Single Idea 16582

[catalogued under 10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / b. Conceivable but impossible]

Full Idea

Even if we can feign in our mind that a point swells to a huge bulk and then contracts to a point - imagining something's made from nothing (ex nihilo), and nothing's made from something - still we cannot comprehend how this could be done in nature.

Gist of Idea

We can imagine a point swelling and contracting - but not how this could be done


Thomas Hobbes (De Corpore (Elements, First Section) [1655], 2.08.20)

Book Reference

Hobbes,Thomas: 'Metaphysical Writings', ed/tr. Calkins,Mary Whiton [Open Court 1905], p.66

A Reaction

[compressed] Pasnau notes that this offers two sorts of conceivability, of something happening, and of a reason for it happening. A really nice idea, significant (I think) for scientific essentialists, who say possibilities are fewer than you think.