Single Idea 574

[catalogued under 2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 2. Infinite Regress]

Full Idea

It must be true, quite generally, that not everything can be proven, on pain of an infinite regress.


An 'infinite regress' would be a proof that never came to an end

Gist of Idea

Not everything can be proven, because that would lead to an infinite regress


Aristotle (Metaphysics [c.324 BCE], 1006a)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'The Metaphysics', ed/tr. Lawson-Tancred,Hugh [Penguin 1998], p.89

A Reaction

Compare Idea 1672, where the possibility of a circular set of mutual proofs is considered. Aristotle seems committed to the present idea.

Related Ideas

Idea 1672 Maybe everything could be demonstrated, if demonstration can be reciprocal or circular [Aristotle]

Idea 12937 We shouldn't just accept Euclid's axioms, but try to demonstrate them [Leibniz]