more from Sydney Shoemaker

Single Idea 15098

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

Full Idea

We have abundant empirical evidence that when we can imagine some phenomenal situation, e.g., imagine things appearing certain ways, such a situation could actually exist.

Gist of Idea

Empirical evidence shows that imagining a phenomenon can show it is possible


Sydney Shoemaker (Causal and Metaphysical Necessity [1998], VI)

Book Reference

Shoemaker,Sydney: 'Identity, Cause and Mind' [OUP 2003], p.423

A Reaction

There seem to be good reasons for holding the opposite view too. We can imagine gold appearing to be all sorts of colours, but that doesn't make it possible. What does empirical evidence really tell us here?