Hume and Berkeley on the Proofs of Infinite Divisibility

Robert J. Fogelin

in Philosophical Interpretations

Published in print April 1992 | ISBN: 9780195071627
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833221 | DOI:
Hume and Berkeley on the Proofs of Infinite Divisibility

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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

Chapter.  9047 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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