Zeno and the Wrong Understanding of Motion—A Philosophical-Mathematical Inquiry into the Concept of Finitude as a Peculiarity of Infinity

Herberg-Rothe, Andreas (2024) Zeno and the Wrong Understanding of Motion—A Philosophical-Mathematical Inquiry into the Concept of Finitude as a Peculiarity of Infinity. Journal of Applied Mathematics and Physics, 12 (03). pp. 912-929. ISSN 2327-4352

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In contrast to the solutions of applied mathematics to Zeno’s paradoxes, I focus on the concept of motion and show that, by distinguishing two different forms of motion, Zeno’s apparent paradoxes are not paradoxical at all. Zeno’s paradoxes indirectly prove that distances are not composed of extensionless points and, in general, that a higher dimension cannot be completely composed of lower ones. Conversely, lower dimensions can be understood as special cases of higher dimensions. To illustrate this approach, I consider Cantor’s only apparent proof that the real numbers are uncountable. However, his widely accepted indirect proof has the disadvantage that it depends on whether there is another way to make the real numbers countable. Cantor rightly assumes that there can be no smallest number between 0 and 1, and therefore no beginning of counting. For this reason he arbitrarily lists the real numbers in order to show with his diagonal method that this list can never be complete. The situation is different if we start with the largest number between 0 and 1 (0.999…) and use the method of an inverted triangle, which can be understood as a special fractal form. Here we can construct a vertical and a horizontal stratification with which it is actually possible to construct all real numbers between 0 and 1 without exception. Each column is infinite, and each number in that column is the starting point of a new triangle, while each row is finite. Even in a simple sine curve, we experience finiteness with respect to the y-axis and infinity with respect to the x-axis. The first parts of this article show that Zeno’s assumptions contradict the concept of motion as such, so it is not surprising that this misconstruction leads to contradictions. In the last part, I discuss Cantor’s diagonal method and explain the method of an inverted triangle that is internally structured like a fractal by repeating this inverted triangle at each column. The consequence is that we encounter two very different methods of counting. Vertically it is continuous, horizontally it is discrete. While Frege, Tarski, Cantor, Gödel and the Vienna Circle tried to derive the higher dimension from the lower, a procedure that always leads to new contradictions and antinomies (Tarski, Russell), I take the opposite approach here, in which I derive the lower dimension from the higher. This perspective seems to fail because Tarski, Russell, Wittgenstein, and especially the Vienna Circle have shown that the completeness of the absolute itself is logically contradictory. For this reason, we agree with Hegel in assuming that we can never fully comprehend the Absolute, but only its particular manifestations—otherwise we would be putting ourselves in the place of the Absolute, or even God. Nevertheless, we can understand the Absolute in its particular expressions, as I will show with the modest example of the triangle proof of the combined horizontal and vertical countability of the real numbers, which I developed in rejection of Cantor’s diagonal proof.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Eurolib Press > Multidisciplinary
Depositing User: Managing Editor
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2024 04:43
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2024 04:43
URI: http://info.submit4journal.com/id/eprint/3535

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