I have an argument that claims everything is possible. For, if something is impossible, it is not a thing at all. "Going faster than the speed of light" is merely a statement, not a thing at all. It does not describe an actual state of the universe. So, is this argument a good argument? And have any philosophers advanced this argument?

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    How is this not a definition (for all X if X is a thing then X is possible) instead of an argument? – Philip Klöcking Jan 6 at 17:19
  • Yes, if a "thing" exists, then its existence is possible. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Jan 6 at 17:24
  • So, when you speak of "everything" there is an ambiguity between existing objects and "concepts" like unicorn. Unicorns do not exist: are they possible? Maybe. Square circles do not exist? Are they possible: no. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Jan 6 at 18:39

If you just restrain the "things" category to what is possible, then "everything is possible" is a mere tautology that says nothing more than "every possible occurence is possible".

But it is not what people who say "some things are not possible" mean by "thing", obviously because they include "going faster than C" into the "thing" category. What they mean in fact, if we use your vocabulary, is "some statements are not possible", which at least says something of some interest.

It is the goal of analytic philosophy to criticize language and identify the faulty reasoning it's ambiguity can provoke.

I also must note that you are ignoring the case of states of the universe whose possibility is nor established nor disproven. Are they thing?


We can put forward ideas that do not or can not take on a physical form. If we are to say that these are not a thing then it behoves us to say how we are to describe these ideas, since the fact that we can formulate these ideas can not be denied.


The first legitimate question here is:

  • What does it mean "possible" ?

Possible for whom and for what.

Parmenides says:

  • ... you will not find thinking apart from what is

If we are talking about the possibility like a way of thinking about something then of course all things which are though exist and which aren't - don't.

But again, turning to your question. Is it really possible for you to fly without planes and things like that?

The fact that you could fly is a thing, but you cannot.

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