Zeno’s Paradoxes -The Stationary Arrow

File:Zeno Arrow Paradox.png - Wikimedia Commons

Fire an arrow from your bow, and as you watch it fly through the air there is one thing you can be certain of – that arrow is moving. Right? Wrong, at least according to 5th century BCE philosopher, and student/friend of Parmenides (yes, that Parmenides, the one who claimed there is only one thing (which he called being), and that one thing is unchanging and permanent), Zeno of Elea, who argued that the apparent motion of your arrow is an illusion. There have been a number of attempts to resolve this paradox over the centuries, until now, it is claimed by mathematicians, physicists, and even a few philosophers that Leibniz and Newton solved it with the invention of calculus. We will see that this claim is totally false, before looking at a resolution that actually works as expressed in slightly different form by three French philosophers; Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Henri Bergson, the last of whom influenced the first two and, in my opinion, has the most complete response to Zeno.

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