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Posts Tagged ‘Zeno of Elea’

As I have noted before, the key to understanding the Brexit debate remains the paradoxes of the Greek philosopher Zeno of Elea (see previous discussions here and here), which were, it is implied in Plato’s Parmenides, originally composed to support his friend Parmenides’ contention that any perception of change or progress is an illusion designed to distract us from horror of a senseless universe. The relevant passage reads as follows: (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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