Type (metaphysics)


Type (metaphysics)

In metaphysics, a type is a category of being. A human is a type of thing; a cloud is a type of thing (entity); and so on. A particular instance of a type is called a "token" of that thing; so Socrates was a token of a human being, but is not any longer since he is dead. Likewise, the capital A in this sentence is a token of the first letter of the Latin alphabet.

Much has been made of the "type-token distinction" by some philosophers, including Charles Peirce, who coined the term. In recent years, the distinction has been used by philosophers of mind such as Donald Davidson to clarify various ideas about identity theory and other physicalist theories of consciousness.

ee also

*Class
* Bertrand Russell's Theory of types.


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