[FOM] Type-Occurrence-Token

Ron Rood ron.rood at planet.nl
Sat Sep 24 07:43:26 EDT 2005

As to Q1: Quine made the type-token-occurrence distinction in his 
(popular) Quiddities. An Intermittently Philosophical Dictionary 
(1989), under the lemma "Type and Token."

As to Q4: maybe the following paper is interesting to you: Linda 
Wetzel. What are occurrences of expressions? JPL 22 (1993), pp.215-19.

Ron Rood

John Corcoran heeft op donderdag, 22 sep 2005 om 14:58 
(Europe/Amsterdam) het volgende geschreven:

> Consider, e.g., the word 'letter'.  In one sense there are exactly
> twenty-six letters (letter-types or ideal letters) in the English
> alphabet and there are exactly four letters in the word-type 'letter'.
> There is exactly one word (word-type) spelled el-ee-tee-tee-ee-ar and
> that word is 'letter'. In another sense of the word 'letter', there are
> exactly six letters (letter-repetitions or letter-occurrences) in the
> word-type 'letter'. There are two occurrences of the letter-type't' in
> the word-type 'letter'.  In yet another sense, every new inscription
> (act of writing or printing) of 'letter' brings into existence six new
> letters (letter-tokens or ink-letters) and one new word (word-token)
> that had not previously existed.  The number of letter-occurrences
> (occurrences of a letter-type) in a given word-type is the same as the
> number of letter-tokens (tokens of a letter-type) in a single token of
> the given word.  There are no tokens of  't' in the word-type 'letter'
> and there are no occurrences of 't' in a token of 'letter'. Many
> logicians fail to distinguish "token" from "occurrence" and a few
> actually confuse the two concepts. The word 'instance' is often used
> ambiguously: now for "token", now for "occurrence".
> In the above paragraph-type there are nineteen occurrences of the
> word-type 'letter' and, as usual, no sentence-type occurs more than
> once. The token of that paragraph that you just looked at is not the
> token that I am now looking at. But we were both thinking about the 
> same
> paragraph type.
> Q1. Can you cite any articles or books by yourself or others that make
> this three-way distinction giving three technical terms?
> Q2. The type-token distinction is often attributed to Peirce in 1906. 
> Do
> you know any reason to doubt this?
> Q3. Have you seen the type-occurrence distinction attributed to anyone?
> Q4 Do you know of anything of a historical or philosophical nature on
> the token-occurrence distinction?
> Q5.Have you noticed anything that could be regarded as a mistake
> involving failure to make this three-way distinction?
> Q6. Do you have any thoughts on this distinction that you would care to
> share?
> -
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