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Speculations on Time and Space: or Zeno’s Last Stand

Marcus Doel Orcid Logo, David Clarke

Speculative Geographies: Ethics, Technologies, Aesthetics, Pages: 69 - 85

Swansea University Authors: Marcus Doel Orcid Logo, David Clarke

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Abstract

One must speculate within reason, since reason is what extends speculation its line of credit and judges its worth. Consequently, speculation makes a faux pas (false step) when it tries to step beyond or outpace what reason and logic dictate. Speculation must submit itself to all of the correctional...

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Published in: Speculative Geographies: Ethics, Technologies, Aesthetics
ISBN: 9789811906909 9789811906916
Published: London Palgrave Macmillan 2022
Online Access: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-19-0691-6_4
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa58443
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Abstract: One must speculate within reason, since reason is what extends speculation its line of credit and judges its worth. Consequently, speculation makes a faux pas (false step) when it tries to step beyond or outpace what reason and logic dictate. Speculation must submit itself to all of the correctional facilities that reason has at its disposal for dealing with errant, deviant, and vagrant thoughts. In this context, the paradoxes of Zeno of Elea—‘The Dichotomy,’ ‘Achilles and the Tortoise,’ ‘The Arrow,’ and ‘The Stadium’—have kept philosophers and mathematicians puzzling for over two-and-a-half millennia, and they continue to outstep, outpace, and outsmart both reason and logic. The chapter takes up these immortal paradoxes, as Jorges Luis Borges once called them, in order to argue for the ideality of space and time and the hallucinatory nature of the world. Following in the footsteps of late nineteenth-century and early twentieth century British idealism, especially those of Francis Herbert Bradley (1846–1924) and John McTaggart Ellis McTaggart (1866– 1925), with their particular impression of unreality, Zeno’s paradoxes lead us to the inexplicable nature of reality, and signal the ineluctability of a missed encounter with the real.
Keywords: Zeno of Elea, Paradoxes of Motion, The Dichotomy Paradox, Achilles and the Tortoise Paradox, The Arrow Paradox, The Stadium Paradox, British Idealism, Speculation
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Funders: Swansea University Faculty of Science & Engineering
Start Page: 69
End Page: 85