more from Hilary Putnam

Single Idea 5819

[catalogued under 10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 4. Conceivable as Possible / a. Conceivable as possible]

Full Idea

Conceivability is no proof of possibility.

Gist of Idea

Conceivability is no proof of possibility


Hilary Putnam (Meaning and Reference [1973], p.159)

Book Reference

'Meaning and Reference', ed/tr. Moore,A.W. [OUP 1993], p.159

A Reaction

This strikes me as a really basic truth which all novice philosophers should digest. It led many philosophers, especially rationalists, into all sorts of ill-founded claims about what is possible or necessary. Zombies, for instance…