Mathematics, models and Zeno's paradoxes

Synthese 110 (1):143-166 (1997)
A version of nonstandard analysis, Internal Set Theory, has been used to provide a resolution of Zeno's paradoxes of motion. This resolution is inadequate because the application of Internal Set Theory to the paradoxes requires a model of the world that is not in accordance with either experience or intuition. A model of standard mathematics in which the ordinary real numbers are defined in terms of rational intervals does provide a formalism for understanding the paradoxes. This model suggests that in discussing motion, only intervals, rather than instants, of time are meaningful. The approach presented here reconciles resolutions of the paradoxes based on considering a finite number of acts with those based on analysis of the full infinite set Zeno seems to require. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of the classical and quantum mechanics of performing an infinite number of acts in a finite time
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
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DOI 10.1023/A:1004967023017
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