An Introduction to the Philosophy of Time and Space by Bas C. Van Fraassen

By Bas C. Van Fraassen

An introductory, ancient survey of philosophical positions on area and time, throughout the distinct concept of relativity and the causal concept of time.

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24 As a result, all statements made about fluxing things are on the same footing so far as truth is concerned: “the doctrine of Heraclitus, that all things are and are not, seems to make everything true” (Met. IV 7 1012a24 –26). The Platonists were right, then, to draw the conclusion that the objects of knowledge cannot be perceptibles, if these are in flux. For what is known to be F must be F and not also not-F. But no fluxing thing can have that feature—not even, as Aristotle perceptively notices, when F is the complex attribute G-and-not-G, since the opposite of it too must be true of them (XI 5 1062a31– b2).

The Third Man is thereby defused and One-over-many somewhat weakened. The cost, however, is commitment to the existence of self-subsistent abstract paradigms, 27 Fine, On Ideas, contains the Greek text of Peri Idˆeon, a translation (from which I quote), and a full philosophical commentary. 28 Fine, On Ideas, 229–231. 14 1 . 3 P RO B L E M S W I T H P L AT O N I C F O R M S and to explaining the resemblance that exists between them and perceptibles. But that is a cost one might simply be willing to pay.

Moreover, the reason that unqualifiedly necessary theorems are convertible has to do with their content: “If the coming-to-be of something is unqualifiedly necessary, it must come back in a circle and return on itself. . , if this comes-to-be necessarily, then the earlier, and again, if that, then the later comes to be necessarily. . , because the spatial movement above it is in a circle, the sun moves in this way, and since it moves in that way, the seasons, because of it, come-to-be in a circle and return upon themselves, and since these come to be in this way, the things affected by them do so in their turn” (338a4 –338b5).

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