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Does Aristotle Refute Eleaticism?

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Chapter Summary

Aristotle introduces and responds to four arguments attributed to Zeno of Elea: the Bisection argument, the Achilles argument, the Traveling Arrow argument, and the Stadium argument. The last of these (the Stadium argument) and Aristotle's response to it do not add significantly to understanding Aristotle's account of motion and its relationship with time. The Achilles argument is worth some consideration here because it emphasizes a key feature of Zeno's Eleaticism - its insistence on the primacy of reason over sense-experience for cognition of real existence, of the real nature of the natural universe. Aristotle labors tremendously in Book VI of Physics to respond to Zeno's arguments and to piece together an account of motion and time which may be thought to provide an authentic alternative to Zeno's Eleaticism.

Keywords: Achilles argument; Aristotle; Bisection argument; Book VI; Eleaticism; Physics; Stadium argument; Traveling Arrow argument; Zeno of Elea



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