Classic Philosophers: The Great Thinkers of Western Philosophy
Ancient Philosophers: The Philosophy of the Early Greek Naturalists, by Jonathan Dolhenty
I. The Eliatic School: Zeno of Elea
Take, for example, the so-called argument of Achilles. The hero of the winged foot can never overtake the turtle — symbol of slowness — because the hero gives the turtle the handicap of space. Let us supposed that this interval between Achilles and the turtle is twenty feet, and while the hero runs twenty feet, the turtle advances one foot. Achilles cannot reach his running mate, because while he runs twenty feet the animal moves one foot, and while runs a foot, his rival will run one-twentieth of a foot, and successively, while Achilles run one-twentieth of a foot, the animal will have traveled one-twentieth of a twentieth of a foot, and so on, ad infinitum.
The same is to be said of the arrow which will never reach its target. Before striking the target, the arrow must traverse half the distance, and before it reaches half this space it must traverse one-half of this half, ad infinitum. Thus the arrow remains ever at the same place, no matter how much it may seem to be displaced. Such Sophistic arguments, as Aristotle noted well, are based on a false prejudgment that space is made up of an infinite number of parts.
The late Dr. Jonathan Dolhenty was the Founder and President of The Center for Applied Philosophy and the Radical Academy, and is Honorary Philosophy Editor at The Moral Liberal. The Moral Liberal has adopted these projects beginning with a republishing and preserving of all of Dr. Dolhenty’s work. “Classic Philosophers: The Great Thinkers of the Western World” was designed and organized by Jonathan Dolhenty, Ph.D. Copyright ©1992 -2011 The Radical Academy. Copyright renewed in © 2011 -2013 The Radical Academy (a project of The Moral Liberal).
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