Aristotle, Cantor, Oystein Linnebo

the potential infinite: Oystein Linnebo

On the 16th of February Oystein Linnebo (Birbeck, University of London) will give a Zeno-lecture at the University of Utrecht on the relation between Aristotle and Cantor in terms of their conceptualization of the role of the mathematical infinite.

From their website:

‘Aristotle famously distinguished the potential from the actual infinite, defending the former while rejecting the latter. Two millennia later, the subject was transformed by Cantor, who developed a deep and fruitful mathematical theory of actual infinities. In classical mathematics, the potential infinite has now almost entirely been eliminated in favor of the Cantorian “transfinite”. By reflecting on the set-theoretic paradoxes, this talk argues that an important role remains for the potential infinite. It also explores how the notion should be understood and developed mathematically’

Aristotle, Philosophy

Zeta Ontology: on matter in Aristotle #1

What is substance and what items in the world count as substances? This is the question Aristotle tries to tackle in book Zeta in his Metaphysics. To be sure, the question what items in the world count as substances already makes manifest a major turn when comparing it to the Platonic Forms. It is, as we shall see, a question of metaphysical order, of applied ontology. What is the total inventory of ‘real’ items in this world? How do they come about and how do they remain in existence?  Continue reading