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The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 13, 1998


William L. Reese
Pages 65-70

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 levels, is the third condition for the actualizing of possibilities, or for their failure to actualize.

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