Robert Grosseteste, and the History of the Actual Infinite
MetadataShow full item record
The problems with the notion of infinity that plagued pre-modern philosophers and mathematicians ever since the introduction of Zeno’s paradoxes are thought to see their first solution in the original and singular accomplishments of the late-19th century German mathematician Georg Cantor. In this paper I argue that a select few Medieval philosophers advanced the concept of the actual infinite from its largely Aristotelian conception to a stage that foreshadowed Cantor’s accomplishments. I emphasize, in particular, the contributions of the 13th century scholastic philosopher Robert Grosseteste, whose work in this arena seems especially under-recognized and deserving of tribute.