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Philosophical Interpretations$
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Robert J. Fogelin

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780195071627

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019507162X.001.0001

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Hume and Berkeley on the Proofs of Infinite Divisibility

Hume and Berkeley on the Proofs of Infinite Divisibility

Chapter:
(p.45) 3 Hume and Berkeley on the Proofs of Infinite Divisibility
Source:
Philosophical Interpretations
Author(s):

Robert J. Fogelin (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/019507162X.003.0004

Berkeley, and Hume following him, rejected the doctrine that lines, e.g., are infinitely divisible. They both thought that the notion of infinite divisibility lead to paradoxical results. To avoid these paradoxes, they adopted the view that a line is composed of finitely many minimal parts. In addition, Berkeley argued, successfully it seems, that all the standard geometrical proofs for infinite divisibility are, in fact, question‐begging.

Keywords:   Berkeley, Hume, infinite divisibility

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