Posts Tagged ‘philosophy’

Thucydides is The Most Fabulous Author In The World. I don’t mean this as a compliment, but rather as an evocation of Terry Gilliam’s wonderful film Time Bandits, in which a motley band of dwarves and an 11-year-old boy called Kevin – you know, it has only just occurred to me, thirty-seven years later, that this is a snarky Hobbit reference – embark on a quest to find The Most Fabulous Object In The World, concealed in the Fortress of Ultimate Darkness (which of course demonstrates its desirability). The two key attributes of this Object are, firstly, that everyone sees it differently, as suits their own conception of Fabulousness, and, secondly, that the whole set-up is a trap. (more…)

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Brexit Paradoxes 2

Today’s headlines suggest the discovery of a new fragment from the philosophical works of Zeno of Elea (as discussed here a couple of months ago), perhaps from an ancient commentary on Aristotle’s Politics:

On the impossibility of making policy. For in order to pursue a course of action – setting aside any of that voting nonsense – the state must have a plan for that action. But first it must plan for the development and discussion of that plan, and before that there must be a plan for the planning, and so forth.

This may help to explain a passing remark (in italics in the quote below) on Thomas Aquinas’ Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics, which has previously puzzled commentators:

Hence it does not follow that a thing is not in motion in a given time, just because it is not in motion in any instant of that time. Nor that there is an absence of thought, simply because there is no appearance of thought at any given moment. Honestly. Well, you never know.

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A newly discovered fragment of one of Simplicius of Cilicia’s commentaries on Aristotle – this time on the Politics – has revealed, among other things, a substantial addition to our knowledge of the paradoxes invented by Zeno of Elea (recently the subject of an episode of In Our Time). (more…)

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