infinite regress


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n.1.(Philosophy, Logic) A causal relationship transmitted through an indefinite number of terms in a series, with no term that begins the causal chain.
References in periodicals archive ?
Saying the Jesus Prayer on the subway to work one morning, on some repetition of the name, some inhale, some exhale, it suddenly opened up for me--or, more accurately, caved in: The sounds folded in on themselves creating an infinite regress, a vortex that at first felt like a vacuum but then took on overwhelming fullness and light of being itself.
To do that, the dismissed question comes to the fore, and the best answer to that question is a necessary being (to avoid a vicious infinite regress) with libertarian agency (to explain contingency).
There is infinite regress in this practice, although the numbering in the titling of the artist's works describes a topology without end: 1-Manifold, 11-Manifold, ?-Manifold, all 2017, and so on.
Our supposition is that the infinite regress that the principle of sufficient reason seems to produce does not lead to an absurdity.
(New Essays, 329) Though he is here describing "animate bodies," Leibniz makes clear in the appendix to the correspondence with Clarke that the infinite regress entailed by his theory of monads holds for all material bodies, living and nonliving: "'tis neither agreeable to the order, nor beauty, nor reason of things, that there should be a vital principle or power of acting immanently, only in a very small part of matter; when it would be an argument of greater perfection, for it to be in all matter" (381).
An astute commentator on a previous draft observed that universal partial ownership of individuals by other individuals might imply an infinite regress. (7) Consider a society of three individuals: [beta], [theta], and [eta] Assume that [beta] has a share of ownership in himself equal to 0 < n < 1 while [eta] and [theta] each own (1 - n)/ 2 share of [beta].
Moreover [C.sub.1] must be a necessary being, otherwise its own individuality will need to be explained and an infinite regress of causation is impossible.
For the author, Borges's use of infinite regress, which Diaz calls "nesting" or "fractal" (13), relates directly to Borges's distortion of Idealism into conspiratorial theory.
It was like reading in a math book about the "Droste effect," a mathematician's term for infinite regress, and remembering the old Droste cocoa tin you once owned and loved when you lived in another city.
So now we need deductively sound arguments for the premisses, and we are off on an infinite regress. The non-deductive approach avoids this by permitting the introduction of such devices as fields, loci, audience, and background assumptions (Gilbert, 2010; Perelman & Olbrechts-Tyteca, 1969; Toulmin, 1958).
But trying to justify everything threatens to generate an infinite regress, and the only way of halting the looming regress is an appeal to something self-justifying--Platonic forms, God, self-evident principles, or the immediately given in experience.
As I learned, however, peering through the prism of its ironies unfolds "Borges and I" into a complex space of contradiction and infinite regress. In his Rhetoric of Irony, Wayne Booth classifies ironies using several factors, including whether an irony is stable (it does invite the reader to perpetually subvert the text) and finite (it comments on things within a defined discourse).