Plausible Vs. Possible
When it comes to two terms that are often thrown around together, but may have distinctly different meanings, plausible and possible are high on the list. Although these two terms are frequently used interchangeably in everyday language, they have slightly different connotations when it comes to the realm of logic and reasoning.
What is Plausible?
Plausible refers to something that is likely to be true or reasonable based on the available evidence or the surrounding circumstances. In other words, something is considered plausible when it seems to make sense based on the information that is currently available or when it is consistent with prevailing beliefs or expectations.
For example, if someone tells you that they saw a person with wings flying in the sky, you would probably not consider this to be a plausible statement because there is no evidence to support it, and it goes against our understanding of the world based on scientific knowledge. However, if someone tells you that they saw a bird flying in the sky, this would be considered a highly plausible statement because it aligns with your understanding of basic biology and the natural world.
What is Possible?
Possible, on the other hand, is a more general term that refers simply to the existence or occurrence of something that is not impossible. In other words, if something is possible, it means that there is no logical or physical barrier that would prevent it from happening, even if it would be highly unlikely or, in some cases, impossible to occur.
For example, it is possible that the Earth might be hit by a huge asteroid one day, even though the chances of this happening are extremely low. Similarly, it is possible that a person could spontaneously teleport from one location to another, although there is no scientific evidence to suggest that this is even remotely possible.
Plausible vs. Possible: What’s the Difference?
While plausible and possible are often used as synonyms, they can have different meanings depending on the context in which they are used. In general, plausible implies that something is likely to be true or reasonable, while possible simply means that something is not impossible.
For example, if you are deciding whether or not to invest in a particular stock, you might look at the company’s financial reports to see if their profits are increasing. If the company has had consistent growth over the past few years and there are no major red flags, you might conclude that it is plausible that the company will continue to perform well in the future. However, it is still possible that the company could encounter unforeseen challenges or that there could be changes in the economic landscape that could negatively impact their stock value.
Similarly, if you are exploring different vacation destinations, you might look at what activities are available in each location and how much they cost. If a certain destination seems to have a lot of appealing options that are within your budget, you might conclude that it is a plausible choice. However, there is still a chance that something unexpected could happen, like a major storm that disrupts travel plans or a sudden surge in tourism that drives up prices.
In this way, plausible and possible can be viewed as two different points on a spectrum of certainty, with plausible being closer to the “likely” end of the spectrum and possible being closer to the “uncertain” end.
FAQs about Plausible Vs. Possible
Q: Is it possible for something to be plausible but not possible?
A: Yes, it is possible for something to be plausible based on the available evidence or reasoning, but for there to be some other factor that makes it impossible to occur. For example, it might be plausible for a person to live to be 150 years old based on new medical breakthroughs, but it is currently impossible because no one has yet lived that long.
Q: Can something be possible but not plausible?
A: Yes, it is possible for something to be technically possible, but so unlikely or unsupported by evidence that it is not considered plausible. For example, it is theoretically possible for a person to win the lottery multiple times in a row, but the chances of this happening are so slim that it would not be considered a plausible scenario.
Q: Is there anything that is always both plausible and possible?
A: This is difficult to answer definitively, as plausibility and possibility are often relative to the context in which they are being considered. However, it could be argued that anything that is currently accepted scientific fact, such as the laws of physics or the existence of gravity, would be both plausible and possible based on the evidence and reasoning that supports it.