Definition of category mistake in English:

category mistake

(also category error)

noun

Logic
  • The error of assigning to something a quality or action which can only properly be assigned to things of another category, for example treating abstract concepts as though they had a physical location.

    • ‘To apply the political term ‘authoritarian’ to an ontological account may at first seem to be a simple category mistake.’
    • ‘In the words of the philosophers, it is a category mistake to put miracles and laws in the same set.’
    • ‘To suggest that embodied chemical properties can solve systemic institutional problems is to commit a serious category mistake.’
    • ‘Atheism is primarily an episode in the history of the decline of Christianity, and the idea that there is anything resembling an atheist tradition beyond that limited context is a category mistake.’
    • ‘Indeed, some opponents of temporal-parts theories contend that the theory rests on just such a category mistake - the mistake of treating persisting objects as if they were processes.’