Abstract

Aristotle and Dedekind on continuityThe paper tries to call attention to a methodologically interesting parallelism and a philosophically significant difference between R. Dedekind's proof (1872) that there is one and only one real number that produces a "cut" in the body of real numbers and Aristotle's argument for there being one and only one indivisible instant separating the past from the future (Phys. 6.3.233b33-234a20). The paper consists of two parts. The first contains a comparison of the two proofs, the second follows the fate of Aristotle's proof in the hands of the commentators.