Hot Dogging Conceptual Analysis

This is a conversation my friends and I had a couple of years ago on the question of whether a hot dog counts as a sandwich; the question of a hot dog's sandwichness continues to reappear online occasionally (recent example:, so I thought I'd post this here to immortalize our significant contribution to the debate. 

Ryan:   G., an interesting question came up on the Daily Show the other day

Issue: Does a hotdog count as a sandwich? 

Star: It's pretty much just a subway sandwich. But the meat is tubular  

Ryan: More generally, what are the necessary and sufficient conditions for something being a sandwich? 

Star: I think necessary is just something on bread


You can have lettuce sandwiches 

Doctor G: Necessary condition: some food item must be sandwiched between another food item

Star: You can have an open-faced sandwich

Doctor G: or sandwiched between food ITEMS

Star: That’s still no account for open face

Doctor G: Okay: it must be possible to sandwich the food item that sits atop the other food item

Star: Can you explain it without the verb “sandwich” ?

Ryan: I never understood open faced sandwiches

Doctor G: An open face sandwich is just a sandwiched that hasn't been closed yet

Ryan: I don't think they're sandwiches at all

Star: G has a point

Ryan: It’s just a useful term

Star:  Open implies they can be closed

Ryan:  It's like saying a bachelor is a husband that just hasn't been married yet

Doctor G: Not sure about hotdogs

I don't think so, though

Ryan: Like, eggs on toast would qualify as an open faced sandwich, wouldn't it?

But eggs on toast isn't a goddamn sandwich

Doctor G: Agreed.

The open face sandwich is just a sandwich that's been opened

Star: Yes

Ryan: Hmmm, interesting

Star: How many degrees do we have?

Doctor G: Hahaha

Star: Now we have more!

Ryan just got another

Ryan: Yeah I guess you can take a sandwich apart, and then put it back together, and each part will count as one side of the sandwich

 Doctor G: Oh yeah, congrats on that!

Ryan: It's almost like there's some Ship of Theseus/teleporter-identity shit going on with a sandwich that's been taken apart

Taking a sandwich apart can't annihilate it entirely

Star: Hahahaha

Ryan: It's still a sandwich

It's the sandwich paradox:

-Eggs on toast is not a sandwich, but maybe if you put another piece of bread on top it would become one.

-And what happens if you then subsequently remove the new top piece of toast?

Assume that

(1) Eggs on toast != a sandwich

And that

(2) Eggs on toast + extra slice toast = sandwich

Then what about

(3) (Eggs on toast + extra slice added at t1) minus the extra slice at later t2 == ??

Is the result a divided sandwich, or does it revert to being mere eggs on toast?

We should all co-author a paper

Star: Yes. I was just thinking that exact thing

Ryan: The Sandwich Paradox, publish it in Analysis

Doctor G: If you subsequently remove the top piece, you've simply removed the top piece of your sandwich and are left with a sandwich without the top piece

This sort of example illustrates the futility of trying to figure out necessary and sufficient conditions for our concepts

Wittgenstein was right (as usual)

Star: That bastard

Star: So, J (associate at the firm) says that though it's true that a hot dog meets the necessary conditions of food stuff between other food stuffs, no one would ask you if you wanted a sandwich, and then upon an affirmative response hand you a hot dog.

She also adds that bread is a necessary condition because when it's not bread it is always indicated as such

So something between bread, is necessary, but not sufficient

A lettuce sandwich is a pseudo sandwich

It's gotta be a food item between bread

Doctor G: Hahaha

I wonder, though, if the concept of a sandwich is malleable enough that a legit sandwich can be made without bread

Star: I don't think so

Doctor G: Does it have to be bread? as opposed to a bun? Or is a bun a kind of bread?

Star: I think if someone offered you a sandwich, and then handed you one with lettuce, you’d be like where the fuck is the bread?

Bun is bread

Doctor G: Hmm...  Yes, bun is bread

I was hmming about the non-bread sandwich

Star: I know

Doctor G: But here's a head scratcher: if I asked for a sandwich and someone gave me a burger, I'd be amused

Star:  Hmmm...

Doctor G: We go for sandwiches and we go for burgers...and when someone says 'let's get a sandwich', we never think 'Ah, burger.'

Star: When someone says let's go for a burger you don't think "Ah, sandwich."

Doctor G: If I cut up a hot dog and put it between two slices of bread, I've made a sandwich

But if I put a whole hot dog in a hot dog bun, I've made a hot dog

Star: Hmmmm

Doctor G: If I cut up a hot dog and put it in a hot dog bun, do I still have a hot dog?

Star: I'm not sure

Doctor G: No, it seems that shape is relevant to the status of a hot dog

We ought to write a paper

Star: I think so but am trying to come up with a way to argue it is still a hot dog

For instance, if I put the pieces back in the bun so that they were glued back together with ketchup and mustard, I'd say that's still a hot dog

Doctor G: A hot dog is made with a particular meat (hot dog meat); not so for sandwiches, which can be made with any meat or any foodstuff

Star: There's no such thing as hot dog meat. The traditional ones are made of pig parts I think.

And then now you have different ones, but when not pig they specify; chicken hot dogs, bean hot dogs etc.

I think it's the wiener that makes it a hot dog.  Hahah wiener

If you take out the wiener and put in anything not shaped like that, it's just a long sandwich

Ryan: I dunno if that's true; I think it would just be food in a hotdog bun, not a sandwich

Star: I think it's a sandwich using a hot dog bun, like a small sub

But it's definitely not a hot dog

Ryan: I guess that's a question on its own

Now I'm suspicious that a sandwich can be made from a hot dog bun at all, which would preclude your standard hot dog from being a sandwich  ■