Tag Archives: infinite

Greg Egan

Immortality would have been meaningless, trapped in a ‘machine’ with a finite number of possible states; in a finite time he would have exhausted the list of every possible thing he could be. Only the promise of eternal growth made sense of eternal life.

Greg Egan, Permutation City, London, 1994, p. 286

Peter Suber

The infinite has been a perennial source of mathematical and philosophical wonder, in part because of its enormity—anything that large is grand, and provokes awe and contemplation—and in part because of the paradoxes like Galileo’s. Infinity seems impossible to tame intellectually, and to bring within the confines of human understanding. I will argue, however, that Cantor has tamed it. The good news is that Cantor’s mathematics makes infinity clear and consistent but does nothing to reduce the awe-inspiring grandeur of it.

Peter Suber, ‘Infinite Reflections’, St. John’s Review, vol. 44, no. 2 (1998)