Source:

Textes inédits tome 1
Gaston Grua (ed)
pp 94-95



Date: c. 1694-1696

Translated from the Latin



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LEIBNIZ: ON PROGRESS TO INFINITY


[Gr p94]

     If all things in the course of ascending descend again, and do not make true progress, the question is: how may progress to infinity be defined? Should it be the ascent or the descent or neither? If we say a thing is ascending, someone else will say that it descends again after long periods, even if at some time it ascends again. Therefore I say that the ascent is genuine if we can now assume that there is a point below which the thing does not descend further, and after some time, no matter how long, it arrives again at a higher point below which it does not descend further. [Gr p95] And so on to infinity. And conversely, the same is true of the descent. But if there is no point about which it can be said now or at any time that the thing will not be returned here, there will be a moving back and forth in which there is neither ascent nor descent.


© Lloyd Strickland 2004
With gratitude to John Thorley for advice and suggestions