The Unlimited and the Limit in Pythagoreans' Perception of the World

Is God A Mathematician

It is a fact that we owe much  to the ancient greek philosophers and mathematicians. Such mathematicians succeeded to turn all the trade-motivated calculation recipies gathered by sumerians and babylonians after them into a sound science that we call mathematics today. Some of the pioneers in this adventure were the Pythagoreans.


The Pythagoreans were a group of truth seekers that gathered around Pythagoras. Actually some authors even question the existence of Pythagoras himself and prefer to think that he was just an acronym like Bourbaki, a group of mathematicians founded in France in the 20th century and that is still active today.


Pythagoreans thought that all things in this world could be solely explained by natural numbers. A very crisp model of reality.

Trying to model the whole world with natural numbers is one thing, though trying to percieve everything as true/false, black/white is just erronous. This dichotomic perception of the world  is way too simple to be true. Though, this was the way how Pythagoreans percieved father cosmos and mother earth a few centuries ago through their Limit/Unlimited classification:


Limit Unlimited

Odd Even

One Plurality

Right Left

Male Female

Rest Motion

Straight Curved

Light Darkness

Good Evil

Square Oblong


I think that I belong much more to the unlimited realm. I believe that unlimited gives much more room to creativity than the strict bureaucratic way of thinking of the limit realm. Besides, I have always preferred even numbers to odd ones since I was 5 years old and I never really liked prime numbers despite the fact that they are the building bricks of arithmetic. I guess that I will go for the  unlimited column, it looks much more stimulating to me.