more from Zeno (Elea)

Single Idea 5109

[catalogued under 5. Theory of Logic / L. Paradox / 4. Paradoxes in Logic / a. Achilles paradox]

Full Idea

Zeno's so-called 'Achilles' claims that the slowest runner will never be caught by the fastest runner, because the one behind has first to reach the point from which the one in front started, and so the slower one is bound always to be in front.


'Achilles' was famous for his speed

Gist of Idea

The fast runner must always reach the point from which the slower runner started


report of Zeno (Elea) (fragments/reports [c.450 BCE]) by Aristotle - Physics 239b14

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'Physics', ed/tr. Waterfield,Robin [OUP 1996], p.161

A Reaction

The point is that the slower runner will always have moved on when the faster runner catches up with the starting point. We must understand how humble the early Greeks felt when they confronted arguments like this. It was like a divine revelation.