A quick lesson from Zeno’s paradox

Photo by Nick Abrams on Unsplash

I think what Zeno has shown, through his paradoxes of motion, is that mathematics (a logical discipline) cannot be applied to the nature of reality. Or at least, that mathematics is not a description of reality. I don’t think it’s because the Ancients were bad mathematicians. On the contrary, Zeno must have known that infinity is itself a paradoxical concept, a paradox that can be illustrated by the statement

Although Heisenberg, through his Uncertainty Principle, may have shown that Zeno was right all along, it does not bother me that space-time could be discrete…


And How Aristotle’s Hylomorphism Resolves the Issue

Jung, Irigaray, Individuation by Frances Gray

In Chapter seven of her book Jung, Irigaray, Individuation, Frances Gray — my then university lecturer — provides an alternative view of essence that has plagued contemporary debates about female identity in the third wave of feminist theorizing.

The issue of essentialism in the philosophizing of women as a collective, while at the same time, as individuals in their own right, is articulated by Gray through her use of Jung (1875–1961) and Luce Irigaray (b. 1932), as examples.

Gray indicates that Jung and Irigaray, although differing in their approach to the nature of the feminine, are nevertheless, both accused of…


And why his Imposition Solution does not resolve it

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Kant makes a distinction between analytic and synthetic a priori in his ‘Critique of Pure Reason’. In response to Hume’s scepticism, Kant was awoken from his ‘dogmatic slumbers’ upon which he tries to frame epistemology in a completely different way.

He sees Reason as Understanding when it is used in conjunction with our experiences. Pure Reason, on the other hand, isn’t constrained by these experiences.

Kant, therefore, proposes that, rather than see how we can come to understand the world — things-in-themselves, we should see how the world came to be understood by us — things-in-themselves-as-related-to-us.

This led to his…


A lesson from Hume’s Skepticism

David Hume, British Empiricist (7 May 1711–25 August 1776) — Source: Wikimedia Commons

Hume’s skepticism about induction challenges the empiricist view of the role of Reason in drawing conclusions from the method of induction. This is the method of reasoning where empirical conclusions are drawn from empirical premisses. In this way, one is warranted to conclude that the next raven he sees will be black because all the other ravens have been observed to be black.

Hume was not skeptical about the conclusion in itself, only the role that Reason plays in making the conclusion. He argued that Reasoning had little to do in making the inference from general to particular. Rather, it…


Photo by jaefrench on Pixabay

A philosophical realist is one who, in general, holds the view that there are things in the world that exist independently of the mind, and are there whether or not we believe in them. This seems like a common-sensical view, for whether or not I believe that pink dolphins exist does not alter the fact that they do, and that they are right now, frolicking in the Amazon River. The existence of pink dolphins is a verifiable fact and one is warranted, indeed justified, in taking their existence to be true.

A religious realist, however, has a more difficult task…


Our Common Sense View of Morality Examined

By Becker — Self-scanned, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4371746

One of the greatest philosophers in modern history, Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), derived his first formulation of the Categorical Imperative in his Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, expressed in the Formula of Universal Law which states,

A maxim is a subjective principle that guides our actions, and the morality of any action can be formally tested by asking if it can be universalised without contradiction.

I see this universalisation principle as two-fold in that, first, it rests on…


A close critical reading of “The Body of the Condemned” in Foucault’s Discipline & Punish

In Discipline and Punish, Foucault begins with ‘The body of the condemned’, an introductory chapter that aims to put into perspective his objectives for the book, and the method of his inquiry. These, however, are not immediately apparent because the chapter opens with a historical narrative of penal styles in 18th and 19th century France.

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Here, it is not difficult to understand Foucault as the historian (although his critics have much to say about the details of his historical account). …


And how “terrorism” came to be linked with a religion of peace

Credit: Photo by Chidloc on pixabay

In the past half century, Islam has faced enormous challenges in upholding its fundamental principles in the face of progressive modernisation. Perhaps more than ever before, the Islamic faith has come under social scrutiny and hurled into the media spotlight with events such as the 2001, September 11, attack on the World Trade Centre in New York and the aftermath of the Iranian revolution of 1979. …

Pamela Chng

Philosophy drives me mad

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