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Does infinity exist?

Well, mathematicians all the time talk about infinitary structures. To start with the very simplest examples, they talk about the set of all natural numbers, {0, 1, 2, 3, ...}: and they also talk about the set of all subsets of the natural numbers. And they introduce "infinite cardinal numbers" which indicate the size of such infinite sets. There's a beautiful theorem by Cantor which shows that, on a very natural understanding of "number of members", the set of all numbers has a smaller number of members than the set of all subsets of the set of all numbers. So there are different infinite cardinal numbers, which we can order in size. Indeed, again on natural assumptions, there's an infinity of them. Is that little reminder about what mathematicians get up to enough to settle the question whether "infinity exists"? Well, perhaps not. There remain a number of questions here. Here's one (so to speak) about the pure mathematics, and one about applied mathematics. First, then, we might say "Sure,...

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