Zeno, The Mathematician And Philosopher

Discussion in 'Philosophy & Psychology' started by Bobby Cole, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
    Task Force Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,882
    Likes Received:
    9,282
    Yesterday, I asked a gentleman at the gym we attend how he was doing with his workout. He told me he was half way there to which I answered, “if you keep doing that you’ll never get finished”.
    He looked at me as though I just ruined his day and then, after a small laugh, I then told him I was just expounding on one of Zeno’s paradoxes which is;

    (Paraphrased)
    If a man is traveling from point A to point B and for each step he steps half the distance of the one prior to it, he will never reach his destination.

    Of course, the gentleman I was speaking to laughed about it and told me that he was going to look the Greek up and read more about him and his paradoxes the very minute he got home.
    I told him that there are actually quite a few and the most studied ones even today are, “The Arrow” and “Achilles and the Tortoise”.

    Zeno published his paradoxes some 2500 years ago and is one of my absolute favorite philosophers / mathematicians of the ancient world. If one looks up the name, one will find philosophers and physics people still trying to disprove his amazing brain teasers.
    Perhaps we can look over some of his work and maybe even build a better liking for the old gent.

    Edit: It just occurred to me that there was more than one Zeno. This one is Zeno of Alea and not a Roman Emperor.
    Also, the example of one of Zeno’s paradoxes that I gave is called “The Dichotomy”.
     
    #1
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  2. Bob Kirk

    Bob Kirk Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2019
    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    679
    Did that gentleman get back to you on the difference in his half way & your in put of “if you keep doing that you’ll never get finished”.

    Depending on what he was doing at the time & his intention to complete his goal time vs motion would be whether or not he finishes. Say for example he was on a tread mill expecting to complete 6000 strides and he did as you point out he would have to have measured his half way point then began the reduction you describe in his stride.

    But suppose time was his goal on the treadmill speed/distance/strides not a factor. He would finish.

    Achilles gave up because there was no goal, no set time or distance. The turtle talked Achilles into believing he would fail. That then becomes mind over physical ability.
     
    #2
    Bobby Cole likes this.
  3. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    8,161
    Likes Received:
    8,579
    I work so fast I'm always finished!
     
    #3
  4. Bess Barber

    Bess Barber Very Well-Known Member
    Task Force Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2019
    Messages:
    3,760
    Likes Received:
    7,392
    @Bobby Cole
    If a man is traveling from point A to point B and for each step he steps half the distance of the one prior to it, he will never reach his destination.

    Sometimes, I feel like this when trying to pay my bills. :D
     
    #4
  5. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
    Task Force Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,882
    Likes Received:
    9,282
    Whether distance or time and whatever the point might be, a half of a half of a half is still a half.

    It’s a given that on the macro level, the majority of the proposal is indeed absurd for no one’s footsteps can split a 32nd or a 64th of an inch. Finishing on that level is inevitable.
    Mathematically though, the physics demand that it goes throughout the quantum level for which there is no determination as of yet whether or not infinity truly exists. A half of a half throughout infinity, whatever that may be.

    Note: Zeno was one of the first if not THE first philosopher to delve further into the concept of infinity hence his concepts being laid down in a mathematical paradox or construct as it were.
     
    #5
  6. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
    Task Force Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,882
    Likes Received:
    9,282
    I think you have your philosophers mixed. I believe Socrates had more to do with marital problems than Zeno. :)
     
    #6
  7. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2016
    Messages:
    8,161
    Likes Received:
    8,579
    @Bess Barber
    Whaddaya turnin' mathematician on us??
    Frank
     
    #7
    Bess Barber likes this.
  8. Emma Smith

    Emma Smith Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2019
    Messages:
    502
    Likes Received:
    1,005
    "If a man is traveling from point A to point B and for each step he steps half the distance of the one prior to it, he will never reach his destination."

    If his steps are twelve inches apart, by the 5th reduced step, he’s at 3/8”.

    If he increased his steps by half as much as the last step, it would be more fun to watch,
    especially by the 3rd Step..
     
    #8
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
  9. Bess Barber

    Bess Barber Very Well-Known Member
    Task Force Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2019
    Messages:
    3,760
    Likes Received:
    7,392
  10. Jess Santorio

    Jess Santorio Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    8
    Dear Cole, let me just invite you and me to think on what is a paradox, is that all right with you? Because you appear to be pretty clever, but to my observation you are quite short of genuine thinking altogether.
     
    #10
  11. Al Amoling

    Al Amoling Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    2,867
    Are you for real? Every post I've seen from you denigrates the poster you're addressing.
     
    #11
    Lois Winters and Yvonne Smith like this.
  12. Jess Santorio

    Jess Santorio Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    8

    I am not denigrating anyone, except when he prefers to think that he is being denigrated - that's his problem.

    Suppose I invite you and me to think about what is a paradox, is that all right with you, or you want to accuse me of denigrating you?

    Okay, you tell me what words you see in my writing that are denigrating someone.
     
    #12
  13. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
    Task Force Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,882
    Likes Received:
    9,282
    It is indeed a sad moment when one cannot take a small sabbatical without someone new coming into the mix whose first line of dedication is in the form of what might be found on some bathroom walls.

    I do take it Santorio, that you value yourself as some sort of philosopher but do note that it takes someone with some knowledge of human, natural or metaphysical behavior to do so and I’m afraid that it is apparent that your IQ might possibly be simply too low to comprehend even your own nature much less mine or anyone else’s.
    Do yourself a favor and allow me to be whom I am without the input of what you believe I should be or think. As it is, I cannot for the life of me find anyone so far who really cares what you think anyway.

    Now, that I am certain that my thoughts are now found to be favorable to you due to the fact that they are indeed original thoughts (as if I really care what you like) I bid you farewell.

    You are indeed free to find the paradox in the post.
     
    #13
  14. Al Amoling

    Al Amoling Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    2,867
    No thanks You're just looking for confrontation. I don't play those games. bye
     
    #14
    Lois Winters and Yvonne Smith like this.
  15. Jess Santorio

    Jess Santorio Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    8

    In brief, dear Cole, you do not accept my invite to you for us two to talk about what is a paradox.

    Ne quid nimis, sapienti pauca.
     
    #15

Share This Page