more from Peter van Inwagen

Single Idea 17572

[catalogued under 10. Modality / C. Sources of Modality / 5. Modality from Actuality]

Full Idea

A proof of actuality is a proof of possibility, but that does not invariably explain the possibility whose existence it demonstrates, for we may know that a certain thing is actual (and hence possible) but have no explanation of how it could be possible.

Gist of Idea

Actuality proves possibility, but that doesn't explain how it is possible


Peter van Inwagen (Material Beings [1990], 12)

Book Reference

Inwagen,Peter van: 'Material Beings' [Cornell 1995], p.120

A Reaction

I like this, because my project is to see all of philosophy in terms of explanation rather than of description.

Related Idea

Idea 7950 Philosophy tries to explain how the actual is possible, given that it seems impossible [Macdonald]