more from Sextus Empiricus

Single Idea 22742

[catalogued under 27. Natural Reality / D. Time / 3. Parts of Time / e. Present moment]

Full Idea

Socrates either dies when existing, or when not existing. …He does not die when he exists, for he is alive, and he does not die when he has died, for then he will be dying twice, which is absurd. So then, Socrates does not die.

Gist of Idea

Socrates either dies when he exists (before his death) or when he doesn't (after his death)


Sextus Empiricus (Against the Physicists (two books) [c.180], I.269)

Book Reference

Sextus Empiricus: 'Against the Physicists/Against the Ethicists', ed/tr. Bury,R.G. [Harvard Loeb 1997], p.133

A Reaction

A nice dramatisation of a major dilemma. The present moment is just the boundary between the past and the future, and so has no magnitude, and hence nothing can occur during the present. Perhaps my favourite philosophical dilemma.

Related Idea

Idea 1902 Since Socrates either died when he was alive (a contradiction) or died when he was dead (meaningless), he didn't die [Sext.Empiricus]