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Full Title or Meme

A category is a group of ideas collected under a common heading.


  • Whereas a Taxonomy tries to assign each entity to one and only one taxon, an Ontology or Category allows for any sort of overlap of entities into multiple categories.
  • Categorization is a prerequisite of any debate.
  • Differing religions require a categorization to survive as described by Max[1]
    [In the late antiquity] period a considerable proportion of the apologetic writing seems to derive from real debate. This was particularly true in the early Abbasid era, when there were a number of propitious factors: the cosmopolitan nature of Baghdad and its province, the caliphs' patronage of scholarship, the emergence of Arabic as a lingua franca the universal deployment of dialectical reasoning based upon categorical definitions, and the proliferation of converts and apostates, which meant that there were many with a genuine knowledge of two religions and with a real will to champion one over the other. But also, quite simply, there were matters that needed debating. Islam prompted questions that had not arisen before, such as "what were the attributes of a true prophet", and challenged long-cherished assumptions, such as that imperial ascendancy confirmed possession of truth. The latter point did put the non-Muslims on the defensive, especially the Christians and Zoroastrians, but for the Muslims too it was to be no easy contest. They were new at the game and entered the arena with only a weakly articulated confessional identity and an underdeveloped battery of doctrine, and it was thus particularly in the sectarian milieu of eighth and ninth-century Iraq that communal boundaries were staked out and dogmatic territories delineated.

Categorical Arguments

Categorical arguments are logical arguments used to determine the category of an object or concept using a known classification of related or shared characteristics. They are constructed as a syllogism, a structured argument formed by two premises and a conclusion. Usually, the first presented statement is the major premise, while the second statement is the minor premise. The third statement is the conclusion. To help make sense of this, let's look at an example.

  • Major Premise: All animals with fur are mammals.
  • Minor Premise: All dogs have fur.
  • Conclusion: All dogs are mammals.

Sometimes, a categorical argument can be a sentence, such as the following: If all animals with fur are mammals and all dogs have fur, then all dogs are mammals. The standard structure is an if-and-then statement. While we can apply logic to a simple if-then statement using a single premise and conclusion, it will not qualify as a categorical argument without two premises.


  • Categorization is often use by one group to exclude others who are not like themselves.


  1. S. Max Seeing Islam as Others Saw It- A Survey and Evaluation of Christian Jewish and Zoroastrian Writings on Early Islam