One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Aristotle on "Infinity"

Belief in the existence of the infinite comes mainly from five considerations:
     (1) From the nature of time -- for it is infinite. (2) From the division of magnitudes -- for the mathematicians also use the notion of the infinite. (3) If coming to be and passing away do not give out, it is only because that from which things come to be is infinite. (4) Because the limited always finds its limit in something, so that there must be no limit, if everything is limited by something different from itself. (5) Most of all, a reason which is peculiarly appropriate and presents the difficulty that is felt by everybody -- not only number but also mathematical magnitudes and what is outside the heaven are supposed to be infinite because they never give out in our thought.
     The last fact (that what is outside is infinite) leads people to suppose that body also is infinite, and that there is an infinite number of worlds. Why should there be body in one part of the void rather than in another? 
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