The Difference between Language and Perception

With these differences between vehicle and content, it seems obvious that one should always check that one is talking about one or the other. If one asks: how long does ‘a tiger eating my arm’ last, one has to make sure that its either the content or vehicle one is talking about. It could last hours (the tiger takes it easy), seconds (the yell of fear), or a thousand years (carved in stone).

If one treats one of these as the other, then it seems that one is making a mistake. This is to confuse vehicle and content, i.e., the vehicle/content confusion. And if an objector raises that as an error in one’s deliberation, the objector is raising VCCO.

In this case, the objector might mean that one is confusing either or both:

(i) Vehicle with content: treating the vehicle as if it is the content, e.g., that the word ‘tiger’ can eat your arm, or that the whole sentence is terrifying.

(ii) Content with vehicle: treating the content as if it is the vehicle, e.g. that tigers are made out of ink and paper.


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