Infinite power and plenitude: Two traditions on the necessity of the Eternal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Some 60 years ago, Arthur O. Lovejoy in his famous work The Great Chain of Being proposed to sketch the history of an idea, one he saw as permeating Western thought. The idea Lovejoy dubbed “the principle of Plenitude�?; he gave to it the single, deceptively simple formulation that “no genuine possibility will remain forever unrealized�?. The idea is as classical as any that can be imagined. Lovejoy himself proposed to trace the principle’s origins in Plato’s cosmology; he went on to point out its workings in Neoplatonist theodicy, in medieval Christian thought and in seventeenth-and eighteenth century metaphysics, to name but a few examples. And subsequent studies have expanded on Lovejoy’s insights.1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedieval Philosophy and the Classical Tradition
Subtitle of host publicationIn Islam, Judaism and Christianity
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)0203988752, 9781135790882
ISBN (Print)0700714693, 9780415849500
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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