Central and East European
Society for Phenomenology

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Aristotle and Koyré: from motion as process of formal actualization to inertial motion as state

On Zeno's paradoxes of motion (and beyond)

Irene Breuer(Bergische Universität Wuppertal)

pp. 15-68


This paper enquires into a paradigmatic change concerning the concept of motion: from a phenomenological conception of motion understood as a continuous and finite process of translation, to a physical conception of motion as rectilinear, uniform and continuous, that is, as an inertial state that if unhindered, can extend infinitely – the former held by Aristotle, the latter by Koyré, a shift that is evidenced by their contrasting treatment of Zeno’s paradoxes. I argue that both ontologies of motion can be understood in phenomenological terms: Motion is accomplished by the real itself. However, while Aristotle’s continuous motion as actualization of the form of a given body involves its formal determination and constitution of sense, Koyré’s conceives of motion and rest as kinds of being and motion itself as exemplifcation of the mathematization of nature that Husserl described in the Crisis. Taken together, these changes presuppose a transformation of metaphysical and epistemic frameworks.

Publication details

Published in:

Barcaro Marco, Duicu Dragoş (2024) Ontology and phenomenology of movement. Metodo 11 (2).

Pages: 15-68

DOI: 10.19079/metodo.11.2.15

Full citation:

Breuer Irene (2024) „Aristotle and Koyré: from motion as process of formal actualization to inertial motion as state: On Zeno's paradoxes of motion (and beyond)“. Metodo 11 (2), 15–68.