Tagged: Aristotle

Zeno's paradox of motion - part 1

Zeno’s paradoxes

Zeno of Elea (c. 490 – c. 430 BC) is one of the most enigmatic pre-Socratic philosophers. Though none of his own works have survived, there are fragmentary mentions of his on the classics like Aristotle and Plato. He was a member of the Eleatic School and, according to Plato at least, aimed to reinfoced Parmenides’s arguments (Parmenides being the founder of the school). While we know very little of Zeno himself, other than some...

Zeno's arrow paradox

Zeno’s paradox of motion – part 2

In this post we return to Zeno’s paradox of motion in order to point out another aspect of it. Where in the previous post, we concluded that his paradox points towards motion being inconceivable due to infinite divisibility of space (Aristotle calls it “bisection”), in this one we’ll refer to time. Zeno’s paradox is best explained through his example of a flying arrow. As Aristotle describes the paradox: “if everything when it occupies an equal...

Zeno's Achilles and tortoise paradox

Zeno’s paradox of motion – part 1 (Achilles and the tortoise)

The most famous of Zeno’s paradoxes, and also the one with amusing historical examples: Zeno’s paradox of motion. In one version of the paradox Zeno proposes that there is no such thing as motion. There are many variations, and Aristotle recounts four of them, though essentially one can call them variations of two paradoxes of motion. One concerning time and the other space. For today, let us focus on space and recount the Achilles and...