Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Dead people I would like to have met #1

Zeno of Elea (circa 490BC - circa 430BC): I think I'd just like to know what planet he was on. He is mainly known for producing three paradoxes to support his case that motion is impossible. First there was his dichotomy, that motion is impossible since "that which is in locomotion must arrive at the half-way stage before it arrives at the goal." (ie, each journey can be divided into an infinite series of finitely small sub-journeys. Then there was the achilles: "In a race, the quickest runner can never overtake the slowest, since the pursuer must first reach the point whence the pursued started, so that the slower must always hold a lead. And then the arrow: "If everything when it occupies an equal space is at rest, and if that which is in locomotion is always occupying such a space at any moment, the flying arrow is therefore motionless."

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