Philosophy: Conceivability and Possibility

Written By: Damien Knight

What is the relation between conceivability and possibility?

Well most things we believe possible are also conceivable. In the same that which is conceivable is often possible. For example I will use time travel. We can conceive or imagine that time travel is possible and it is in the sense that right now you and I are traveling through time from the present and into the future. But could one possibly travel into the past from the future. While the idea has been conceived it has not been proven possible. Still If a space ship were fast enough to travel the speed of light then maybe it would be possible to travel through time itself.

Now let’s take the meanings of the word possible and conceivable and examine them. Conceivable means to be able to be grasped or imagined. Many things are conceivable that are not possible. Humans sprouting wings for example. Possible means it is able to be done, that it is within the capacity of someone or something. Most things if not all that are possible are conceivable. Airplane flight for example is both conceivable and possible.

Therefore the relation between what is possible and conceivable is that all things conceivable are not possible but all thing possible have been conceived first.

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