I’ll kick off the formal arguments with my frustrated analysis of one of the most famous category debates:
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
First, let’s set something aside: if we take the question at face value, then obviously the egg came first. Whatever you take the term “egg” to mean, unless you’re talking specifically about chicken eggs, then the fossil record makes it abundantly clear that eggs came first. But that would be kind of boring. So.
Which came first, the chicken or the chicken egg?
Ok, now things get interesting. People frame this question as a philosophical debate, but I would argue that it's purely linguistic -- perhaps not even arising to the level of "philosophy of language".
What is a chicken egg? There are two choices: it’s either an egg that produces a chicken, or it’s an egg that comes out of a chicken. Once you’ve decided what a chicken egg is, the question is ipso facto answered. And the definitional question of “what is a chicken egg” is easily answered through observation.
When we go to a grocery store, we see eggs that came out of chickens. We call them chicken eggs.
Most of these eggs will never (could never) produce a chicken. We still call them chicken eggs.
If a chicken laid an egg, and a duck later hatched out of it, people would say, “Wow, a duck came out of that chicken egg,” not “That wasn’t a chicken egg; it was a duck egg.”
The evidence abounds, in our common use of the concept of eggs in natural human language (in English, at least), that eggs are categorized by the animal that produced them, not the animal that comes out of them – and for that matter, I’d wager that most eggs (almost certainly most chicken eggs) don’t have any animals that come out of them at all.
Thus, a “chicken egg” is an egg laid by a chicken. Therefore, a chicken must exist before a chicken egg is laid. Thus, the chicken precedes the egg, Q.E.D.
InB4 “proto-chicken” argument: see the above. By common language reckoning, an egg that came out of a proto-chicken would be a proto-chicken egg. This is true if a chicken comes out, or a clicken, or a jicken, or if the egg got eaten by a proto-raccoon before it had a chance to hatch.