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Document Details :
Title: Een paradox over beweging toegepast door Aristoteles
Author(s): KRUIJER, Henk S.M.
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie
Volume: 82 Issue: 4 Date: 2020
One of the statements which Aristotle postulates in his cosmological work De caelo (On the heavens) is that the world is finite. He underpins this statement — which is in agreement with modern astronomical insights — with a concise, geometrical argument that — taken literally — is evidently incorrect. This argument is strengthened here — supposedly according to the intention of Aristotle — by making it more precise, such that it assumes the form of a paradox about motion comparable with that of Achilles and the tortoise (ascribed to Zeno of Elea). Such paradoxes posit a falsity, basing this however on an ingenious mathematical sophism which is very difficult to disprove. For this reason apparently the paradoxical character of his argument eludes Aristotle. The cosmology of Aristotle is provided, in passing, with some classical comments originating notably from Lucretius, Philo of Alexandria, and Augustine. His cosmology is geocentrical, and was elaborated and improved by Ptolemy. It was ultimately refuted by Galileo Galilei (following in the footsteps of Copernicus). This is also addressed, notably discussing the following: has Galilei, with his abundant critique of Aristotle, recognized the point which is at stake here, namely the falsity of Aristotle’s geometrical argument in question?