PHL100Y1 Lecture 3: lecture 3

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10 Aug 2016
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Lecture 3
Parmenides and Zeno
-Created the “Way of Truth” and the “Way of Opinion”
WAY OF TRUTH
The Beginning of logic, and the impossibility of negation.
-If a word is a name for a thing, its meaning is what it names. Ex. The meaning of the word
horse is a four legged furred animal with hooves who trucks around little girls.
if you have a word for something that doesn't exist, then the word itself is meaningless. Ex.,
a unicorn and a centaur are both equally the same, as neither has any meaning, as both
are mythical.
-IF you say “this is red” you deny that it is any other colour
you can’t deny the existence of anything, even a property: if its not there, then it too is
meaningless. which voids the meaning of the word itself.
-THEREFORE: you can only say “IS”
Zeno
-disciple of Parmenides
-found puzzles and paradoxes that proved the impossibility of time/space/motion
-how->(Assume p is true; show that something absurd follows. Infer that p must be false.)
-Achilles cant catch the tortoise: the tortoise gets a head start. By the time Achilles can reach
reach where the tortoise took off, he must then catch up to where the tortoise has already
moved on to. Although these distances are increasingly smaller, they are an infinite number of
catchings up.
-this problem was solved by calculus, which finds finite limits to infinite stretches.
He used this to prove that there is no time or space.
-MORAL- No argument compels you to accept it. In the face of an valid argument, however
tight, you can either accept the conclusion or reject one of the premises.
ex., with Zeno, you KNOW that the conclusion is absurd. So one of the premises had to
have been wrong.
-But even when we couldn't see the mistake, we rejected it.
!1
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