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The Continuous and the Discrete – Ancient Physical Theories from a Contemporary Perspective - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Continuous and the Discrete: Ancient Physical Theories from a Contemporary Perspective

Michael J. White


This book presents a detailed analysis of three ancient models of spatial magnitude, time, and local motion. The book connects the Aristotelian model, which represents spatial magnitude, time, and motion as infinitely divisible and continuous, with the standard ancient geometrical conception of extended magnitude: it is a model which represents the marriage of physical theory and mathematical orthodoxy. In the second half the book discusses two ancient alternatives to the Aristotelian model: ‘quantum’ models, and a Stoic model according to which limit entities such as points, (one-dimensional) ... More

Keywords: spatial magnitude, time, local motion, Aristotelian model, physical theory, mathematical orthodoxy, quantum models, Stoic model

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1992 Print ISBN-13: 9780198239529
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198239529.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael J. White, author
Arizona State University, Tempe