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a) inheritance and virtual functions
b) function overloading
are all built-in mechanisms for the *creation* of new polymorphic components in a C++ program. These casts simply *are* polymorphic components: you have no means of extending the set.
You could argue that you can use them (especially the void*) to create new polymorphic components, but then *I* wouldn't call it a built-in mechanism any more (it becomes a Turing-trivial argument).
Still, I appreciate the observation. I hadn't thought of the casts in this light before.
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