Single Idea 5703

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 5. Infinite in Nature]

Full Idea

The universe is not bounded in any direction. If it were, it would necessarily have a limit somewhere, but a thing cannot have a limit unless there is something outside to limit it.

Gist of Idea

The universe must be limitless, since there could be nothing outside to limit it


Lucretius (On the Nature of the Universe [c.60 BCE], I.959)

Book Reference

Lucretius: 'On the Nature of the Universe', ed/tr. Latham,Ronald [Penguin 1951], p.55

A Reaction

This is a subtler argument than the mere enquiry about why you would have to stop at the end of the universe. It still seems a nice argument, though Einstein's curvature of space seems to have thwarted it.