Abstract detail

Title Aristotle and Cratylus

Details
Cratylus was a follower of Heraclitus. According to Plato, he argued that all things change in every respect all of the time. He seems to have used this claim to argue that something can be true and not true at the same time. Aristotle criticised Cratylus in Book Gamma of Metaphysics. I use Aristotle’s critique to interpret Aristotle’s argument for non-contradiction. I argue that Aristotle thinks that non-contradiction is a fundamentally a claim about being. It is the claim that something cannot both be and not be at the same time. His justification for this claim is a view about the nature of being, which is that it is necessarily determinate. However, I argue Aristotle’s claim is undermined by his denial of the existence of points in time. If, as Aristotle claims, time is continuous and does not consist of points, then, for any real time slice, non-contradiction may be false.

Primary author
George Couvalis

Email
george.couvalis@flinders.edu.au