Talk:Zeno of Elea

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Note: The Russell quote is from page 347 of the edition given in the References. Paul August 19:01, Feb 26, 2005 (UTC)

Paradoxes given by Aristotle[edit]

I removed the two paradoxes from Aristotle as they are contained in the more appropriate Zeno's paradoxes. Uriah923 07:39, 25 September 2005 (UTC)


Leaving aside the question of "Why would they not have been?" is not this sufficient indication that indeed they were: "Plato says that Zeno was "tall and fair to look upon" and was "in the days of his youth … reported to have been beloved by Parmenides". (Parmenides 127)" Haiduc 23:35, 14 December 2005 (UTC)


It is said that Pythagoras recommended the building of shrines to the Muses. Could Zeno have played the comic relief to Parmenides? He seems to have been a bit of a trickster who, like Hermes who gave Apollo a bad time of it, wreaked havoc on Parmenides' arguments. In Plato's Parmenides the Athenians give the impression that Parmenides was the better of the two. When asked for a copy of one of his works Zeno claims that it was a juvinile effort and that it was lost. He is supposed to have written a work containing forty paradoxes[1]. His argument that points do not exist is interesting. Compare the present with eternity. --Jbergquist 22:52, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

"Greek philosopher of southern Italy"[edit]

Er... how exactly is he both Greek and Italian? --Jatopian 22:42, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Remember, Elea was a Greek colony in Italy. Presumably he was born there, making him Italian, but of Greek parents in a Greek-claimed city-state, thus making him also Greek. --Gwern (contribs) 02:04 22 August 2007 (GMT)

Betrand Russel Quote[edit]

The quote by Bertrand Russel quote seems out of place in the introduction. Would anyone have any problem if I just put some of its substance into the intro. (Lucas(CA) 23:10, 30 November 2007 (UTC))

Conflict of dates[edit]

The article alludes to Aristotle being awear of Zeno and his work, even though the current birth/death dates would make this pretty much impossible.

The article states that he lived between 490 BC – ca. 430 BC, and i do recognise that the exact year is unknown, but (according to the wiki page on him)Aristotle lived from 384 BC to 322 BC, so for them to know each other they would have had time time travel.

Can this please be fixed up, somehow... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:44, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Where does the article say that Aristotle knew Zeno? Zeno died roughly 50 years before Aristotle was born. Nevertheless Aristotle knew of Zeno and his work. Paul August 06:14, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Zeno's beliefs[edit]

Having devised his paradoxes, did Zeno in fact believe that motion was physically impossible and thus was only an illusion? Or were his paradoxes to him simply philosophical in nature, with no actual bearing on reality? — Loadmaster (talk) 16:15, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

I doubt they were merely philosophical arguments; presumably if they were 'just' arguments, then Zeno's point would've been 'look at the odd results reasoning can produce!', no? But Zeno, Parmenides, and Melissus seem to've genuinely believe their results. Consider that the Parmenides doesn't seem to present Zeno as ironic, nor does Parmenides's On Nature seem to undercut itself; likewise, I've never seen any fragments of Melissus which cast doubt on his adherence.
Now, if the writings were from a Sophist like Gorgias, maybe then one could suggest that the author did not believe his arguments. :) --Gwern (contribs) 19:35 29 October 2008 (GMT)


Singinglemon has pointed out that the person in the protrait is very probably Zeno of Citium. A visual argument (captions reflect identity claims):

Has anyone more info on this matter? Paradoctor (talk) 14:25, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

I had a dig around for ancient representations of "Zeno", and all I can find are busts of Zeno of Citium:
Zeno of Elea was, relative to Zeno of Citium, a fairly obscure fellow in the ancient world - he didn't found a philsophical cult like the Cypriot did, and so no ancient portraits of him survive. As for the more modern engravings, they were often used, I think, to illustrate editions of Diogenes Laertius' Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, and Zeno of Elea has only a short entry in that, compared with Zeno of Citium who heads up book 7. Most engravings of Zeno, I'm afraid, are likely to be of Zeno of Citium. Singinglemon (talk) 20:36, 14 August 2010 (UTC)