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Instants and Instantaneous Velocity

Harrington, James (2011) Instants and Instantaneous Velocity. [Preprint]

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As Frank Arntzenius has shown, instantaneous velocity continues to pose philosophical puzzles. Here I recap the flaws involved in all three standard theories of velocity-the 'at-at' theory plus the calculus, impetus or dispositional theories and `no-instants' theories. Next, I argue that, although it avoids the problems with impetus theories identified by Arntzenius, Marc Lange's dispositional theory of velocity suffers from its own variety of philosophical perplexity. I conclude by arguing for a modified `no-instants' theory, inspired by Aristotle's responses to Zeno's paradoxes, that avoids the problems for the versions considered by Arntzenius. In addition, this theory points the way to a more philosophically perspicuous account of the internal structure of time.

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Item Type: Preprint
Harrington, James
Keywords: velocity, instants, calculus, Zeno's paradoxes
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Causation
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2011 11:41
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2011 11:41
Item ID: 8675

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