Zeno of Elea
(c. 490 bc–c. 430 bc) Greek philosopher
Zeno was born at Elea (now Velia in Italy) and in about 450 bcaccompanied his teacher, Parmenides, to Athens. There he propounded the theories of the Eleatic school and became famous for his series of paradoxes and his invention of dialectic.
Little survives of Zeno's written work and this only in other authors' writings. He proposed that motion and multiplicity are unreal (thus supporting Parmenides's theories) since assumption of their existence gave rise to contradictory propositions. One of the most famous arguments against plurality and motion is that of Achilles and the tortoise: if the tortoise is given a start in a race against Achilles, when Achilles reaches the tortoise's starting position, the tortoise will have advanced a small way to a new position. Endless repetition of this argument means that Achilles can never overtake the tortoise.
Zeno's paradoxes remained unresolved for about 20 centuries, in fact until the advances in rigor of mathematical analysis (to the development of which these paradoxes may be said to have contributed). These advances included the study of convergent series (infinite series with a finite sum), the invention by Gottfried Leibniz and Isaac Newton of calculus, and Georg Cantor's theory of the infinite in the 19th century.
Following his return to Elea Zeno died while joining a coup against the tyrant Nearchus.

Scientists. . 2011.

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  • Zeno of Elea — (pronEng|ˈziːnoʊ əv ˈɛliə, Greek: Ζήνων ὁ Ἐλεάτης) (ca. 490 BC? – ca. 430 BC?) was a pre Socratic Greek philosopher of southern Italy and a member of the Eleatic School founded by Parmenides. Aristotle called him the inventor of the dialectic… …   Wikipedia

  • Zeno of Elea — • Greek philosopher (b. 490 B.C.) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Zeno of Elea     Zeno of Elea     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Zeno of Elea — c490 c430 B.C., Greek philosopher. Also called Zeno. * * * born с 495 died с 430 BC Greek philosopher and mathematician. He was called by Aristotle the inventor of dialectic. He is best known for his paradoxes (see paradoxes of Zeno). As a pupil… …   Universalium

  • Zeno of Elea — (b. c. 490 BC) The pupil and principal defender of Parmenides, Zeno was called the inventor of dialectic by Aristotle . His one book, of which we possess only fragments, contained many arguments for the unreality of the pluralistic world that we… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Zeno of Elea — noun ancient Greek philosopher who formulated paradoxes that defended the belief that motion and change are illusory (circa 495 430 BC) • Syn: ↑Zeno • Instance Hypernyms: ↑philosopher * * * c490 c430 B.C., Greek philosopher. Also called Zeno …   Useful english dictionary

  • Zeno of Elea — Ze′no of E′lea n. big c490–c430 b.c., Greek philosopher …   From formal English to slang

  • Zeno of Elea — /ˌzinoʊ əv ˈiliə/ (say .zeenoh uhv eeleeuh) noun fl. late 5th century BC, Greek philosopher, a disciple of Parmenides …   Australian English dictionary

  • Zeno of Elea — biographical name circa 495 circa 430 B.C. Greek philosopher …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Zeno of Elea — See Pythagoreans and Eleatics …   History of philosophy

  • Zeno of Elea's — Zeno of Elea …   Philosophy dictionary

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