It seems like we can conceive of self contradictory things that can exist. e.g. the proposition expressed by "this sentence is false" is self contradictory but I don't seem to have any trouble understanding the sentence. e.g. Lazerowitz says that there it is straight-forwardly true that self contradictory propositions "exist" if we mean "declarative sentence".
However, what about self contradictory things that's parts can't really exist? I would say we may be able to vaguely imagine them, but not fully grasp and conceive of them or their meaning.
Am I right?
Supposing inconceivability amounts to lack of knowledge, it would make sense to me to say that things that are self contradictory to us must exist empirically to be conceived of, to be known, rationally or empirically.
Maybe that's why triangles without 180 degrees of angles were, like round squares, thought inconceivable: because mathematicians couldn't see how it might apply to the world.
[Hilbert] was also partly inspired by work on non-Euclidean geometry, which at the the time was still completely controversial since it didn't seem physical. Now we know that it is physical
But that is complete guess work.
The example I am thinking of, why I ask, are Ron Silliman's poetic "effects", as they appear in his 1970s book The New Sentence. You can find the following claims:
- a device changes the whole
- there is really no such thing as a whole
- effects are aggregated devices
- effects can be self contradictory
I believe it follows that any "effect" (so defined) may be more than our conception of them, may be working outside of our conscious processes and conceptions, if the question in the title is answered with a "no".