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bad infinity

Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


M etaphysics, philosophy of religion Hegel 's term for an endless series advancing from one thing to another, like a straight line with no end. It is an infinite series of causes and effects and is separated from the finite. A bad infinity contrasts with true infinity, which is closely associated with the finite, for something that is infinite in one perspective can also be finite in another. True infinity is like a circle, finite but unbounded, and it is associated in Hegel's system with the negation of the negation. From the perspective of bad infinity, God is infinite and the world is finite, and hence there arises a contrast between God and the world. Hegel claims that this division is overcome in the perspective of true infinity. “Something becomes an other; this other is itself somewhat; therefore it likewise becomes an other, and so on ad infinitum. This infinity is the bad or negative infinity: it is only a negation of an infinite; but the finite rises again the same as ever, and is never got rid of and absorbed.” Hegel, Logic ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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