infinity …

In view of these distinctions it is obvious that the one-sided theories which some people express about all things cannot be valid-on the one hand the theory that nothing is true (for, say they, there is nothingto prevent every statement from being like the statement ‘the diagonal of a square is commensurate with the side’), on the other hand the theory that everything is true. These views are practically the same as that of Heraclitus; for he who says that all things are true and all are false also makes each of these statements separately, so that since they are impossible, the double statement must be impossible too.-Again, there are obviously contradictories which cannot be at the same time true-nor on the other hand can all statements be false; yet this would seem more possible in the light of what has been said.-But against all such views we must postulate, as we said above,’ not that something is or is not, but that something has a meaning, so that we must argue from a definition, viz. by assuming what falsity or truth means. If that which it is true to affirm is nothing other than that which it is false to deny, it is impossible that all statements should be false; for one side of the contradiction must be true. Again, if it is necessary with regard to everything either to assert or to deny it, it is impossible that both should be false; for it is one side of the contradiction that is false.-Therefore all such views are also exposed to the often expressed objection, that they destroy themselves. For he who says that everything is true makes even the statement contrary to his own true, and therefore his own not true (for the contrary statement denies that it is true), while he who says everything is false makes himself also false.-And if the former person excepts the contrary statement, saying it alone is not true, while the latter excepts his own as being not false, none the less they are driven to postulate the truth or falsity of an infinite number of statements; for that which says the true statement is true is true, and this process will go on to infinity.

Aristotle: Metaphysics, book IV


2 thoughts on “infinity …

  1. That leaves me wondering: ” Can we actively pursue truth? “. or more likely in a trivial way: ” Can we act more cheerfully? Would we better move back to religion and tell God:” I am putting everything in your hands; now it is up to you to fix it! Amen.


    • May it be answered by somebody who is more quaified than I am – Albert C.:
      La jouissance s’achève ici en ascèse. Il faut comprendre qu’elles peuvent être comme les deux visages d’un même dé- nuement. Quelle image plus effrayante souhaiter: celle d’un homme que son corps trahit et qui, faute d’être mort à temps, consomme la comédie en attendant la fin, face à face avec ce dieu qu’il n’adore pas, le servant comme il a servi la vie, agenouillé devant le vide et les bras tendus vers un ciel sans éloquence qu’il sait aussi sans profondeur.


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