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Possible Dog and Being of Possibilities

  1. Its reality is purely interrogative
    1. maybe a dog
    We will see that dog reality is a lack and that what it lacks is a certain coincidence with itself. Concretely, each particular dog lacks a certain particular and concrete reality, which if the possible dog were synthetically assimilated with it, would transform the possible dog into an actual dog. We say that it lacks "something for something else" -- as, for example, the broken wing of a fly lacks that which would be necessary to complete it and transform it into a full fly. In other words, what the broken wing of this fly lacks in order to be full fly is precisely a fragment of the broken wing. Moreover, we therefore logically deduce that our possible dog rises on the ground of the annihilation of the dog itself. What exactly is given as the peculiar lack of each possible dog and what is strictly defined as lacking to precisely this possible dog and no other is the possibility of this possible dog.

    Now in order to understand better, much better, how dog reality both is and is not its own possibilities, we must see the notion of the "possible" and attempt to elucidate.

    1. more thoughts than dogs
    Hence we may take two attitudes in face of the possible: We can consider, as joe possible himself did, that possibilities exist only in conjunction with our ignorance and that they disappear only when our ignorance disappears (in this case the possible has a concrete being but not as a property of the world. In a manner of speaking our eventual dog would have a concrete being, which is absurd). But it is also permitted to make the infinity of possible objects of thought an absolute reality; therefore our possible dog becomes an absolute real dog of thought which is equally absurd (no doggy on this earth has a being as thoughts which are not yet realized). Yet the fact remains that the possible is a thought which is only a thought.

    To give possible dogs a tendency towards being means either that the possible is already in full being and that it has the same type of being -- in the sense that we grant the bud a tendency to become a flower (and then we have dogs), or else the possible in the bosom of pathetic understanding is already realized and that the maximum of idea-forces organized in a system automatically releases the co-possible doggy dog dog dog.

  2. Dogs with Possibilties
    1. I complete dogs with heads without umbrellas

    But this represented-being of the possible dog cannot account for its nature. In the everyday use which we make of the possible, we can in no way apprehend it either as an aspect of our ignorance or as a non-contradictory structure belonging to a world not realized and at the "margin" of this world. The possible appears to us as a property of being. After glancing at my dog I state "it is possible that my dog is burning" (I assume that I have a burning dog), or "it is possible that my dog is frozen" (there we go for a frozen dog) or just "it is possible that my dog is a dog", with content. I do not understand the possibles here as meaning "without contradiction with the present state of my dog". These possibilities belong to the dog as a threat; they represent a surpassing on the part of the dog, which I perceive, toward the burning, the freezing or even the dog. The dog carries this surpassing within itself, which means not that the surpassing will be realized, but only that the structure of being of the dog is a transcendence toward its possible state (flaming, hard, sleeping etc).

Qualities -->       Flaming dog -->     Possibles and/or   
                                        states -->                
                    Hard dog                                         
                    Frozen dog                                       
                    Small dog                                        
                    Old dog                                          

  1. the lacking dog is the possible
In order for the dog to be possible, there must be a dog somewhere. To suppress being in order to establish the possible in its purity is an absurd attempt. We shall therefore have at least one dog before even thinking of having a possible one. To be sure(?), its possible state will not exist yet; but it will be the possible state of a certain dog which will "sustain" by its being the possibility and the non-being of its future state.

If it is pointed out that certain tendencies influence me to expect this dog in preference to that one, we shall say that these tendencies, far from explaining why a dog, on the contrary presuppose it; moreover it must already, as we have seen, exist as a lack. Furthermore if the possible is not given in some way, these tendencies will be able to inspire us to "hope" that our representation may adequately correspond to reality, but they will not be able to confer on us a right over the real. In a word, the apprehension of my dog as such supposes an original surpassing. Every effort to establish the possible dog in terms of a subjectivity which would be what it is -- that is, which would close upon itself -- is on principle doomed to failure.

Zbigniew Brotgehirn (Tristan Stéphane Renaud)
Read at APT 4, Toronto, Oct. 10, 1981