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  • Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement, Volume 50
  • March 2002, pp. 57-72

Zeno's Arrow and the Significance of the Present


Perhaps the real paradox of Zeno's Arrow is that, although entirely stationary, it has, against all odds, successfully traversed over two millennia of human thought to trouble successive generations of philosophers. The prospects were not good: few original Zenonian fragments survive, and our access to the paradoxes has been for the most part through unsympathetic commentaries. Moreover, like its sister paradoxes of motion, the Arrow has repeatedly been dismissed as specious and easily dissolved. Even those commentators who have taken it seriously have propounded solutions with which they profess themselves to be perfectly satisfied. So my question is: will Zeno's Arrow survive into the millennium just begun?

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Jonathan Lear 1981. ‘A Note on Zeno's Arrow’, Phronesis, 26, pp. 91104

Robin Le Poidevin 1991. Change, Cause and Contradiction, London: Macmillan.

G. E. L. Owen 1957. ‘Zeno and the Mathematicians’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 58, pp. 199222; reprinted in Owen (1986), pp. 45-61.

Graham Priest 1987. In Contradiction: A Study of the Transconsistent, Dordrecht: Nijhoff.

G. Vlastos 1966. ‘A Note on Zeno's Arrow’, Phronesis, 11, pp. 318.

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Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements
  • ISSN: 1358-2461
  • EISSN: 1755-3555
  • URL: /core/journals/royal-institute-of-philosophy-supplements
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