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Category: Philosophy and Psychology

Date Submitted: 09/20/2011 10:55 PM

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Zeno attempted to demonstrate that motion is an illusion. He sought to prove his theory using reductio ad absurdum. Reductio ad absurdum is the attempt to prove a theory by demonstrating that the contradictory point of view is or leads to an absurdity. Zeno provided two absurdities to ponder. The first being that for a rabbit to move from one hole to a second hole it must first pass the midway point. Nevertheless, in order to reach the midway point the rabbit must pass quarter-point. Zeno continued this pattern until he reached the conclusion that there would be an infinite amount of points that need to be reached to move anywhere. Therefore, because of the time needed to reach each point the time taken to move would be infinite as well. Thus, he concluded that if it took an infinite amount of time to get anywhere that it would effectively rule out the possibility of motion. His second form of proof, once for a rabbit to move from one hole to the second hole it must at every moment occupy a space equal to its length. The same only occupies the space equal to its length when it is at rest. Therefore, the rabbit must be at rest every moment. Thus, the conclusion of his second prove is that motion is an illusion. This theory is very flawed, but highly clever for the era with which it was conceived in. The basic concept is flawed because beings move in both time and space simultaneously. A thing occupies a space equal to its length continuously whether at rest or in motion, motion just changes the location of that space. As for his first proof, time is infinite and the hundredth of a second that it takes to move that small sliver of space only stands to prove how quickly something can move. Zeno was thinking outside of the box, and contrary to public opinion. Without the current scientific theories and laws of physics, it would not be as easy to dismiss his theory. Modern-day scientists have proven not only that motion is possible, but also that with fast enough motion...