Comparing Logical Paradoxes through the Method of Sublation
Hui Shi, Zeno and the “Flying Arrow Problem”
Keywords:Hui Shi, Zeno, transcultural sublation, frameworks of reference, form and potential, the flying arrow paradox
This article addresses some basic methodological problems in the field of transcultural post-comparative studies of ancient logic by comparing the famous flying arrow paradox of Hui Shi (370–c. 310 BCE) with an apparently similar paradox attributed to Zeno of Elea (495–430 BCE). The article proceeds from a general introduction to the basic framework of semantically determined classical Chinese logic, to an illumination of Hui Shi’s specific contributions to the field, and finally to a preliminary explanation that emerges from a contrastive analysis of Zeno’s and Hui Shi’s respective views on the problem of motion and stasis as manifested in their corresponding paradoxes. The contrastive analysis, based on an exposition of some basic problems in the field of transcultural methodology and a description of the so-called sublation method, points to the importance of considering different paradigms and frames of reference in identifying differences between apparently similar theses.
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