“What I call ‘infinite’ is what excels any actual or possible finite being to a degree beyond any determinate measure you take or could take.”
- Scotus’ first move is to present the infinite as perfect rather than imperfect.
- Second, Scotus had to move beyond the notion of the infinite understood mathematically-i.e., in extensive terms where 10 is greater 9 and so on ad infinitum. This is to understand the infinite in a strictly quantitative sense.
- Third, Scotus develops an understanding of the infinite in an intensive sense.
If you consider a number sequence in which you can always add an additional number (the idea of 1, 2, 3., n+1…), this sequence is dominated by potentiality. Scotus then engages in a thought experiment in which this infinite sequence is understood in act. In other words, he asks us to imagine the sequence being finished. If we can think of the sequence as finished, we have an infinite quantity in actuality. If we grant Scotus’ thought experience, then we have an (actual) quantitative infinite.