Philoponus, Kant, and Russell on the Beginning of Time

George Couvalis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bertrand Russell presented an influential critique of Philoponus’s traversal argument for a beginning of time in its Kantian form. I consider his criticisms and point out that they rely on metaphysical claims about the nature of time, causation, and the scope of non-contradiction. They are not merely logical criticisms. Russell relies on a Platonic atomist metaphysics to defend those claims. Yet, as I also point out, that metaphysics is not obviously true and Russell’s arguments for it are weak. Russell often talks as if his metaphysics arises out of merely logical considerations. However, his metaphysics cannot be justified by logic alone. I conclude that the traversal argument survives Russellian criticism
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-52
Number of pages17
JournalModern Greek Studies (Australia and New Zealand)
Issue numberSpecial Issue
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • time
  • causation
  • metaphysics


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