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The Ship of Theseus

If the original materials that made up the ship are replaced, is it still the ship of Theseus?

  • Yes

    Votes: 4 66.7%
  • No

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Don't know

    Votes: 2 33.3%

  • Total voters
    6

BarnacleBob

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"The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned from Crete had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their places, insomuch that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same."

If all of the original materials that made up the ship of Theseus are replaced does it still remain to be the ship of Theseus?
 

solarion

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Yes because the ship is still fulfilling its role as intended. ...or maintaining its formal cause as Aristotle would have argued.
 

TAEZZAR

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Hmmmm, OK!
Try this:

If the "home of TAEZZAR" burns down & 2 years later, is rebuilt with 100% new materials, is it still the "home of TAEZZAR" ?

Damned right it is !!!! :2 thumbs up::finished:
 

Scorpio

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if someone rebuilds the Edmund Fitzgerald, right down to the last detail and floats it in Lake Superior once again,

is it then the Edmund Fitzgerald or is the one in the bottom of the pond the real EF?
 
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Bottom Feeder

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Is it still the ship of Theseus when one oar has been replaced?
Yes, of course. What about ten oars? Still it is the ship of Theseus.
At what point in the replacement of materials does it become NOT the ship of Theseus?
Half way? 98%? Just where does it STOP being the ship of Theseus?

BF
 

TAEZZAR

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wastrel

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It's not just the collection of materials that make up the ship. It's the materials arranged in that particular fashion, and maintaining that configuration continuously over time. Replacing subsets of the components over time with new subsets while maintaining the configuration, keeps it being the "same" ship.

If you replaced all of the materials at once (say the ship burned completely), even if all the new materials were in the same pattern as the old ship, it wouldn't be the "same" ship because the configuration wasn't maintained continuously through time. It would be a different ship.
 

DodgebyDave

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Scorpio

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many consider ships to have a energy, a soul to put it differently,

and that it never leaves,
 

DodgebyDave

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One of the common games in the muscle car world is "Rebodies" built around a known VIN ad buildsheet. Highly illegal.

Now known as "clones" and "tributes". That's fine, just don't try to pass it off as a "1 of 5 hemi cuda convertable" of which 32 are now known to exist.

Almost like the million and a half separate "woodstock ticket auctions" of which only 100k original tickets were printed