How to Think the Infinite: A New Reading and Interpretation of Aristotle, Metaphysics 2.2, 994b21-27

in Mnemosyne
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Abstract

In Metaphysics 2.2, 994b21-27 Aristotle comments on how it is possible to think something that is infinitely divisible. Given that Aristotle denies elsewhere that it is possible to think an infinite number of items the passage offers important evidence for Aristotle’s positive account of how one can think something that is infinite. However, Aristotle’s statement in Metaphysics 2.2 has puzzled interpreters since antiquity. This puzzlement has been partly due to a textual problem in the passage. In this paper we first restore the original reading of Metaph. 2.2, 994b25-26 by making use of the evidence in Alexander of Aphrodisias’s commentary and second make sense of the restored passage by interpreting it in light of Aristotle’s thoughts on the infinite in Physics 3 and 8.

How to Think the Infinite: A New Reading and Interpretation of Aristotle, Metaphysics 2.2, 994b21-27

in Mnemosyne

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