From Zeno to the present day, the non-finite has been a recurrent topic of discussions in philosophy, as well as in physics and mathematics. We shall study some of its central occurrences on these stages: Zeno, Aristotle, the infinity of the primes, Galileo, Descartes, Spinoza, Kant, Cantor, Wittgenstein. We shall also discuss a new conception of the non-finite, recently developed by Ben-Yami, of bounded sequences without a last member.
Students will acquire good acquaintance with the thought about infinity in the history of philosophy and beyond. They will be able to assess critically these ideas, including such that are prevalent today.
Term paper of approximately 2500 words (students should consult the instructor about the paper’s subject). Participation in class can contribute up to plus one grade (from B to B+ etc.) to the final grade.