Is there a term for properties that cannot be predicated of existing things. Or one for properties that can?

1 Answer 1


See The Epistemology of Modality. We can sey that the first one are (logical or metaphysical) impossible properties, while the second one are possible.

  • ah! Interesting idea. May 31, 2014 at 6:56
  • hi again... so a property that can only be predicated of things that don't exist is metaphysically impossible?
    – user6917
    May 31, 2014 at 13:35
  • @user3293056 - of course, is only a sugegstion. May we say that the property of being faster than light is phyiscally impossible, while the property of being higher than itself is logically impossible. Does it make sense ? May 31, 2014 at 15:09
  • Note though, that there's an important debate about whether properties are sparse or abundant. (Roughly, abundant property theorists say every true subject/predicate sentence has a property in virtue of which it is true. "Socrates is bald" is true because the object Socrates has the property baldness) If you take a sparse property view, on the other hand, you wouldn't want to say that there were things like impossible properties, I think. Perhaps somebody who knows more can correct me though.
    – user5172
    May 31, 2014 at 15:12

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