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 […]

There is no such thing as a refugee crisis

We are witnessing a fundamental problem in contemporary political theory – the problem of space and people. This is not a new problem, but it is a problem that has reappeared once again in the early years of this century. It has reappeared precisely because of the sudden disappearance of political ideology in the decade before – or rather, as Slavoj Zizek would point out, the disappearance of an alternative ideology. What we are witnessing […]

The Fermi Paradox, or ‘Where the hell are they?’ and ‘They are made out of meat!’

The Fermi paradox is quite well known in the community of the scientists and pseudo-scientists alike. In simple terms, it simply does not make sense that we, as human beings, are the only intelligent life form in the universe. Seeing the vast amount of stars, probability of existence of other intelligent life forms beyond our planet stands in contradiction to our knowledge of them. Enrico Fermi summarises it as such: The Sun is a typical star, and relatively young. There are […]

Some thoughts on art – part 2 (Arendt)

In an interesting article on freedom, where Arendt posits a different view of freedom that our contemporary liberal ideology can learn a lot from [sidenote: make a post on Arendt’s notion of freedom], Arendt has an interesting passage on art and the role of the artist. In a previous post on art and Zizek, the general line of thought was that for Zizek art seems to have debased the world. As I had concluded there: […]

Some thoughts on art – part 1 (Zizek)

In one of his books, The Fragile Absolute (Amazon), Zizek looks at transformation of art in modernity in his usual peculiar way. He posits, quite convincingly – at least to a non-artist like myself – that unlike Adorno’s critical view of (modern) art as commodification, there is a concurrent process from the artist that enables the changes in art: Its basic feature is not only the much-deplored commodification of culture (art objects produced for the market), […]

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 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 […]