Friday, July 19, 2019

The Structure of Possibility :: Philosophy Logic Papers

The Structure of Possibility I call attention to the following theses concerning possibility. 1) Anything that has become actual must have been possible in the period of time immediately preceding its actualization. 2) The logically possible is a conception, and conceptions exist within the mind. 3) The possible is not a mere name. 4) The possible is not a mental entity and that alone. 5) Every possibility, whether mental entity or not must be, or image, an ontological entity, real although not (yet) actual. 6) For all we know logical possibility is the sufficient condition of ontological possibility. 7) Philosophers who lack the category of ontological possibility nonetheless refer to it as an implicit, if hidden, feature of their systems. 8) In some part of the period of time preceding its actualization, an ontological possibility becomes a nascent actuality, and external consistency a necessary condition for nascency. 9) The rise or fall of energy level through directed energy vectors, on human and nonhuman l evels, is the third condition for the actualizing of possibilities, or for their failure to actualize. I call your attention to ten theses concerning possibility which seem to me to be defensible: (1) Anything that has become actual must have been possible in the period of time immediately preceding its actualization. (2) The logically possible is a conception, and conceptions exist within the mind. (3) The possible is not a mere name. (4) The possible is not a mental entity and that alone. (5) Every possibility, whether mental entity or not must be, or image, an ontological entity, real although not (yet) actual. (6) For all we know logical possibility is the sufficient condition of ontological possibility. (7) Philosophers who lack the category of ontological possibility nonetheless refer to it as an implicit, if hidden, feature of their systems. (8) In some part of the period of time preceding its actualization, an ontological possibility becomes a nascent actuality, and external consistency a necessary condition for nascency. (9) The rise or fall of energy level through directed energy vectors, on human and non-human levels, is the third condition for the actualizing of possibilities, or for their failure to actualize. (10) Ontological possibilities have the form of the future. I shall now comment on (1) through (6), and (10). (1) Unable to think of any conditions which would falsify, or even qualify, I take it to be necessarily true. For simplicity’s sake alone, I insist on the necessity of its possibility in an immediately preceding time, while not denying that it may also have been possible in a longer stretch of time prior to its having become actual.

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