# Definition:Infinity/Historical Note

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## Historical Note on Infinity

The concept of **infinity** has bothered scientists, mathematicians and philosophers since the time of Plato (who accepted the concept as realisable) Aristotle (who did not).

The symbol $\infty$ for infinity was introduced by John Wallis in the $17$th century.

It was Georg Cantor in the $1870$s who finally made the bold step of positing the actual existence of infinite sets as mathematical objects which paved the way towards a proper understanding of infinity.

## Sources

- 1972: Patrick Suppes:
*Axiomatic Set Theory*(2nd ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): $\S 1.1$ Set Theory and the Foundations of Mathematics - 1992: George F. Simmons:
*Calculus Gems*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text {B}.12$: Wallis's Product: Footnote $1$ - 1996: Winfried Just and Martin Weese:
*Discovering Modern Set Theory. I: The Basics*... (previous) ... (next): Introduction