Realisable possibilities

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ughaibu
 
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 05:38 am
Today, this was posted:
Extrain;162103 wrote:
I don't understand what "realisable" means for the purposes of this philosophical discourse. You KNOW I've had a problem with that word since you first introduced it. No one knows what it is supposed to mean, not even YOU.
Personally, I dont see any difficulty in understanding what is meant by a realisable possibility. Nevertheless, I'm informed that neither I nor anyone else knows what this phrase means. I would be interested to know whether readers find this phrase obscure, unclear, readily comprehensible, or whatever.
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 03:37 pm
@ughaibu,
Realisable; something of which is ready and able to be realised.
Am i missing something?
Realsiable possibility; something of which is ready and able to be realised that is possible or probable.
What is the beef?
Perhaps it has something to do with the thread, which thread is it?
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 04:43 pm
@ughaibu,
It's kind of vague.

If it's a possibility, that means it can happen. But, something that has a .000000001% chance of happening is still "possible". So I guess a realizable possibility would be a significantly likely one? Or one that we had some control over?

But the cut off point is in no way defined.
 
Amperage
 
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 06:22 pm
@Jebediah,
I would think that a realizable possibility would be a possibility actually capable of happening.

Me taking flight by flapping my arms is not a realizable possibility.
 
Jebediah
 
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 06:51 pm
@Amperage,
Amperage;162241 wrote:
I would think that a realizable possibility would be a possibility actually capable of happening.

Me taking flight by flapping my arms is not a realizable possibility.


But it isn't a possibility at all. So you could just say "Me taking flight by flapping my arms is not a possibility".
 
Amperage
 
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 06:57 pm
@Jebediah,
Jebediah;162244 wrote:
But it isn't a possibility at all. So you could just say "Me taking flight by flapping my arms is not a possibility".
true. (16 characters)
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Mon 10 May, 2010 04:37 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;162117 wrote:
Today, this was posted:Personally, I dont see any difficulty in understanding what is meant by a realisable possibility. Nevertheless, I'm informed that neither I nor anyone else knows what this phrase means. I would be interested to know whether readers find this phrase obscure, unclear, readily comprehensible, or whatever.


I would take it to mean 'not contradicting logical possibility' which, it is understood, not even G*d can do.

If you mean that, then I have no problem understanding it.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 10 May, 2010 06:58 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;162339 wrote:
I would take it to mean 'not contradicting logical possibility' which, it is understood, not even G*d can do.

If you mean that, then I have no problem understanding it.


Yes, of course, everything turns on what is meant by "possibility" in the phrase, "realizable possibility". Was going to the Moon a "realizable possibility in the 18th century? No. Was it in the later 20th century? Yes. "Realizable possibility" might simply mean "technical possibility" which is, of course, relative to what advances in technology have been made. But, as jeeprs says, it might mean logical possibility. So what is a realizable possibility in one sense, might not be one in a different sense (of "possibility").
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Mon 10 May, 2010 07:48 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;162117 wrote:
Today, this was posted:

Extrain;162103 wrote:
I don't understand what "realisable" means for the purposes of this philosophical discourse. You KNOW I've had a problem with that word since you first introduced it. No one knows what it is supposed to mean, not even YOU.


Personally, I dont see any difficulty in understanding what is meant by a realisable possibility. Nevertheless, I'm informed that neither I nor anyone else knows what this phrase means. I would be interested to know whether readers find this phrase obscure, unclear, readily comprehensible, or whatever.


"Realizable" means "able to be achieved or made to happen", and "possibility" means "a thing that may happen or be the case". The phrase "realizable possibility" is redundant. In other words, if a thing is realizable, it is a possibility, and if it is a possibility, it is realizable. They are synonyms.

Now, those are the common meanings of the terms, not some specialized meanings. We then may discuss different types of possibility, such as logical possibility or physical possibility. But we can equally talk about something being logically realizable or physically realizable.

Perhaps, though, you had in mind a "realistic possibility", which would indicate something with some degree of likely success, rather than being merely possible.
 
ughaibu
 
Reply Mon 10 May, 2010 08:12 pm
@Pyrrho,
Thanks for the replies. I think the general view is pretty much that the phrase is understandable, though could do with explication. I disagree with Jeeprs and Pyrrho, as not all logical possibilities are realisable, construction of uncountable sets, for example.
 
Extrain
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 03:43 am
@ughaibu,
Pyrrho;162369 wrote:
"Realizable" means "able to be achieved or made to happen", and "possibility" means "a thing that may happen or be the case". The phrase "realizable possibility" is redundant. In other words, if a thing is realizable, it is a possibility, and if it is a possibility, it is realizable. They are synonyms.

Now, those are the common meanings of the terms, not some specialized meanings. We then may discuss different types of possibility, such as logical possibility or physical possibility. But we can equally talk about something being logically realizable or physically realizable.

Perhaps, though, you had in mind a "realistic possibility", which would indicate something with some degree of likely success, rather than being merely possible.


This is Extrain. In another thread, U tried to get me to accept this distinction without further explanation or merit, and accused me of being stubborn for not accepting this vague notion.

In any case, U's view is that what is physically possible is a subset of what is logically possible, and that what is realisable is a subset of what is physically possible. But I still can't make sense of the latter alleged set-theoretic distinction between physical possibility and realisability. I had already pointed out that "Realisable possibility" is obviously redundant and needs further explanation because it doesn't define any limits to what a "realisable" possibility is. Given the logic of U's use of subsets and sets, if X is not physically possible, then X is not realisably possible. But if X is not realisable, then surely X could still be physically possible; just as what is not physically possible, though not necessarily logically possible, could still be logically possible....so what on earth does it even mean to say that "everything realisable is a subset of everything physically possible"?:perplexed:
It doesn't make any sense without some kind of definition--perhaps it means whatever falls into a range of feasible alternatives or something. probability?

Here are couple of my remarks very similar about that...

Extrain;162566 wrote:
You proposes this notion of "realisable possibility" but you can't even define it. If something is realisable, then it is also possible. So the notion is redundant. Do you mean physically realisable? Logically realisable?


Extrain;162091 wrote:
There is no inference to the conclusion that the agent could not have done otherwise, either. So what's your point? The point is moot. After all, if X is not realisable, X could still be physically possible.

The problem is that you have not even defined the limit to what is, and is not, realisable.
X is logically possible: X is does not violate the law of non-contradiction.
X is physically possible: X does not violate the laws of nature.
X is realisable: *NO DEFINITION*

So I honestly don't know what "a realized possibility" is supposed to mean other than that something either is, or is not, the case. And that the limit to a "realisable possibility" just means it is not possible for something to be something it is not, or to be doing something it is not actually doing.


Extrain;162103 wrote:
I am merely running with the logical syntax of your saying what is realisable is a "subset" of what is physically possible. I understand the logic of how subsets within sets is supposed to work, but I don't understand what "realisable" means for the purposes of this philosophical discourse. You KNOW I've had a problem with that word since you first introduced it. No one knows what it is supposed to mean, not even YOU.


---------- Post added 05-11-2010 at 03:57 AM ----------

sometime sun;162213 wrote:
Realisable; something of which is ready and able to be realised.
Am i missing something?
Realsiable possibility; something of which is ready and able to be realised that is possible or probable.
What is the beef?
Perhaps it has something to do with the thread, which thread is it?


It was my discussion with U in the context of free will and determinism.

And that's the dictionary definition of the term "realisable." Of course, we can all understand that.

The problem is that U has explictly countenance that realisable possibility is a subset of physical possibility, which in turn is, of course, a subset of logical possibility. But this is where the notion gets confusing.
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 06:34 am
@ughaibu,
ughaibu;162117 wrote:
Today, this was posted:Personally, I dont see any difficulty in understanding what is meant by a realisable possibility. Nevertheless, I'm informed that neither I nor anyone else knows what this phrase means. I would be interested to know whether readers find this phrase obscure, unclear, readily comprehensible, or whatever.


A realizable possibility is a possibility that actually exist.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 06:53 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;162885 wrote:
A realizable possibility is a possibility that actually exist.


Hmm. And what possibilities do not exist? I think that U. means by a realizable possibility (and this is but a guess, since how can anyone do more than guess at what U. means?) is what we often call (or I do anyway) a "real possibility". That is, as contrasted with just a logical possibility, i.e. not self-contradictory. Not only what only might be the case, but what may be the case. For instance: That there was water on Mars (before we discovered that there was) was a real possibility, and not just a logical possibility. "Real possibility" often means, epistemic possibility, not just logical possibility. To claim that X is epistemically possible, is to claim that for all one knows, X exists. In other words, for X to be epistemically possible, there cannot be any good reason to think that X does not exist. Such as, that X is self-contradictory.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 07:13 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;162888 wrote:
Hmm. And what possibilities do not exist? I think that U. means by a realizable possibility (and this is but a guess, since how can anyone do more than guess at what U. means?) is what we often call (or I do anyway) a "real possibility". That is, as contrasted with just a logical possibility, i.e. not self-contradictory. Not only what only might be the case, but what may be the case. For instance: That there was water on Mars (before we discovered that there was) was a real possibility, and not just a logical possibility. "Real possibility" often means, epistemic possibility, not just logical possibility. To claim that X is epistemically possible, is to claim that for all one knows, X exists. In other words, for X to be epistemically possible, there cannot be any good reason to think that X does not exist. Such as, that X is self-contradictory.


But if that is the case, then the idea of a "realizable possibility" would not be a proper subset of what is physically possible, unless "physically possible" were taken to mean not what actually is physically possible, but what is believed to be physically possible. Something might be epistemically possible without being physically possible if one does not know the correct or accurate laws of physics. (Of course, it may be that Extrain is incorrect in asserting what U. says is a proper subset of what. [The "may" in that sentence is referring to an epistemic possibility, as I have not bothered to go and read that other thread which is being referred to.])

I think, though, we had better simply let U. say what is meant by the cryptic phrase, "realizable possibility", as on the face of it, it is redundant, but is close to saying something that isn't (such as your "real possibility" or my "realistic possibility").
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 07:26 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;162901 wrote:
But if that is the case, then the idea of a "realizable possibility" would not be a proper subset of what is physically possible, unless "physically possible" were taken to mean not what actually is physically possible, but what is believed to be physically possible. Something might be epistemically possible without being physically possible if one does not know the correct or accurate laws of physics. (Of course, it may be that Extrain is incorrect in asserting what U. says is a proper subset of what. [The "may" in that sentence is referring to an epistemic possibility, as I have not bothered to go and read that other thread which is being referred to.])

.


No. Only that what is physically possible may not be technically possible. Which is, of course true. But, of course, U's "realizable possibility" is equivocal as between the weaker, physical possibility, and the stronger, technical possibility. Epistemic possibility cuts across physical and technical possibility.
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 07:53 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;162888 wrote:
Hmm. And what possibilities do not exist? I think that U. means by a realizable possibility (and this is but a guess, since how can anyone do more than guess at what U. means?) is what we often call (or I do anyway) a "real possibility". That is, as contrasted with just a logical possibility, i.e. not self-contradictory. Not only what only might be the case, but what may be the case. For instance: That there was water on Mars (before we discovered that there was) was a real possibility, and not just a logical possibility. "Real possibility" often means, epistemic possibility, not just logical possibility. To claim that X is epistemically possible, is to claim that for all one knows, X exists. In other words, for X to be epistemically possible, there cannot be any good reason to think that X does not exist. Such as, that X is self-contradictory.



No. I imagine all logically possible universes. A subset of those are real, and the rest are not. The former are real possibilities, and the latter are logically possible, but does not exist.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 08:01 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;162915 wrote:
The former are real possibilities, and the latter are logically possible, but does not exist.


What makes the real possibilities, real possibilities? I thought that is the issue.
 
TuringEquivalent
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 08:08 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;162922 wrote:
What makes the real possibilities, real possibilities? I thought that is the issue.



They are real if the subset of all logically possible universes actually exist.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 08:25 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;162926 wrote:
They are real if the subset of all logically possible universes actually exist.


You mean that only what is actual is a real possibility? Hmm. So nothing can be a real possibility unless it is actual. Maybe, but it sort of undermines the point of saying that something is possible. Don't you think? I used to think that some real possibilities were maybe not actual, but that they really could be real for all we knew. For instance, that there are ET's are real possibilities since for all we know, there are ETs. But I guess I won't think that anymore.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 08:36 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;162904 wrote:
Pyrrho;162901 wrote:
But if that is the case, then the idea of a "realizable possibility" would not be a proper subset of what is physically possible, unless "physically possible" were taken to mean not what actually is physically possible, but what is believed to be physically possible. Something might be epistemically possible without being physically possible if one does not know the correct or accurate laws of physics. (Of course, it may be that Extrain is incorrect in asserting what U. says is a proper subset of what. [The "may" in that sentence is referring to an epistemic possibility, as I have not bothered to go and read that other thread which is being referred to.])

.

No. Only that what is physically possible may not be technically possible. Which is, of course true. But, of course, U's "realizable possibility" is equivocal as between the weaker, physical possibility, and the stronger, technical possibility. Epistemic possibility cuts across physical and technical possibility.



I think you are misunderstanding me. What is technically possible is a proper subset of what is physically possible, and what is physically possible is a proper subset of what is logically possible. But what is epistemically possible is not a proper subset of any of these, as what is epistemically possible is dependent upon a particular individual's state of knowledge. It may be that a complex contradiction, for example, may not be recognized as a contradiction by someone, and so it may be epistemically possible for someone.

Basically, the less one knows, the more things are epistemically possible. This explains why people who know little or nothing about how science works often imagine all sorts of silly things are "possible".

So, if "realizable possibility" meant "epistemic possibility", then it would not be a proper subset of what is physically possible.
 
 

 
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