zi lin asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 1 decade ago

Philosopher's proof for an infinite universe?

does anyone know/heard of a particular proof by a philosopher regarding an infinite universe?

it goes something like this: imagine a man throws an arrow/dart towards the space. the arrow will go on forever, unless it reaches a boundary. if the arrow never reaches a boundary, the universe is infinite. if the arrow reaches a boundary, it must also mean that the universe is inifinite (since the boundary occupies space, i.e. there is always something behind this boundary.)

therefore, the universe is infinite.

anyone knows the philosopher who provided this proof? if i remember correctly, it was an ancient philosopher. please help!


i forgot to write, this proof is considered as a thought experiment.

Update 2:

Hi answerers, thank you for all your thoughts! I have found the philosopher, it was Epicurus. thank you Yi Sun Sin!

in the thought experiment, a spear was used instead of an arrow. this argument is considered as a compelling one, even till now. if anyone is interested, you can read up on the thought experiment here:


thanks once again!

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    But I recommend you to read Kant`s proof of this :

    http://www.hkbu.edu.hk/~ppp/cpr/antin.html Page 397

  • 1 decade ago

    Eastern philosophers and mystics apart, in Europe it was Giordano Bruno.

    Simply put, if the universe is finite, something must lie beyond it, and if something lies still beyond that, then something else must lie beyond still, and so on in what mathameticians call infinite regression.

    In Bruno's time, no notion of the universe's expansion had yet been postulated - astronomy was in its infancy and cosmology, as a science at least, was unknown - so the idea of Space outside and containing the (this) universe could not even be thought of. Therefore Bruno saw the inevitability of an infinity of worlds, but in one infinite universe. Despite that, his conclusion of an infinity of worlds remains valid - only,in an infinite number of universes, we would now have to add, as every single universe is finite and expanding, or contracting, depending on its stage of evolution.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Where are you throwing the arrow/dart from? If you throw it from earth, gravity would prevent it from going on forever. Even if you threw it from space i think it would eventually hit something, a star, planet, comet, etc, before it reached infinity or the boundary. I think the philosopher needs to clear up a few things.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The lint in my navel is smarter than that so-called proof.

    Three lice on a raft in the middle of a vast islandless ocean are postulating the limits of the planet.

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  • 1 decade ago

    i don't know the philosopher...just know capernicus (i have no idea how to spell that) said we aren't the center of the universe like we thought we were.

    that arow theory doesn't really prove anything if you ask me.

    what if you are on say---a roller rink, you could go around and around forever but that doesn't mean the roller rink expands through intinity. the posabilty for intimate motion doesn't indicate infinate space.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Source(s): ask.com
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