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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 13, Issue 2, Spring 2009

Selected Articles of the Ancient Philosophy Society

Pascal Massie
Pages 317-329
DOI: 10.5840/epoche20091329

Between Past and Future
Aristotle and the Division of Time

Time prevents being from forming a totality. Whenever there is time fragmentation and multiplicity occur. Yet, there also ought to be continuity since it is the same being that was, is and will be. Because of time, being must be both identical and different. This is the key problem that Aristotle attempts to resolve in his discussion of time in Book IV of the Physics. This essay considers three privileged notions: limit, number and ecstasies on which Aristotle relies at crucial moments of his inquiry and shows (1) that limit, number, and ecstasies are actually three ways of approaching the same phenomenon, and (2) how they allow Aristotle to reconcile divisibility and indivisibility.

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