate peoples. Varieties of rice can lack labels.