Zeno of Elea

Zeno of Elea
490 BCE – 430 BCE

Zeno of Elea was a Greek philosopher famous for formulating a number of paradoxes meant to support Monism, the philosphy of the Eleatic School that was founded by Parmenides. The best known of these are the Paradox of the Tortoise and Achilles, the Paradox of the Arrow, and the Paradox of the Moving Rows.

Most of what is known about Zeno of Elea comes from the writings of Plato and Aristotle, because none of his own writings are known to still exist. He lived in southern Italy, but traveled to Greece with Parmenides and Socrates.

Zeno sought to establish the truth of Parmenidean Monism, the philosophy that all apparent change and movement are illusory, on the basis that there is only one reality that is both changeless and eternal. In doing so he formulated paradoxes of great subtlety, in particular involving the infinite divisibility of the continuum, that were not satisfactorily resolved until the late 19th century.