Friday, February 24, 2017

at every instant





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Immanuel Kant perhaps composed the longest list of defect in classical Greek “pure reason”. One that has received less publicity than most goes like this:

When an arrow gets fired from a bow toward a target it appears to move through space. However, at every instant the arrow actually occupies one position in space, not two or three or more positions. Thus, at every instant the arrow exists in one place, not in two or three or more. In other words, at every instant the arrow has a position. If the arrow has one and only one definition position at every instant, then at every instant it does not move. If it does not move at any of these instants, it never moves at all.

You cannot escape this Logic by positing instants-between-instants. In these nanotime units, the same logic holds. At each nano-instant, the arrow has some location, not several locations. Therefore, even in nano-instant, the arrow does not move at all.

It seems the only way out of this absurdity consists of claiming that the arrow does, after all, occupy two locations at the same time. Alas, this leads to worse problems, which I leave you to discover for yourself.

And that shows where Logic gets you, if uncorrected by observations. If we do not correct our Logic by comparing it with experience, we may go on for centuries elaborating our most ancient errors endlessly.


–Robert Anton Wilson
Quantum Psychology









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