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Lear - Zeno's Arrow

Lear - Zeno's Arrow

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A Note on Zeno's Arrow Author(s): Jonathan Lear Source: Phronesis, Vol. 26, No. 2 (1981), pp.

91-104 Published by: BRILL Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4182117 Accessed: 02/09/2009 13:34
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The now is simply a division of past and future. (4) Therefore.This follows from assuming that time is composed from nows. Commentators tend to interpret Zeno as saying that in a moment the arrow occupies a space its own size. I conjecture. he is speaking of durationless 91 .1 The paradox.2 But it does. had the following form: (1) Anything that is occupying a space just its own size is at rest. First. the one just stated. itself having no duration. Second. is moving in the present. for if one does not grantthis.A Note on Zeno's Arrow JONATHAN LEAR ? 1. Zeno's paradox of the arrow is reconstructed from two condensed passages in Aristotle. is that the moving arrow is standing. 'in the -v now' (EV viv) is probably Aristotelian. (5) Therefore a moving arrow. there will be no syllogism. I have interpreted the phrase 'is against what is equal' (xtTo T61L'oov)as 'is occupying a space just its own size'. I shall argue. When he talks of a collection of nows (T& viv). for he says that if everything always rests when it is against what is equal (xar& To 'iaov)and what is moving is always in the now (EV TrO vivv)the moving arrowis motionless. First. (2) A moving arrow."(Physics Z9. capture a concept crucial to Zeno's argument which has been overlooked by modem commentators: the concept of the present instant. Later in Z9 he says "The third <Zenonian> argument.and of Aristotle's response . just as neither is any other magnitude. I think. Aristotle attacks the paradox on two broad fronts. Two items about the reconstruction deserve mention. the phrase. in the present the arrow is at rest. while it is moving. as one can see from the quoted passages. 239b5-9). preserves the sense of the Greek while sparing us its artificial ring. But this is false: for time is not composed from indivisible nows. is at rest.3 And yet much of the strength of the paradox .depends on the fact that the moment of travel with which Zeno is concerned is the present moment. (3) But in the present the arrow is occupying a space just its own size. Physics Z9 begins: "Zeno argues fallaciously. while it is moving.4 ? 2."(239b30-33). The Greeks notoriously had difficulty working out a conception of space and the interpretation. he denies that time is composed of nows.

one could use the varying speeds to divide the indivisible now. as in the above example.6 It follows that it does not make sense to speak of an object moving in a now: "That nothing is moving in the now is evident from what follows. He argues that it is a mistake to speak of the arrow either as moving or as being at rest in a now.9 Since nothing naturallyis moving in the now. according to Aristotle." (Physics Z3. it is evident that neither is it resting. The argument depends on the assumption that if a property 0 holds of an object at every present instant of a given period of time.and resting 92 . there is no paradox. and Further. the fasterobject will have moved AC in less time than this. one could ask how long it took the faster object to move the distance AC (the distance travelled by the slower object in the now) and the answer would have to be some time that is less than the now. But the now is indivisible. Since each now has no temporal magnitude. Second. then 0 holds of the object throughout the period.the past and future>. it does not follow that the arrow was stationary throughout the duration of its flight. for if <objects could be moving in the now>then it is possible thatone object be moving fasterand another object be moving slower. For the duration should not be thought of as composed of nows. For.5 Therefore. but which is not moving when. So for an object to be moving at any given velocity it must be in the process of moving over a certain distance in a given period of time. This assumption. and let the fasterobject have moved the distance AB in N. so that if objects could be moving in a now. is not valid. for the argument is invalid.Thereforeit is not possibleto be movingin the now. each of which either is. in the same time. So even if all the premisses are true. Aristotle also denies the truth of the premisses. Aristotle continues.if the same now is in two periodsof time <e. For we say to be resting that which naturally moves. "Neither is it possible that there be restingin a now. was or will be present. a collection of nows cannot together compose a temporal magnitude. Let the now be N.instants. For motions occur at different velocities and velocity is a matter of distance travelled over time elapsed.g. Then the slowerobject will be moved less than AB. let us say AC. it is possible that an object be moving throughoutthe whole of one period. 234a24-31)7 The idea is that moving objects move at varying speeds. Since the slower object has moved AC in the whole time. The appearance of validity depends on a misconception of the nature of time. even if Zeno was right in saying that in each now the moving arrow is stationary. where and as it naturally does. neither does it make sense to speak of an object being at rest in a now.8 But.so that the now will be divided.

13 Aristotle. so that (2) becomes uncontentiouslytrue." (Physics Z3.'2 Preciselybecause time is not composedof nows. like motion. for example. Aristotle'stwo lines of attack are intimately related. <and since> a moving object will be moving in whatever part of the whole time in which it is naturallymoving.attacksZeno'sassumptionthat (*) what is true of the arrowat each moment of its flight is true of it throughoutthe whole period. both itself and its parts. For if time were composed of nows then eitherone would have to explain the motion that occursover a periodof time in termsof the motionsthat occurin the nows or one would have to deny that there is continuousmotion and admit that all that happens is that an object is at differentplaces at differentnows. 93 . then (3) becomes false: during a present period of time. the moving arrow is not occupyinga spacejust its own size.One can locate the objectprecisely and thus be able to say thatthe objectoccupiesa spacejustits own size only if the object is resting or if one is speaking of its position in a now (239a26-b1).as Aristotle takes him to mean. So on this frontAristotleattacksthe premissesof Zeno'sargument. Premiss(2) is false if by 'the present'Zeno meant. Compelling as Aristotle's response may initially appear. one should interpret'the present' to be a durationof time.one does not have to think of the motion thatoccursover a periodof time as dependentupon anything that happens in a now. but in a now there is no earlier <moment>. necessarilythe moving object moves and the restingobject rests in time. For the same now is the extreme of both periods of time. now and earlier. pCyTov) (239a23-b26). 234a3I-b9)10 Rest. Owen.'1 Indeed Aristotledenies that one can preciselylocate a movingobject.throughout the whole of the other period. the presentinstant. ? 3.(1) is false becausein a now an objectwill occupya spacejust its own size and yet neither be in motion nor at rest. must occur over a period of time: for just as motion requires that an object be at different places at different times.accordingto Owen.Therefore. For the arrowis not movingin the present instant.in the sense of sayingexactlywhat it is up against(xOr&Ti. If.has arguedthat the questionof whetheror not time is composed of instantsis completelyirrelevantto solvingZeno'sparadox. Again. however. will follow that the same object will be moving and resting it at the same time. there is probably no other of his argumentsthat has come in for such criticism. that neither is there so resting. so rest demandsthat the objectbe at the same place at differenttimes. and the restingobject will similarlybe resting<inwhateverpartof the whole period in which it is naturallyresting>. we say to be restingthat which is in a similarstate.

The basis of Aristotle's attack is that time is not made up of moments. and then the whole period would be thought of as composed of these moments. Aristotle unjustly deprives us of a common and useful expression. is his assumption that the inference can be valid only if the expression 'x is moving' has exactly the same sense in the premiss and conclusion. Both Owen and Vlastos distinguish between the notion of an object moving at an instant and an object moving in an instant. However time is composed. This assumption (**) is fallacious because one can say that the object is moving at each moment of its flight even though it has in any moment no 94 . and this. the arrowwould actually have to traverse some distance in a moment. Indeed. But. Aristotle has overlooked the fact that though the two uses of 'x is moving' are not strictly synonymous. it is alleged. says Owen's 'Zeno'. By pointing out thAt time cannot be composed of moments. Zeno's fallacy cannot lie in this assumption. Aristotle mistakenly thinks he has revealed the fallacy. But this does not show that an object cannot be moving at an instant. they are systematically related. says Owen.'7 By ruling out as illegitimate one use of 'x is moving'. that is. "is ordinary sense and not bad logic.16 It is constitutive of the sense of that expression that when one can say 'x is moving throughout a period p' one can also say 'x is moving at any moment t in p' and vice versa. according to Owen. Zeno's fallacy lies not in the assumption (*) but in the assumption (**) at each moment of its flight the arrow must be stationary since evidently it has no time to move."'15The reason that the inference is valid and Zeno's assumption (*) is justified is. it is to construe the instant as a very small duration of time. all one needs to admit is that the inference from 'x is moving at any moment in period p' to 'x is moving throughout the whole period p' is valid. But. Aristotle correctly dismisses as absurd the notion of an object moving in an instant. This naturally leads one to criticize Aristotle's belief that an object cannot be moving in an instant. For it to have the same sense. Owen argues. may remain agnostic as to whether time is composed of moments or not. according to Owen. For to say that an object is moving at a moment is only to say that that moment is contained in a period during which the object is moving.14 Zeno. Aristotle's mistake. that they embody a type of rule that gives a sense to the expression 'x is moving at a moment'.18To say that the object is moving in an instant is to say that the object actually traverses some distance during the instant.

even though it covers no ground in any moment. in controversialcontexts. he also allowed himself to denote the atomicquantum of durationintegralmultiplesof which would make up aHlargerintervals. "if the arrow is moving at all. He used it commonly as a name for the durationlessinstant. Zeno's paradox. in the sense that it is not actually traversing any distance in the present. "s20 Even if the premiss of Vlastos' argument is correct. Zeno's alleged mentor. You want to say that the arrow really is moving at the present." he would say. but occasionally. His defense is that ".['T6 vv' is one of Aristotle'sfavourite technicalterms. Unfortunately. but indeed on a highly general notion of the present . A general notion of the present certainly was in evidence in Zeno's time. "For surely. On this interpretation the arrow is moving at each moment of its flight. But Zeno would not be at all happy about our simply helping ourselves to the asumption that there exists a period in which the arrow is moving. . all together'". So it is absurd for you to say that the arrow is moving at the present in virtue of its moving in some other time!"'19 It is Vlastos who most eloquently and explicitly disputes the claim that Zeno's Arrow can have anything to do with the notion of the present. Its presence here is explicable as an Aristotelianplant: by sticking it into his account of the puzzle Aristotle makes it all the easier for his readers to feel the appositeness of his refutation*. Owen's interpretation does justice neither to Zeno nor to Aristotle. . Parmenides. in the sense that the present is part of a period of time in which the arrow does traverse some distance.Since neither of these two uses of vvv have any known precedent. there is no time it could be moving other than the present. It does not matter if a particular technical use of "T6 vivv'was not in evidence before Aristotle's time. 95 .which perhaps by its very generality makes it difficult to see how to refute the paradox. However. says.time to move. nor will it be: since now (vvv) it is. The arrow is alleged to be moving at an instant if and only if it is moving in a period that contains the instant.if time were discontinuous. does not depend on any technical use of 'vvv'. and thus Zeno's argument collapses.2 It is precisely the Parmenidean assumption that something can only be in the present that gives Zeno's Arrow its point. it would be most unsafe to assume that Zeno had anticipatedone of them across a gap of a hundred years or more. you should have admitted that there is no time the arrow could be moving other than at the present. And yet you have admitted that the arrow is not moving in the present. ? 4. it does not establish the conclusion for which he is arguing. as I have construed it. "Nor was it ever.

Once one beginsthinking in these termsit becomes difficultto see why anybodycould have thought that premiss(1) is plausible. on an expresstrainfromCambridgeto London: at everyinstantof the journeyone occupiesa spacejust one'sown size and yet one is movingthroughoutthe entirejourney.For then it is too easy to go on to say.And they do even if they are in motion throughout theirtemporalcareers.a periodthatcan be dividedsuch that some of it is past. According to Barnes.If. then one cannot go on to say that the object is moving at any instantcontained in that period. .some of it is past. the paradox now looks so unappealingthat one might become suspiciousthat one's victoryover Zeno has been too easy.justified. "objectsdo. Zeno's use of the presentis designed to make contentious our assumptionthat there exists a period of time that both contains the present instant and is a period in which the object is about moving. the 96 . however. Barnesattemptsto dissolve Zeno's Arrowby arguingthat premiss(1) is false:i. of any period of time that containsthe presentinstant.Indeed such a notion will either be inapplicable or superfluous. that it is simply false thatif an objectoccupiesa spacejust its own size.that the arrowcan be movingat an instantin virtueof its movingin a periodthatcontainsthe instant. say. perhapsinvoking concepts derived from calculus. Such suspicion is.23 it is certainly vvv' For truethat at an instantan object occupiesa spacejust its own size. However. If one cannot uncontentiouslyassume the existence of a period of time in which an object is moving. I think. then it is not moving.If we do not assume the existence of a period of time in which the arrow is moving . as Aristotlepointedout in his very first&nopL'op time. occupy a space exactly equal to their volumeat that instant.But since Zeno was concernedwith the specialcase of the present.e.'thenow'merely being an instantaneous division of this period. One can thenimagineoneself.the restof it is future. then the appeal to the notion of motion at an instantis superfluous:one has alreadyassumedall thatis needed to show that the arrowis moving. For one can only say that the arrowis movingat an instantif it is movingin a periodof time thatcontainsthe instant.For. at every instant of their temporal careers. though it is difficultto see why not if one assumesthat '1v-rC means'at an instant'.then the notion of motion at an instantis inapplicable.Why should anyone find that puzzling?"22 Barneshas not dissolvedZeno's puzzle. one cannot answer him with the notion of motion at an instant.By construing the claim that the arrow cannot be moving ?v -r4viv as the claim that the arrowcannot be moving at an instant.one followsAristotleby assumingthe existenceof a periodof time in whichthe arrowis moving.commentators have unwittinglydiminishedZeno's paradox.

strictly speaking. However."yes". "can one say that the arrowis rest is future. But the theoristswe are consideringdeny that any period of time can. how can we say thereis any time duringwhich the trainis moving? Have we not helped ourselvesto the notion of a period of time when an object is moving?And yet we have alreadyconceded both that the only time an objectcan be movingis in the present(premiss(2)) and that in the presentit does not actuallytraverseany distance(premiss(3)). as we ordinarily use the terms. There does not seem to be any time duringwhich we can say that the train . Then one can go on to say that an object is moving at the presentinstant if that instant is containedin a periodin whichthe objectis moving. For anyone who adopts this analysis will come to think that some of his previousbeliefs about motionwere merelyperspectival. Of course." movingin virtue of thingsthat have happenedto it or will happen to it?" It is now possible to see the problemwith Barnes'solution. Premiss(1) looks obviously false only if one begs the question by assumingthat there is a periodof time in which an objectis moving.but thisuse is derivative of the primary use. One can concede this and neverthelessmaintain that the arrowis at a differentposition at any moment from its position at any othermoment. One can say that an object is moving during a period of time p solely in virtueof its being at differentplacesat differenttimesin p. One responsethat does not beg the question is to deny premiss(2): i.if we can say thatwe are on a trainmovingfromCambridgeto London. be treated as present.We may also talkabout an objectmovingat an instant. the arrowis not moving during the course of its flight. But. Zeno has scored a victoryon this analysisthat is more than verbal.is moving.To Zeno's incredulous question. that is. "So you think that an object can be movingsolely in virtue of positions it has occupied in the past and will occupy in the future?"one would simply answer.24"6How. deny that for an object to be moving it needs to be moving in the present. For we primarily the continuouspresenttense 'x is moving'to talkaboutan use event that requiresa durationof time all of whichis consideredpresent. Theoristsof time who do not wish to give the presenta special statusmay preferthis solution to Aristotle's.25 would be the responseof someonewho This did not wish to incorporatethe notion of a present duration into his scientific theory of time.then we can also say that we are movingat any instantduringourjourney. So these theorists ought to concede to Zeno that.it is worthnoting that this strategygives a victoryto Zeno.or the arrow.Zeno wants to ask.e. in virtue of which we can say that it is moving at an instant.Zeno might ask.even thoughat that instantwe occupya spacejust ourown size. dependent 97 .

in particular the notion of motion at an instant. Advocates of this analysis urge that on the impersonal scientific conception of the world there is no period of time that is present. Zeno's Arrow does not. And even if we have to grant Zeno that the arrow is not moving in the sense that we originally thought it was. but before it gets half way . Any period of time can only be thought of as composed of smaller periods of titpe. but by developing a theory of time in which the present can be conceived of as a period of time. as Aristotle did not. one might argue that Zeno has not shown very much. Of course it is possible for a good argument to have stultifying effects and this may have been Aristotle's legacy.26 One can do this not by pointing out any obvious fallacy. really show that motion is impossible. that an object can be moving at an instant even though it only occupies a space its own size. For he has not shown that the arrow cannot be in different positions at different times. consider that before it reaches the target it first has to get half way. to give a sense to the notion of an object moving at an instant or at the present instant. we can nevertheless revise our usage of'x is moving' to accommodate the scientific conception of motion. . That this is part of Aristotle's strategy is revealed by his doctrine that time is not composed of nows. It is often said that Zeno's paradox was puzzling to the Greeks only because they lacked the modern concepts of the calculus. Having developed a theory of time that construes the present as a period of time. one might complain. The flight of an arrow consists solely in its being at different positions at different times. depending as it does upon a theory of time that treats the present as a period of time. This is a far from trivial truth. It is only then that one is entitled to say. with Barnes. the first line of attack should be premiss (3): that in the present the arrow is occupying a space just its own size. But it is commonly thought that Aristotle presented a fallacious argument which because of its 98 . It is also commonly said that Aristotle's argument that there cannot be motion at an instant dramatically retarded the development of dynamics. One can imagine Zeno's response: "With that paradox I was only trying to show that there was no time for the arrow to be moving. By now it should be clear that such a claim is unjustified. Still. ? 5. From the human perspective.on the human point of view. an arrow seems to be moving due to changes that are occurring in a period of time that can legitimately be conceived to be present. one can then proceed. Now if you want to see that the arrow cannot occupy different positions in the flight." If one does not wish to grant any victory to Zeno. .

however. for an instant is not a duration of time and a fortiori not a duration of time in which any distance can be travelled. This objection will not stand up to scrutiny. the most natural way to express this phenomenon is to say thatat every moment the objectis movingat a differentvelocity. and 99 . but this admission differs significantly from the claim that Aristotle fallaciously argued that there cannot be motion in an instant. Each of the achieved velocities of which one is taking the limit is of course calculated by dividing the distance covered in a period of time by the length of the period of time. It would therefore be absurd to ask the velocity of an object at an instant.27 And if the object is at each moment moving at a different velocity from any other moment. be objected that one cannot think of motion as occurring only over periods of time. no matter how close together. This does not show that there is any mistake in Aristotle's argument. unjustified: Aristotle's argument is valid and there is no intrinsic reason why it should have had any negative influence on the progress of dynamics. No discovery of the calculus or of dynamics reveals any flaw in this argument. i. This belief is. It might. I think. as we have seen. For if one considers an object that is constantly accelerating. But since it is not moving at any velocity at an instant. During a period of constant acceleration the following phenomenon will occur: if one takes any two instants during that period.e. only that there is a use of the expressions 'instanteneous velocity' and 'moving at an instant' that he did not envisage. Aristotle's argument. it is not moving at an instant. For the instantaneous velocity of an object at t is calculated by determining the velocities of the object during temporal intervals which converge on t. is that a moving object must be moving at some velocity and velocity is a matter of distance travelled over time elapsed. as designating the limit of velocities. Of course modern dynamics surpasses Aristotelian dynamics in part due to the fact that we understand the concept of a limit much better than he did. this means that there is no period of time during the acceleration that the object is travelling at any fixed velocity.fallaciousness badly influenced all those who believed it. Rather it has been discovered that there is a use in dynamics for taking the limit of velocities at which an object is moving during successively shorter periods of time which converge on a given instant. Traditionally this limit has been called the 'instantaneous velocity' of a moving object or the velocity at which the object is 'moving at an instant'. So in order to determine any instantaneous velocity one must be able to determine the velocities of the object during certain periods of time.

I think.calculates the respective limits of the velocities achieved over periods whichconvergeon those instants.The reasonis thata period of time is not composed of presentinstantsor nows.thereis reason to go back and re-examineAristotle'sproposedsolution. The argumentis invalid.For example. attacksboth the validityof the argument the truthof the and premisses.by contrast.Aristotle.If one wishes to describe this phenomenon by saying 'at every instant the object's velocity is different'that is all right. But Aristotle does notprovethat time is not composedof nows.provided that one is not led to believe that somethingspecial is happeningin an instant. While he does argue that the premissesof Zeno's argumentare false.it does not follow that the the arrowwas stationarythroughout periodof its flight.he says.29 senses. a belief based on the testimonyof Zeno and Aristotleagreed on the testimonyof the sensory experience.For that is to be misled by one's vocabulary.so Aristotleis hardly at fault for not proving every assumption. began with the belief that an arrowobviously does move during the course of its flight.Aristotle. ? 6.30 The existence 100 .The problemis that arguments in physics. and prove the formerby the latter.28 Aristotle.to fascinate.Of course every proof must rely ultimatelyupon premissesthat are not themselvesproved.Indeed he repeatedly insists that one must distinguishthat which needs proof from that which does not.In PhysicsF-Zhe constructsa theoryof space.as we have seen. Since the calculusis impotentto solve Zeno's Arrow. to a much greater degree than pure mathematicalproofs.may depend on assumptions that even upon mature considerationdo not appearself-evidentor foreverbeyond reproach.ratherin PhysicsA 10-14 he develops a theory of time in which a period of time can be said to be composedonly of smallerperiodsof time and not of instantaneous nows. Aristotletook time to be a measureof motion. This will shed some light both on what constitutesa replyto a scepticalargumentand on why Zeno'sparadoxcontinues.took his argumentto show that sensoryexperiencemust give a misleadingpicture of the natureof reality.the resultswill be different. but differed on its significance. in Eleatic fashion.took the sensoryexperience to show that there must be something wrongwith any argumentthat leads to such a drasticallyconflictingconclusion.and will continue.becauseeven if one grantsthat the arrowis stationaryin each presentinstant. the of argumentdepends upon his theoryof the structure time whichis not so much proved as rigorouslypresented.Zeno.time and motionwhichpurports describeabstractly to how the motion he evidentlysaw to occuractuallydoes occur.

To assume that it does is to assume that one must always be able to answerthe sceptic using no assumptionsat all or assumptions that are blindingly self-evident and incontrovertible.the puzzle whichone may have thoughtburiedforeverwill be resurrected.the scepticalparadoxwill cease to be problematicforoneself: it will no longerbe a genuinea&ropit.Given that one does sincerelybelieve the premisses. like Aristotle. We know that there is a temporaldimension to our experience.For most interestingscepticalarguments.indeed the only.Suchvertigo motivatesthe desire for a theorywhich will explain our experienceto us.this does not reveala fundamental flaw in Aristotle'sresponse. way to meet as ingeniousan argument Zeno offers.Aristotlereasonedthat since timeis a measureor number of motion. However.are not guaranteedto be stableover time for an individualor a community.no such refutation is available.in the sense of being dismissedon the basis of absolutely incontrovertible assumptions.it depends for its existenceupon the existenceof a soul or mind whichdoes the numberingor measuring.At best.That time is not composedof nows seems plausibleenough in the context of Aristotle'stheory of time.but the attempt to explain our experience of the present. one can follow Aristotleand answerZeno with arguments based on premissesone sincerelybelievesto be true.such as Zeno's Arrow.not Zeno. as The scepticalpuzzle is not refuted.Further.31 We. sincerebeliefs.33 In the case of Zeno's arrow. One may be able to construct another theory which will answer the paradox.it goes away. But it is importantto be aware that it is we who have been persuadedof Zeno's fallacy.tendsto inducevertigo.Shouldthe assumptions of a theoryused to answera scepticalparadoxcome in question.andnatureof time was takento be derivativeof the existenceand natureof motion.tend to begin with the belief that objectsdo actually move and that theremustbe some theorywhich explainshow such motion is possible.However. We do not have clear intuitionswhich dictate the shape of an adequate 101 . the period of time in whichwe are self-consciously existing.thereis a more specificreasonfor suspecting thatone's responsemight be undermined. but thereis no theorywhich can guaranteethatone will foreverbe able to keep a good puzzle down. is the That best. no matterhow sincerelybelieved.32 Zeno would think that Aristotle'stheory begs the question by assuming that there is a period of time. This is thatwe do not have clear or preciseintuitionsabout the phenomenologyof ourtemporalexperience. and if we are gripped by that theorywe will know how to answerZeno. a period which can be representedeither as dividedinto past and futurewith the presenta durationlessinstantor as a periodthatis entirelypresent.

v. 2 Cf.Such a pronouncementhas a certainirrefragible quality: it is not liable to error. the one before. Cambridge. For the soul to pronouncethe nows is either for it to be awarethat at two distinctmomentsit has pronounceda now or thatat a previousmoment it has pronounced a now which is distinct from the now it is currentlypronouncing. cit. Allen and D. rather we seek a theory that will help us conceptualizeour intuitions.(Cf. "Diodorus Cronus and Hellenistic Philosophy".Cf. Barnes. p. Ari6totle's claim that we become aware of time whenever the soul pronounces the nows. 276-285. L. G. 192.Math. "Zeno"op. one must admit that Zeno's Arrowmay again emerge as a seriouschallengeto those who believe in motion.and David Sedley." (AdversusHaereticos 111. Turnbull.2. "A note on Zeno's Arrow"in R.Proceedingsof the Cambridge Philological Society 23. But Owen. There is a disagreement over whether this argumentis trulyZenonian.X. Machamer and R.11. 165 note 38. pp. p. 187. Vlastos. basic doubt. This interpretationis odd. pp. For the soul to pronouncea now is for it to be awareof the presentmoment as present. 1967. PhysicsA 11. p. 192. cit. And it moves neitherin the place in which it is nor in that which it is not. 1. cit.) I am not now concerned with Owen'scharge of conflation. 1979. 276). Motion and Time. 3 Cf. "Aristotle on Time". Vlastos.theory.This would make no sense as an explanationof our awareness of time if 'the soul pronouncing the nows' consisted merely in it considering (or pronouncing) two arbitraryinstants t.86-90. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul 1975.Vlastosop. since in other contexts one clearlycannot interpret'T6viv' as meaning merely 'an instant'.for example. cit.Consider. e. The translationof 239b6 above reflects Ross's suggestion that e kineitai should be bracketed.for example. Allen and Furley.X. E. Furley (eds.) Studies in PresocraticPhilosophy. incorporatesit in his reconstruction Zeno's arrow. I am inclined to agree with Barnesthat the dilemmamay well be due to Diodorus Cronus. omits it and Barnes expresses scepticism about its authenticity.g.(G. Owen.Barnesop. Graeci 590) Cf. Therefore nothing moves. Owen "Zeno". op. of J. in op. NOTES There is also a non-Aristotelianreportfrom Epiphanius: "(Zeno) also arguesthus: what is moving moves eitherin the place in which it is or in the place in which it is not. But cf. pp. op. 157: J. ratherthan 102 .72. Owen.p. and t2.Indeed Owen himselfsays elsewherethat the doctrineof the now conflates two distinctideas.. Sextus Empiricus. also Diogenes' similar report. IX. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 157. cit. L. 219a26-29). "Zeno and the Mathematicians". The PresocraticPhilosophersv. for example. but with his absolutely correctclaim that the now involves the notion of the present.34 Clare College. E. 1977. Owen. DK 29B4 = VitaePhilos. Space and Matter.H. in P.Cf. ParmenidesDK 28B8 line 5. cit. 15-16. Adv. 112. thatof the presentand thatof an instant.Thus one can both believe that time is not composedof nows and Becauseof this also believe that that belief could be seriouslyundermined. p. E. Diels Dox. the other after (cf.It is only by interpretingthe now as involving the notion of the presentmoment. Ohio State University Press.

for it assumes that the motion that occursin a now is continuous motion. 25 1b 19-26). A 6 Cf. 1967. pp. Cf. However. 1 Cf. Of course for Aristotle such discontinuous motion was not motion at all. PhysicsZ8). Epicurus. Hardie and R. 14 Owen. Physics Zl. also Physics 237a 14. 10 There might seem to be a tension between this position and Aristotle'sclaim that there is a firstmoment at which a change has occurred(PhysicsZ5. the argumentAristotleoffers. cit.For suppose thatthe change that is occurringis that an object is coming to a halt (cf.. R.On this reading the argumentis more compelling and it is.Princeton: PrincetonUniversity Press. be that there is a first momentof the period that the object is at rest. K.(T. Two Studies in the GreekAtomists. P. 239b1.. J. that one can understandAristotle'sexplanationof our awareness of time. 15 Pennerhas attacked Owen for overlookingAristotle'senergeia/kinesisdistinction. cit. Physics 11-14.fr. "Zeno"op. Gaye do in the Oxford translation) then the argument looks unnecessarilyweak.and if one wishes to say that this is the 'first moment of the object's being at rest' that is all right as long as one is not misled into thinkingthat the object is resting in an instant.so since r6vvvis both a beginningand an end. Physics A 14. 5Cf. Then one might expect that there must be a first moment at which the object is at rest. 1979. and the reason he gives is that rest. then it is wrong to say that therewas time before that moment. 236a17-20). One could not divide the now by askingwhen the fasterobject was one spatialatom removed. there was no such time. a beginningof futuretime and an end of the past. 9 Cf. and this the atomist could deny. 231bl8-232a22 and D. 278 Us. p. whereas the other object was only one spatial atom removed. p. "Zeno"op. to suppose that there was a firstnow is to make the strongerassumption that there was a first moment which was at some time present. 161. PhysicsZ8. pp. consider Aristotle'sproof that there must always be time: "Now since time cannot exist and is unthinkablewithout r6 vvv.g. cannot occur in an instant(Z8. Physics 226b 12.If one translates'To vvv'as 'a moment'(as e. it is necessarythat there always be time. for.cf. 239a 0. I think. 121-9 D and Furley. being both a beginning and an end. delivered at the Eastern Division Meeting.14). 103 . cit. necessarilythere will be time on both sides of it.just an arbitrarymoment. 241a24-26. Furley. according to the atomist. Aristotle does explicitly deny that there can be a first instantof rest. But we can only conceive of a presentmoment as a division of past and future. 222b30-223a15. 157-162. 157. 8 An atomist need not be bothered by this argument. 239a23-b3. 131-5. fr. 13 Owen. he could allow two objects to move at different speeds in the sense thatin the next now one object was two spatial atoms removed from where it had been in the previous now. Treatingthe now as a temporal atom. As another example.Study 1. If there was a firstmoment in time. I think.but To vvvis a type of mean. op. But his full reply would. For the extremeof the completed time will be in some one of TrV viv (since there is nothing to grasp (Xadv) in time apart from To vvv). 235b6-236a7).like motion. 7Cf. and Diodorus Cronos. Indivisible Magnitudes. 12 Cf." (Physics 0 1. Indeed under the pressureof such an argumentAristotle does talk about an object resting in a moment (Physics Z5. 4 Saul Kripke suggested that the present was importantfor Zeno's Arrow in his lecture "IdentityThrough Time". American Philosophical Association.

M." But though this suggests that Owen's "Zeno" might have been able to use a better example against Aristotlethan the case of sleeping (Owen op. See WilfridSellars. "Zeno". "Zeno". "Zeno"op. 28 Cf. p.op.pp. 157). N. 31 Physics A14.Cambridge:CambridgeUniversityPress.Cf. and London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.) Ryle. For Parmenides'attachmentto the presentand rejectionof the past and futurecf. Mackenzie. 33 This is a direct consequence of Quine's dictum that no belief is unrevisable.London: Allen and Unwin. 187. 160-1."I am happy to accepthis gloss of'at' for'en'. 22 J. 221b22-23.which Penner takes to be an energeiaand not a kinesis . Sedley and T. Cf.op. but I think that 'at' is simply the appropriateEnglishtranslationof 'en'. Butterfield. 160). 25 This would be the position of one who wishes to deal with Zeno's paradoxesvia what Sellarshas called the scientific image. p. MetaphysicsF4. 34 I would like to thank J. Thus Barnestakes premiss(I) above to be obviously false.g. the extended discussionon pp.. then x was movingat any moment t duringp (p. E. 278: "Aristotlesays 'in the now (en tbi nun)'. 350.op. Wood and G. Pitcher(eds. 221b7. cit. 1006a5-8."Verbsand the identityof actions . See also G. Barnes op. Bertrand Russell. p. op. 1972.in 0. Farrar. 184-7. 253a32-b6. e.C. 347. cit. cit.g. 18 Owen. 21 DK 28B8. 159. chapter 1. especially lines 5-6. also Owen'sdiscussionin "Aristotleon Time". Appendix II). 160.Owen does explicitly disagreewith Aristotleby saying that if x was movingthroughouta period p. p. 1971. A. cit.chapter6. Posterior Analytics A2-3. cit. line 5. 29 Cf.Cf.Science. Physics 03. then at any moment t duringp he was 0 -ing. e. 'Zeno's' remarksin Owen. It is just that this cannot be said with movement or more generally with kinesis. 1963.221b25-26. 24 Cf. cit. 193. cit. 26 This would be the position of someone who wished to deal with Zeno'sArrowvia what Sellarshas called the manifestimage. Owen'sremarks on the retrenchability 'now' in "Aristotleon Time".Perception Reality. 1980. Barnes. 19 For evidence of Zeno's Parmenideanbent see Plato. 30 Physics220b32-221 al. cit. J. 23 Cf. p. Penner is correctthat "Aristotlehas no generalpresumptionagainstsaying that if x was 0 -ing throughouta period p. p. p. 223al6-18. 254a5-11. Smiley for criticismsof a previousdraft.op. DK 28B8. p. p. 283. b28-30. 32 For a fuller discussion of this approach to sceptical argumentssee my Aristotleand Logical Theory. cit. Owen. "Zeno". of 27 See e. The Principlesof Mathematics.Vlastos.D. 253a32-b6. Owen. cit. cit. 17 16 104 . L. London: Macmillan.127A-128E. Parmenides. P.op. Physics 10. 161. I say 'at t': some philosophersfind a significant difference here.Penner. M.Physics 03. op. Cf. 217b33-218a8. cit.a philosophicalexercisein the interpretation of Aristotle". Sellarsop.g. but not his translation(which he gives without comment) of 't' for 'nun'. 20 Vlastos.op.Cf.

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