# What was Cantor’s philosophical reason for accepting the infinite but rejecting the infinitesimal?

## What is Cantor’s set theory?

Cantor’s theorem, in set theory, the theorem that the cardinality (numerical size) of a set is strictly less than the cardinality of its power set, or collection of subsets. In symbols, a finite set S with n elements contains 2n subsets, so that the cardinality of the set S is n and its power set P(S) is 2n.

## What is the idea of infinitesimals?

Traditionally, an infinitesimal quantity is one which, while not necessarily coinciding with zero, is in some sense smaller than any finite quantity. For engineers, an infinitesimal is a quantity so small that its square and all higher powers can be neglected.

## What is an infinitesimal times infinity?

In non-standard analysis, an infinitesimal times an infinite number can have various values, depending on their relative sizes. The product can be an ordinary real number. But it can also be infinitesimal, or infinite.

## How did Cantor define infinity?

Cantor established the importance of one-to-one correspondence between the members of two sets, defined infinite and well-ordered sets, and proved that the real numbers are more numerous than the natural numbers. In fact, Cantor’s method of proof of this theorem implies the existence of an infinity of infinities.

## Why is Cantor’s theorem important?

Cantor’s theorem had immediate and important consequences for the philosophy of mathematics. For instance, by iteratively taking the power set of an infinite set and applying Cantor’s theorem, we obtain an endless hierarchy of infinite cardinals, each strictly larger than the one before it.

## How do you prove Cantor’s theorem?

1 (Cantor’s Theorem) If A is any set, then ¯A<¯P(A). Proof. First, we need to show that ¯A≤¯P(A): define an injection f:A→P(A) by f(a)={a}. Now we need to show that there is no bijection g:A→P(A).

## Which mathematician made a distinction between potential infinity and actual infinity?

Aristotle handled the topic of infinity in Physics and in Metaphysics. He distinguished between actual and potential infinity. Actual infinity is completed and definite, and consists of infinitely many elements. Potential infinity is never complete: elements can be always added, but never infinitely many.

## What is the method proposed by Cantor to compare two infinities?

To demonstrate this, he paired each of the elements that form a set with the elements of the other, which is known as establishing a bijective function (or one-to-one correspondence) between both sets.

## What did Cantor use this method to prove?

The Cantor diagonal method, also called the Cantor diagonal argument or Cantor’s diagonal slash, is a clever technique used by Georg Cantor to show that the integers and reals cannot be put into a one-to-one correspondence (i.e., the uncountably infinite set of real numbers is “larger” than the countably infinite set …

## In what Aristotelian sense may the infinite be said to exist?

According to Aristotle: The infinite exists potentially and by reduction but not independently: It exists in fulfillment in the sense in which we say ‘it is day’ or ‘it is the games’; and potentially as matter exists, not independently as what is finite does. (206b 14-15).

## Is infinite actually infinite?

According to Aristotle, actual infinities cannot exist because they are paradoxical. It is impossible to say that you can always “take another step” or “add another member” in a completed set with a beginning and end, unlike a potential infinite.

## Why does infinity not exist?

In the context of a number system, in which “infinity” would mean something one can treat like a number. In this context, infinity does not exist.

## What does infinite mean in philosophy?

Aristotle and after

It is always possible to think of a larger number: for the number of times a magnitude can be bisected is infinite. Hence the infinite is potential, never actual; the number of parts that can be taken always surpasses any assigned number.

## Is there a proof that infinity exists?

Although the concept of infinity has a mathematical basis, we have yet to perform an experiment that yields an infinite result. Even in maths, the idea that something could have no limit is paradoxical.

## What is the difference between infinity and does not exist?

The best way to approach why we use infinity instead of does not exist (DNE for short), even though they are technically the same thing, is to first define what infinity means. Infinity is not a real number. It’s a mathematical concept meant to represent a really large value that can’t actually be reached.

## Why would a limit not exist?

Here are the rules: If the graph has a gap at the x value c, then the two-sided limit at that point will not exist. If the graph has a vertical asymptote and one side of the asymptote goes toward infinity and the other goes toward negative infinity, then the limit does not exist.

## Does the limit exist?

In order to say the limit exists, the function has to approach the same value regardless of which direction x comes from (We have referred to this as direction independence). Since that isn’t true for this function as x approaches 0, the limit does not exist. In cases like thi, we might consider using one-sided limits.