Professor Øystein Linnebo Inaugural Lecture 'The Potential Infinite'
Professor Oystein Linnebo, Professor of Philosophy will deliver his Inaugural lecture on 19 June 2012 starting at 5pm in B01, Clore Management Centre.
The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception.
Introduction: Professor David Latchman, CBE, Master of Birkbeck
Aristotle famously distinguished the potential from the actual infinite, defending the former while rejecting the latter. Two millennia later, the subject was transformed by Cantor, whose rightly celebrated theory of actual infinities eventually led to the elimination of the notion of the potential infinite from contemporary mathematics. My lecture will attempt to revive the notion of the potential infinite, while holding on to important Cantorian insights. Accordingly, a version of the notion of the potential infinite will be articulated, shown to do important explanatory work in set theory and its philosophy, and defended against some objections.