Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (4):619-629 (2014)

Stephen Puryear
North Carolina State University
Many philosophers have argued that the past must be finite in duration because otherwise reaching the present moment would have involved something impossible, namely, the sequential occurrence of an actual infinity of events. In reply, some philosophers have objected that there can be nothing amiss in such an occurrence, since actually infinite sequences are ‘traversed’ all the time in nature, for example, whenever an object moves from one location in space to another. This essay focuses on one of the two available replies to this objection, namely, the claim that actual infinities are not traversed in nature because space, time, and other continuous wholes divide into parts only in so far as we divide them in thought, and thus divide into only a finite number of parts. I grant that this reply succeeds in blunting the anti-finitist objection, but I argue that it also subverts the very argument against an eternal past that it was intended to save.
Keywords Infinity  Continuity  Space  Time  Events
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Reprint years 2014
DOI 10.1080/00048402.2014.949804
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Extended Simples.Kris McDaniel - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (1):131 - 141.
Simples.Ned Markosian - 1998 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (2):213 – 228.

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God and Ultimate Origins: A Novel Cosmological Argument.Andrew Loke - 2017 - 93413 Cham, Germany: Springer Nature.
Finitism and Divisibility: A Reply to Puryear.Travis Dumsday - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (3):596-601.

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