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Compossibility is a philosophical concept from Leibniz. According to Leibniz a complete individual thing (for example a person) is characterized by all its properties, and these determine its relations with other individuals. The existence of one individual may contradict the existence of another. A possible world is made up of individuals that are compossible -- that is, individuals that can exist together. Possible worlds exist as possibilities in the mind of God. One world among them is realized as the actual world, and this is the most perfect one.

Alain Badiou borrows this concept in defining philosophy as the creation of a "space of compossibility" for heterogeneous truths.

Gilles Deleuze uses it in Cinema II taking support from Leibniz's explanation of the problem of future contingents. He then creates the notion of in-compossible, and drawing on Jorge Luis Borges explains that several mutually contradictory worlds do exist in fact.

The word itself, if not the concept, won some notoriety for being marked for elimination from the Collins dictionary.[1]

References

  1. ^ "How you can help to save some cherished words from oblivion". London: Times Online. 2008-09-22. http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article4799560.ece. Retrieved 2008-10-01.  

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