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Aristotle on Zeno's Arrow

Takashi Oki

Kyoto University

In this paper, I analyse how Aristotle understands Zeno’s arrow and how he solves it, by carefully looking at Physics Z. First, I offer a reconstruction of Zeno’s argument based on Aristotle’s report, and argue that he solves the paradox by denying that time is composed of indivisible nows. Second, I criticize other scholars’ interpretations: (i) By pointing out that this paradox uses the idea that ‘a moving body does not move through any distance at an instant’, I show that Barnes’s (1982: 283) solution based on the distinction between ‘is moving at an instant’ and ‘moves through some distance at an instant’ does not work well; (ii) I argue that Lear (1981: 96-97) is wrong in thinking that it is question-begging to assume, when solving the arrow paradox, that the arrow is moving in a period of time; (iii) I show that my criticism of Barnes’s and Lear’s interpretations in (i) and (ii) also applies to Magidor’s (2008) new interpretation, even though she differs with them on various points.

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Meeting of the Society of Ancient Greek Philosophy

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