Dale Tuggy

Dale Tuggy is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches courses in analytic theology, philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of philosophy.

6 Comments

  1. Dale
    June 3, 2008 @ 1:10 pm

    I agree there’s a difference – something could be absolutely impossible (metaphysically impossible) but not a formal contradiction for us, because the claim is (1) unrepresentable in any of our logics, (2) misrepresented in our logic, or just misunderstood by us, so as to seem consistent.

    “But it makes perfect sense on other metaphysical views”…
    Sure. But I don’t think that what we mean by “metaphysical impossibility” is something which is relative to a viewpoint. IF you’re right, then said scenario is impossible. If your opponents are right, it’s possible after all. (I’d be surprised if we actually disagree about any of this.)

  2. Alexander R Pruss
    May 31, 2008 @ 6:30 pm

    I think there may be a difference between logical contradiction and a metaphysical impossibility. The statue case is metaphysically impossible on my controversial metaphysics which rejects the existence of parts and of multiple objects with the same matter. But it makes perfect sense on other metaphysical views, ones which do not appear to be logically impossible.

    For instance, it seems perfectly sensible (though false) to say: “Leibniz’s monadological metaphysics is necessarily false in general, but it is correct as applied to the case of the soul.”

  3. Dale
    May 31, 2008 @ 1:05 pm

    I can see why you’d say that – although Leftow’s example involves the concept of a “life stream”. I posted on Leftow’s views here.

  4. M. Anderson
    May 31, 2008 @ 3:51 am

    This does seem to be similar to Leftow’s time travel analogy; has that been discussed at all on this site?

  5. Dale
    May 30, 2008 @ 1:52 pm

    That’s an interesting analogy. Problem is, it isn’t too hard to come up with a visual portrayal of a logical impossibility. A great example of this is changing the past – not mere time travel, mind you, but changing the past. e.g. you – no, make it Vin Diesel – gets into a time machine and tells those German officers who tried to assassinate Hitler to put the whole charge in the briefcase. The result? Hitler is killed. So, Hitler both was (the “first time around”) and wasn’t (with Diesel intervening) killed (at the same place at the same time).

  6. Scott
    May 30, 2008 @ 5:31 am

    Anybody remember the first time the technique of ‘double exposure’ was used in the film business. Woody Allen used this in his Annie Hall (1977). Woody was laying on a bed, and then all of a sudden a ghost of himself got up and walked around the room at the same time Woody was still laying on the bed. Now, imagine that a third Woody in the room. Now, imagine that all three occupy the exact same space. That’s kinda what is going on here, no?

    If it can happen in the movies, how much more could God do/be it? :o)