8 Jun 2014

Priest (12.1) In Contradiction, ‘Change and Motion’, summary


by Corry Shores
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Graham Priest

In Contradiction:
A Study of the Transconsistent

Part III. Applications

Ch.12. The Metaphysics of Change II: 

12.1 Change and Motion

Brief Summary:

Contradiction can be thought of not just as occurring in certain sorts of changes; contradiction itself can be thought of as the state of change itself.



Previously Priest suggested that “contradictions not only occur in certain sorts of change but actually are the states of change themselves” (172). There are many types of change, but here he will focus just on change of place with respect to time, or motion. The study of motion will allow us to have a precision that the other sorts of change lack. “Moreover, at least arguably, motion is the most fundamental kind of change, all other kinds involving motion of some sort.” (172) Priest will speak of bodies in motion rather than the more accurate way of speaking of bodies in relative motion. This is simpler and will not affect the conclusions. “In particular, what follows is in no way committed to an absolute view of space and time.” (172)

Philosophy has long debated the nature of change and motion, and for a while as well motion and change have been thought in terms of contradiction. Priest will first discuss the Russellean ‘orthodox’ account of change and motion before comparing it with the Hegelean account. (172)

Citations from:
Priest, Graham. In Contradiction: A Study of the Transconsistent. Oxford/New York: Clarendon/Oxford University, 2006 [first published 1987].


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