Lectures Watched
Since January 1, 2014
Hundreds of free, self-paced university courses available:
my recommendations here
Peruse my collection of 275
influential people of the past.
View My Class Notes via:
Receive My Class Notes via E-Mail:


Contact Me via E-Mail:
edward [at] tanguay.info
Notes on video lecture:
Arguments and Paradoxes
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
Heraclitus, Melissus, Elea, Achilles, Parmenides, false, absurd, fifth, illusion, experience, bent, straight, Italy, absurdum, physicalist, Plato, sensory, unchanging
Zeno of          (490BC-430BC)
in southern           
member of Eleatic School founded by                     
Eleatic School
rejected the epistemological validity of sense experience
Zeno primarily employed the reductio ad                 , attempting to destroy the arguments of others by showing their premises led to contradictions
Parmenides (515BC-430BC)
founder of Eleatic school of philosophy
Parmenides describes two views of reality, (1) in the text "way of truth" describes how reality is one, change is impossible, and existence is timeless, uniform, necessary, and                     , and then (2) in "the way of opinion," he explains the world of appearances, in which one's                faculties lead to conceptions which are false and deceitful. These ideas strongly influenced the whole of Western philosophy, perhaps most notably through their effect on           .
Zeno's aim
argue against common sensical statements such as
there is more than one object
there is change
appeals to a reality/appearance distinction, which many philosophers and scientists have done after him
it appears there is change, but on a more fundamental level it may be an                 
e.g. like putting a                  stick into water: the stick appears to be         , but really it isn't
Zeno introduced the paradox: an argument in which the premises are plausible but the conclusion is patently              (i.e. there is no change, there is only one object)
since the conclusion is absurd, it is overwhelmingly likely to be           , hence at least one of the premises are false in spite of its initial appearance to be true
Zeno's most famous paradox
a thought experiment
the conclusion is that                  will not overtake the tortoise in the race, which is absurd, since Achilles is the superior runner
the pre-Socratic school of philosophy founded by Parmenides in the early            century BC in the ancient town of Elea
other members
Zeno of Elea
                 of Samos
rejected the epistemological validity of sense                     , and instead took logical standards of clarity and necessity to be the criteria of truth
main arguments evolved in opposition to the theories of the early                        philosophers, who explained all existence in terms of primary matter, and to the theory of                     , which declared that all existence may be summed up as perpetual change
what is an argument
a sequence of statements
the last one is called the conclusion
the statements before the conclusion are the premises
premises are usually meant to support the conclusion
conclusion is sometimes introduced by a term such as therefore
logically valid arguments are particularly valid in philosophy
logically valid: if premises are true then the conclusion must be true as well
logically valid arguments don't tell you if the premises are true or false
modus ponens
Latin: "the way that affirms by affirming"
"P implies Q; P is asserted to be true, so therefore Q must be true"
Arguments and Paradoxes