Original language | English |
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Title of host publication | Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy |

Editors | Edward N. Zalta |

Place of Publication | Stanford |

Publisher | Stanford University |

Pages | 1-157 |

Volume | 82 |

ISBN (Print) | 1096-5054 |

Publication status | Published - 2021 |

## Abstract

Infinity is a big topic. Most people have some conception of things that have no bound, no boundary, no limit, no end. The rigorous study of infinity began in mathematics and philosophy, but the engagement with infinity traverses the history of cosmology, astronomy, physics, and theology. In the natural and social sciences, the infinite sometimes appears as a consequence of our theories themselves (Barrow 2006, Luminet and LachiÃ¨ze-Rey 2005) or in the modelling of the relevant phenomena (Fletcher et al. 2019). Mathematics itself has appealed to some form of infinity from its beginning (infinitely many numbers, shapes, iterated addition or division of segments) and its contemporary practice requires infinitary foundations. Any field that employs mathematics at least flirts with infinity indirectly, and in many cases courts it directly.