Buy New
  • List Price: $42.00
  • Save: $2.37 (6%)
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Philosophical Perspectives on Infinity Paperback – January 29, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0521108096 ISBN-10: 9780521108096 Edition: 1st

Buy New
Price: $39.63
14 New from $38.54 7 Used from $39.99
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
$38.54 $39.99

Frequently Bought Together

Philosophical Perspectives on Infinity + Arguing about Gods
Price for both: $86.18

Buy the selected items together
  • Arguing about Gods $46.55


Save up to 90% on Textbooks
Rent textbooks, buy textbooks, or get up to 80% back when you sell us your books. Shop Now

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (January 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780521108096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521108096
  • ASIN: 0521108098
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"I did encounter some new and provocative examples beyond the standard fare of Zeno's paradox and Hilbert's Hotel, and the meticulous framing of each conundrum and possible resolutions was fascinating and worth the effort." - MAA Review Bonnie Shulman, Bates College

" this book." Mathematical Reviews

Book Description

This book is an exploration of philosophical questions about infinity. Graham Oppy examines how the infinite lurks everywhere, both in science and in our ordinary thoughts about the world.

More About the Author

I am currently Associate Dean Research and Associate Dean Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Arts at Monash University. (I've been Associate Dean Research since 2004; I've taken on the Associate Dean Graduate Studies role in 2007 on a strictly one-year term.)

I was previously Head of the School of Philosophy and Bioethics at Monash (from 2001 through 2004).

I came to Monash in mid-1996 as a Senior Lecturer; I was promoted to Professor in 2005.

From 1993 to mid-1996, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Philosophy Program in the Research School for the Social Sciences at the Australian National University in Canberra.

From mid-1990 through 1992, I was a Lecturer at the University of Wollongong (no, not Wolloomooloo).

Between 1987 and 1990, I was a graduate student in philosophy at Princeton University. My dissertation advisor was Gil Harman; my dissertation was about questions in the philosophy of language.

From 1979 through 1986, I was an undergraduate student at Melbourne University. I completed two degrees: a BA with a major in philosophy; and a B.Sc with a major in mathematics (and a minor in physics).

Skipping back a bit, I was born in Benalla (pop. 8000) in 1960; my family moved to Ballarat (pop. 80,000) in 1965, and were still living there when I started to attend Melbourne University in 1979.

My parents were Methodists; I ceased to be a religious believer when I was in my early teenage years.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Scott on September 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is the other half of Graham Oppy's "Arguing About Gods". They were originally supposed to be a mega-book titled "God and Infinity". It is good that Dr. Oppy separated them because both are heavy duty and may have been too much and too expensive if joined.

This book is a review of many of the puzzles surrounding infinity through the ages (for some reason, the other reviewer can not appreciate professor Oppy's goal of making this book definitive). While it covers some classical problems, it mostly focuses on those that have made their way into philosophical discussions involving mathematics and religion. The author's style is meticulous and concise. He carefully lays out his preliminary questions about different areas of mathematics, then dives right in. As someone who loves mathematics, physics, and philosophy, I really enjoyed this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover
There is no question that the concept of infinity is a difficult one. It is compounded by the fact that there are different levels of infinity, broadly split into the categories of countable and uncountable. It is also possible for two different infinite sets to have the same number of elements and yet one is completely contained in the other. For example, it is possible to match up the set of counting numbers {1, 2, 3, ...} with the set of even numbers {2, 4, 6, ...} by matching each number in the first with its double in the second. Clearly, the second set is completely contained in the first.

Mathematicians work constantly with the concept of infinity. The first year of undergraduate mathematics involves limits, summing infinite series and infinitesimals. Getting to this point has not been an easy journey, the finest mathematicians struggled with summing some series and it took years to successfully resolve the problems.

Oppy covers most of this ground and it is unfortunate that he doesn't seem to grasp some of the basic ways in which mathematicians deal with infinity. For example, on page 100 there is the statement: "Similarly, in topology, we have it that a one-dimensional line can be composed of nothing but zero-dimensional points. Yet how can one put together things that are all zero-dimensional and end up with something that is one-dimensional?" This is a supposed paradox that was settled by the mathematical community long ago.

Oppy also brings up the classic paradox of Zeno involving Achilles and the tortoise. This is a classic example of the sum of an infinite series being finite and even advanced precalculus students can determine the precise point where Achilles will pass the tortoise.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?