Zeno's metrical paradox of extension and Descartes' mind-body problem

In Stefania Giombini E. Flavia Marcacci (ed.), Estratto da/Excerpt from: Il quinto secolo. Studi di loso a antica in onore di Livio Rossetti a c. di Stefania Giombini e Flavia Marcacci. Aguaplano—Of cina del libro, Passignano s.T. 2010, pp. 295-310 [isbn/ean: 978-88-904213-4-1]. pp. 205-310 (2010)

Authors
Rafael Ferber
University of Zürich
Abstract
The article uses Zeno’s metrical paradox of extension, or Zeno’s fundamental paradox, as a thought-model for the mind-body problem. With the help of this model, the distinction contained between mental and physical phenomena can be formulated as sharply as possible. I formulate Zeno’s fundamental paradox and give a sketch of four different solutions to it. Then I construct a mind-body paradox corresponding to the fundamental paradox. Through that, it becomes possible to copy the solutions to the fundamental paradox on the mind-body paradox. Three of them fail. But one of them – the Aristotelian one – gives us an interesting hint. Finally, this hint is pursued somewhat further and through comparison with Zeno’s fundamental paradox, the impossibility of a solution to the mind-body problem is shown again. The main new point of this article is the comparison of the mind-body problem with Zeno’s fundamental paradox. The article is a revised english version of an article published in: Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie, 23, 1998, p. 61-75.
Keywords Zeno's metrical paradox of extension  mind-body-problem  mind-body-paradox  the impossibility of a solution to the mind-body problem
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Reprint years 2010
DOI 10.5167/uzh-44255
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