No languages? Seriously?

I said that there are five stances one can take on the metaphysics of languages. You can hold that they are:
1) physical, 2) mental, 3) abstract, 4) social or 5) all of the above.

I lied.

To begin with, there are likely other exclusionary options along the lines of (1)-(4). But there’s also ELIMININATIVISM. That’s the view that… there are no languages! The whole notion of languages like English, French and Spanish is a myth.

I think that borders on nutty. But one reason for it is quite sophisticated. If languages did have to belong to exactly one ontological category, there’d be trouble. Happily, say I, the world is replete with entities that don’t belong exclusively to the physical, mental, social or abstract: my blog, the Canadian Government, Rob Ford’s “crack video”, Easter, Hinduism, zombie movies, etc. Indeed, if I have to choose between a) every entity belongs to exactly one ontological category and b) there are no zombie movies, no religions and no languages, I would give up (a) any day of the week.


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