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Zeno’s Paradoxes

Indianapolis, IN, USA: Bobbs-Merrill (1970)

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  1. Purism: The Inconceivability of Inconsistency within Space as the Basis of Logic.* Primus - 2019 - Dialogue 62 (1):1-24.
    I propose that an irreducible property of physical space — consistency — is the origin of logic. I propose that an inconsistent space is inconceivable and that this inconceivability can be recognized as the force behind logical propositions. The implications of this argument are briefly explored and then applied to address two paradoxes: Zeno of Elea’s paradox regarding the race between Achilles and the Tortoise, and Lewis Carroll’s paradox regarding the Tortoise’s conversation with Achilles after the race. I conclude that (...)
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  • Bertrand’s Paradox and the Principle of Indifference.Nicholas Shackel - 2024 - Abingdon: Routledge.
    Events between which we have no epistemic reason to discriminate have equal epistemic probabilities. Bertrand’s chord paradox, however, appears to show this to be false, and thereby poses a general threat to probabilities for continuum sized state spaces. Articulating the nature of such spaces involves some deep mathematics and that is perhaps why the recent literature on Bertrand’s Paradox has been almost entirely from mathematicians and physicists, who have often deployed elegant mathematics of considerable sophistication. At the same time, the (...)
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  • Infinity and Metaphysics.Daniel Nolan - 2009 - In Robin Le Poidevin, Simons Peter, McGonigal Andrew & Ross P. Cameron (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics. New York: Routledge. pp. 430-439.
    This introduction to the roles infinity plays in metaphysics includes discussion of the nature of infinity itself; infinite space and time, both in extent and in divisibility; infinite regresses; and a list of some other topics in metaphysics where infinity plays a significant role.
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  • Is Descartes a Temporal Atomist?Ken Levy - 2005 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 13 (4):627 – 674.
    I argue that Descartes' Second Causal Proof of God in the Third Meditation evidences, and commits him to, the belief that time is "strongly discontinuous" -- that is, that there is actually a gap between each consecutive moment of time. Much of my article attempts to reconcile this interpretation, the "received view," with Descartes' statements about time, space, and matter in his other writings, including his correspondence with various philosophers.
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  • Lamps, cubes, balls and walls: Zeno problems and solutions.Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (1):49-59.
    Various arguments have been put forward to show that Zeno-like paradoxes are still with us. A particularly interesting one involves a cube composed of colored slabs that geometrically decrease in thickness. We first point out that this argument has already been nullified by Paul Benacerraf. Then we show that nevertheless a further problem remains, one that withstands Benacerraf’s critique. We explain that the new problem is isomorphic to two other Zeno-like predicaments: a problem described by Alper and Bridger in 1998 (...)
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  • Lamps, cubes, balls and walls: Zeno problems and solutions.Jeanne Peijnenburg & David Atkinson - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (1):49 - 59.
    Various arguments have been put forward to show that Zeno-like paradoxes are still with us. A particularly interesting one involves a cube composed of colored slabs that geometrically decrease in thickness. We first point out that this argument has already been nullified by Paul Benacerraf. Then we show that nevertheless a further problem remains, one that withstands Benacerraf s critique. We explain that the new problem is isomorphic to two other Zeno-like predicaments: a problem described by Alper and Bridger in (...)
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  • Shadows of Syntax: Revitalizing Logical and Mathematical Conventionalism.Jared Warren - 2020 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    What is the source of logical and mathematical truth? This book revitalizes conventionalism as an answer to this question. Conventionalism takes logical and mathematical truth to have their source in linguistic conventions. This was an extremely popular view in the early 20th century, but it was never worked out in detail and is now almost universally rejected in mainstream philosophical circles. Shadows of Syntax is the first book-length treatment and defense of a combined conventionalist theory of logic and mathematics. It (...)
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  • Zeno, zero and indeterminate forms: Instants in the logic of motion.Mark Zangari - 1994 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (2):187 – 204.
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  • Alexandre Koyré im “Mekka der Mathematik”.Paola Zambelli - 1999 - NTM Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin 7 (1):208-230.
    In 1909 A. Koyré (1892–1964) came to Göttingen as an exile and there became a student of Edmund Husserl and other philosophers (A. Reinach, M. Scheler): already before leaving his country Russia Koyré read Husserl'sLogical Investigations, a text which interested greatly Russian philosophers and was translated into Russian in the same year. As many other contemporary philosophers, in Göttingen they were discussing on the fundaments of mathematic, Cantor's set theory and Russell's antinomies. On this problems Koyré wrote a long paper (...)
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  • The problem of change.Ryan Wasserman - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (1):48–57.
    Our world is a world of change. Children are born and grow into adults. Material possessions rust and decay with age and ultimately perish. Yet scepticism about change is as old as philosophy itself. Heraclitus, for example, argued that nothing could survive the replacement of parts, so that it is impossible to step into the same river twice. Zeno argued that motion is paradoxical, so that nothing can alter its location. Parmenides and his followers went even further, arguing that the (...)
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  • Supertasks and Arithmetical Truth.Jared Warren & Daniel Waxman - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1275-1282.
    This paper discusses the relevance of supertask computation for the determinacy of arithmetic. Recent work in the philosophy of physics has made plausible the possibility of supertask computers, capable of running through infinitely many individual computations in a finite time. A natural thought is that, if supertask computers are possible, this implies that arithmetical truth is determinate. In this paper we argue, via a careful analysis of putative arguments from supertask computations to determinacy, that this natural thought is mistaken: supertasks (...)
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  • Infinity and the past.Quentin Smith - 1987 - Philosophy of Science 54 (1):63-75.
    infinite, and offer several arguments in sup port of this thesis. I believe their arguments are unsuccessful and aim to refute six of them in the six sections of the paper. One of my main criticisms concerns their supposition that an infinite series of past events must contain some events separated from the present event by an infinite number of intermediate events, and consequently that from one of these infinitely distant past events the present could never have been reached. I (...)
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  • The Infinity from Nothing paradox and the Immovable Object meets the Irresistible Force.Nicholas Shackel - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):417-433.
    In this paper I present a novel supertask in a Newtonian universe that destroys and creates infinite masses and energies, showing thereby that we can have infinite indeterminism. Previous supertasks have managed only to destroy or create finite masses and energies, thereby giving cases of only finite indeterminism. In the Nothing from Infinity paradox we will see an infinitude of finite masses and an infinitude of energy disappear entirely, and do so despite the conservation of energy in all collisions. I (...)
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  • What about Plurality? Aristotle’s Discussion of Zeno’s Paradoxes.Barbara M. Sattler - 2021 - Peitho 12 (1):85-106.
    While Aristotle provides the crucial testimonies for the paradoxes of motion, topos, and the falling millet seed, surprisingly he shows almost no interest in the paradoxes of plurality. For Plato, by contrast, the plurality paradoxes seem to be the central paradoxes of Zeno and Simplicius is our primary source for those. This paper investigates why the plurality paradoxes are not examined by Aristotle and argues that a close look at the context in which Aristotle discusses Zeno holds the answer to (...)
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  • Arithmetic and geometry: Some remarks on the concept of complementarity.M. Otte - 1990 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 10 (1):37-62.
    This paper explores the classical idea of complementarity in mathematics concerning the relationship of intuition and axiomatic proof. Section I illustrates the basic concepts of the paper, while Section II presents opposing accounts of intuitionist and axiomatic approaches to mathematics. Section III analyzes one of Einstein's lecture on the topic and Section IV examines an application of the issues in mathematics and science education. Section V discusses the idea of complementarity by examining one of Zeno's paradoxes. This is followed by (...)
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  • Stoic Caricature in Lucian’s De astrologia: Verisimilitude As Comedy.Charles McNamara - 2013 - Peitho 4 (1):235-253.
    The inclusion of De astrologia in the Lucianic corpus has been disputed for centuries since it appears to defend astrological practices that Lucian elsewhere undercuts. This paper argues for Lucian’s authorship by illustrating its masterful subversion of a captatio benevolentiae and subtle rejection of Stoic astrological practices. The narrator begins the text by blaming phony astrologers and their erroneous predictions for inciting others to “denounce the stars and hate astrology” (ἄστρων τε κατηγοροῦσιν καὶ αὐτὴν ἀστρολογίην μισέουσιν, 2). The narrator assures (...)
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  • An epistemological use of nonstandard analysis to answer Zeno's objections against motion.William I. McLaughlin & Sylvia L. Miller - 1992 - Synthese 92 (3):371 - 384.
    Three of Zeno's objections to motion are answered by utilizing a version of nonstandard analysis, internal set theory, interpreted within an empirical context. Two of the objections are without force because they rely upon infinite sets, which always contain nonstandard real numbers. These numbers are devoid of numerical meaning, and thus one cannot render the judgment that an object is, in fact, located at a point in spacetime for which they would serve as coordinates. The third objection, an arrow never (...)
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  • What the liar taught Achilles.Gary Mar & Paul St Denis - 1999 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 28 (1):29-46.
    Zeno's paradoxes of motion and the semantic paradoxes of the Liar have long been thought to have metaphorical affinities. There are, in fact, isomorphisms between variations of Zeno's paradoxes and variations of the Liar paradox in infinite-valued logic. Representing these paradoxes in dynamical systems theory reveals fractal images and provides other geometric ways of visualizing and conceptualizing the paradoxes.
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  • Zeno's Arrow and the Significance of the Present.Robin LePoidevin - 2002 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 50:57-.
    Perhaps the real paradox of Zeno's Arrow is that, although entirely stationary, it has, against all odds, successfully traversed over two millennia of human thought to trouble successive generations of philosophers. The prospects were not good: few original Zenonian fragments survive, and our access to the paradoxes has been for the most part through unsympathetic commentaries. Moreover, like its sister paradoxes of motion, the Arrow has repeatedly been dismissed as specious and easily dissolved. Even those commentators who have taken it (...)
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  • The staccato roller coaster: a simple physical model of the staccato run.Chunghyoung Lee - 2013 - Synthese 190 (3):549-562.
    I present a simple model of Grünbaum’s staccato run in classical mechanics, the staccato roller coaster. It consists of a bead sliding on a frictionless wire shaped like a roller coaster track with infinitely many hills of diminishing size, each of which is a one-dimensional variant of the so-called Norton dome. The staccato roller coaster proves beyond doubt the dynamical (and hence logical) possibility of supertasks in classical mechanics if the Norton dome is a proper system of classical mechanics with (...)
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  • Some New Infinity Puzzles.Jon Pérez Laraudogoitia - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (3):1093-1099.
    Salmon was the first to speak explicitly of paradoxes of kinematics. In this short note I introduce a new class of infinity puzzles. Following natural terminology, they should actually be called static paradoxes.
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  • Infinity machines and creation ex nihilo.Jon Perez Laraudogoitia - 1998 - Synthese 115 (2):259-265.
    In this paper a simple model in particle dynamics of a well-known supertask is constructed (the supertask was introduced by Max Black some years ago). As a consequence, a new and simple result about creation ex nihilo of particles can be proved compatible with classical dynamics. This result cannot be avoided by imposing boundary conditions at spatial infinity, and therefore is really new in the literature. It follows that there is no reason why even a world of rigid spheres should (...)
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  • Persistence and non-supervenient relations.Katherine Hawley - 1999 - Mind 108 (429):53-67.
    I claim that, if persisting objects have temporal parts, then there are non-supervenient relations between those temporal parts. These are relations which are not determined by intrinsic properties of the temporal parts. I use the Kripke-Armstrong 'rotating homogeneous disc' argument in order to establish this claim, and in doing so I defend and develop that argument. This involves a discussion of instantaneous velocity, and of the causes and effects of rotation. Finally, I compare alternative responses to the rotating disc argument, (...)
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  • The three arrows of Zeno.Craig Harrison - 1996 - Synthese 107 (2):271 - 292.
    We explore the better known paradoxes of Zeno including modern variants based on infinite processes, from the point of view of standard, classical analysis, from which there is still much to learn (especially concerning the paradox of division), and then from the viewpoints of non-standard and non-classical analysis (the logic of the latter being intuitionist).The standard, classical or Cantorian notion of the continuum, modeled on the real number line, is well known, as is the definition of motion as the time (...)
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  • Structuralism's unpaid epistemological debts.Bob Hale - 1996 - Philosophia Mathematica 4 (2):124--47.
    One kind of structuralism holds that mathematics is about structures, conceived as a type of abstract entity. Another denies that it is about any distinctively mathematical entities at all—even abstract structures; rather it gives purely general information about what holds of any collection of entities conforming to the axioms of the theory. Of these, pure structuralism is most plausibly taken to enjoy significant advantages over platonism. But in what appears to be its most plausible—modalised—version, even restricted to elementary arithmetic, it (...)
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  • Negative, infinite, and hotter than infinite temperatures.Philip Ehrlich - 1982 - Synthese 50 (2):233 - 277.
    We examine the notions of negative, infinite and hotter than infinite temperatures and show how these unusual concepts gain legitimacy in quantum statistical mechanics. We ask if the existence of an infinite temperature implies the existence of an actual infinity and argue that it does not. Since one can sensibly talk about hotter than infinite temperatures, we ask if one could legitimately speak of other physical quantities, such as length and duration, in analogous terms. That is, could there be longer (...)
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  • Hypertasks.Peter Clark & Stephen Read - 1984 - Synthese 61 (3):387 - 390.
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  • With and without end.Peter Cave - 2007 - Philosophical Investigations 30 (2):105–126.
    Ways and words about infinity have frequently hidden a continuing paradox inspired by Zeno. The basic puzzle is the tortoise's – Mr T's – Extension Challenge, the challenge being how any extension, be it in time or space or both, moving or still, can yet be of an endless number of extensions. We identify a similarity with Mr T's Deduction Challenge, reported by Lewis Carroll, to the claim that a conclusion can be validly reached in finite steps. Rejecting common solutions (...)
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  • Are Zeno’s Arguments Unsound Paradoxes?Guido Calenda - 2013 - Peitho 4 (1):125-140.
    Zeno’s arguments are generally regarded as ingenious but downright unsound paradoxes, worth of attention mainly to disclose why they go wrong or, alternatively, to recognise them as clever, even if crude, anticipations of modern views on the space, the infinite or the quantum view of matter. In either case, the arguments lose any connection with the scientific and philosophical problems of Zeno’s own time and environment. In the present paper, I argue that it is possible to make sense of Zeno’s (...)
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  • Quantum measurements and supertasks.Alisa Bokulich - 2003 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (2):127 – 136.
    This article addresses the question whether supertasks are possible within the context of non-relativistic quantum mechanics. The supertask under consideration consists of performing an infinite number of quantum mechanical measurements in a finite amount of time. Recent arguments in the physics literature claim to show that continuous measurements, understood as N discrete measurements in the limit where N goes to infinity, are impossible. I show that there are certain kinds of measurements in quantum mechanics for which these arguments break down. (...)
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  • Why Zeno’s Paradoxes of Motion are Actually About Immobility.Bathfield Maël - 2018 - Foundations of Science 23 (4):649-679.
    Zeno’s paradoxes of motion, allegedly denying motion, have been conceived to reinforce the Parmenidean vision of an immutable world. The aim of this article is to demonstrate that these famous logical paradoxes should be seen instead as paradoxes of immobility. From this new point of view, motion is therefore no longer logically problematic, while immobility is. This is convenient since it is easy to conceive that immobility can actually conceal motion, and thus the proposition “immobility is mere illusion of the (...)
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  • What’s Eleatic about the Eleatic Principle?Sosseh Assaturian - 2021 - Archai: Revista de Estudos Sobre as Origens Do Pensamento Ocidental 31 (3):1-37.
    In contemporary metaphysics, the Eleatic Principle (EP) is a causal criterion for reality. Articulating the EP with precision is notoriously difficult. The criterion purportedly originates in Plato’s Sophist, when the Eleatic Visitor articulates the EP at 247d-e in the famous Battle of the Gods and the Giants. There, the Visitor proposes modifying the ontologies of both the Giants (who are materialists) and the Gods (who are friends of the many forms), using a version of the EP according to which only (...)
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  • On some paradoxes of the infinite.Victor Allis & Teunis Koetsier - 1991 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 42 (2):187-194.
    In the paper below the authors describe three super-tasks. They show that although the abstract notion of a super-task may be, as Benacerraf suggested, a conceptual mismatch, the completion of the three super-tasks involved can be defined rather naturally, without leading to inconsistency, by means of a particular kinematical interpretation combined with a principle of continuity.
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  • Collections Containing Articles on Presocratic Philosophy.Richard D. McKirahan - unknown
    This catalogue is divided into two parts. Part 1 presents basic bibliographical information on books and journal issues that consist exclusively or in large part in papers devoted to the Presocratics and the Sophists. Part 2 lists the papers on Presocratic and Sophistic topics found in the volumes, providing name of author, title, and page numbers, and in the case of reprinted papers, the year of original publication. In some cases Part 2 lists the complete contents of volumes, not only (...)
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  • Moving, Moved and Will be Moving: Zeno and Nāgārjuna on Motion from Mahāmudrā, Koan and Mathematical Physics Perspectives.Robert Alan Paul - 2017 - Comparative Philosophy 8 (2):65-89.
    Zeno’s Arrow and Nāgārjuna’s Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way Chapter 2 contain paradoxical, dialectic arguments thought to indicate that there is no valid explanation of motion, hence there is no physical or generic motion. There are, however, diverse interpretations of the latter text, and I argue they apply to Zeno’s Arrow as well. I also find that many of the interpretations are dependent on a mathematical analysis of material motion through space and time. However, with modern philosophy and physics (...)
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