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« "Theories and Their Interpretations" | Main | Rules »

March 10, 2006

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hobbes

Tough call. How relevent should our imaginative capacity be in judging ontological truth?

I wonder if your victim could imagine things that are not just 'silly' but that we might consider logically impossible? Like a circle with 2 sides? I can say I imagine this thing - and let's be honest, how would you have understood my last sentence unless you too could at least understand what this means - but this isn't the same as properly imagining it...

Aaron Boyden

How relevant our imaginative capacity should be in judging ontological truth is the central topic of a reading group I'm in (we're working through a collection on conceivability and possibility). Some would say it shouldn't be relevant, of course, but some would challenge whether we have enough to go on without that. I'll probably have more posts about this as the reading group continues.

On your circle example, I'd be inclined to say such a thing can't be imagined. Inconsistent things can be described, but not imagined, at least according to me. A quick check with my victim yeilded the response that, indeed, impossible things can't be imagined, though she felt it necessary to comment that recently she'd been finding some actual things impossible to imagine (those quantum computers which get answers without running).

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