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Actualism and Possibilism

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Compare and contrast actualism and possibilism. Include references.

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The expert compares and contrasts the two concepts actualism and possibilism. References included.

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Actualism and Possibilism

To understand the thesis of actualism, consider the following example. Imagine a race of beings -- call them 'Aliens' -- that is very different from any life-form that actually exists anywhere in the universe; different enough, in fact, that no actually existing thing could have been an Alien, any more than a given gorilla could have been a fruitfly. Now, even though there are no Aliens, it seems intuitively true that there could have been such things. After all, life could have evolved very differently than the way it did in fact, differently enough, at least, that other kinds of things might have existed. So why is it true that there could have been Aliens when in fact there are none, and when, moreover, nothing that ...

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