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Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Volume 51$
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Victor Caston

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198795797

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198795797.001.0001

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Aristotelian Infinites

Aristotelian Infinites

Chapter:
(p.161) Aristotelian Infinites
Source:
Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Volume 51
Author(s):

John M. Cooper

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198795797.003.0005

This paper offers a comprehensive interpretation of Aristotle’s theoretical account of the infinity of such infinite things as he holds actually exist in nature: number, time, and spatial magnitudes. On the interpretation presented, number and time for Aristotle are infinite not because there exists an actual infinity of numbers or of past or future times in relation to any ‘now’, but rather because, given the nature of the physical world, as he argues it actually exists, nature is such that for any number of things or any stretch of past or future time, however large/long, another finite one, precisely one unit larger/longer, can always be generated by some well-defined process of division.

Keywords:   Aristotle, infinity, nature, number, time, space, divisibility, past, future, now

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