The Dialectical Structure of Zeno’s Arguments

  • Imre Toth
Part of the Archives Internationales D’Histoire Des Idées / International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 136)


Although no evidence of a logical fallacy was ever produced, philosophers and logicians of the nineteenth century shared the conviction that Zeno’s arguments against motion were simply eristic paralogisms. Hegel was an exception. He was already an exception by the simple fact of taking the arguments seriously: he argues — “Zeno’s dialectics of matter is, up to this day, unrefuted”. It is still unrefuted and irrefutable. But Hegel was singular too in considering the arguments — in accordance with a testimony of Aristotle on Zeno as the inventor of dialectic — as a relevant manifestation of dialectical reasoning: “Zeno’s specificity is the dialectics”. It should however be admitted that Hegel’s comments are rather conjectural, and they are certainly eclipsed by confusing obscurities, opening a rich source of misinterpretations, which few have been able to resist. In the present paper an attempt is made to provide a new interpretation of the arguments in the hope that this will contribute to making their hidden dialectical structure more transparent.


Primitive Term Dialectical Structure Georg Cantor Colloquial Term Recursive Predicate 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

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  • Imre Toth

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