The judgment, " not-being is thinkable," cited by Aristotle; the judgment, " A square circle is impossible," cited by Herbart; the judgment, " A centaur is a fiction of the poets," cited by Mill.
- As Aristotle remarked both in the De Interpretatione and in the Sophistici Elenchi, " not-being is thinkable " does not mean " not-being exists."
The English thinkers influenced by Hegel are inclined to assert mechanism unconditionally, as the very expression of reason - the only thinkable form of order.
Of such primitive principles, the absolutely necessary conditions of possible cognition, only three are thinkable - one perfectly unconditioned both in form and matter; a second, unconditioned in form but not in matter; a third, unconditioned in matter but not in form.
But of these universal propositions the first imperfectly expresses a categorical belief in existing things, the second in thinkable things, and the third in nameable things, while the fourth is a slipshod categorical expression of the hypothetical belief, " If any candidates arrive late they are fined."