The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 5, 2007

Logic and Philosophy of the Sciences

Claude Gratton
Pages 25-29

The Viciousness of Infinite Regresses

Henry W. Johnstone (1996) attempts to use a notion of postponement to give a general account of viciousness of infinite regresses. Though some of his examples suggest that his notion applies to only beginningless regresses (...eRdRcRbRa), I will show that it also applies to endless ones (aRbRcRdRe...). Unfortunately, despite this expanded application, it does not apply to all vicious regresses, even to some of his own examples; it is cumbersome and unnecessary, and it fails to explain how some infinite regresses entail a contradiction.