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  1. #1
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    Default Time to exercise everyone's brain :)

    Since we have a philosophy thread section... how about a good ol paradox to get everyone's brain running??

    Ship of Theseus

    Story 1:

    There once was a ship whose captain was named Theseus. This ship was made of a large number of parts. One day (well call this day D1) Theseus and his crew set out on a long voyage. On D1, the Ship of Theseus consisted of a determinate set of physical parts. As the voyage moved along, the crew recognized that they would occasionally have to make repairs to the ship, sometimes throwing old planks overboard and replacing them with new planks. After a long while, on Day 3002, it turns out the crew had replaced every part of the ship and there were no longer any original parts left. The question that naturally arises here is whether the Ship of Theseus on Day 3002 is the same ship as the Ship of Theseus on Day 1, even though they share none of the same physical parts.

    Story 2:

    Now suppose that, unbeknownst to Theseus and his crew, there had been a man collecting all the old parts of the original Ship of Theseus (the ship as it was on Day 1). Let us further suppose that on Day 3002, when he collects the final discarded part, he completely rebuilds the ship with nothing but the original parts. Now, we find ourselves with two candidates for the Ship of Theseus. Which one, if either, is the actual Ship of Theseus?


    Penny for your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Depends how you define the "Ship of Theseus." It's arbitrary and shows you how language and reality can diverge. What we define as his ship has no bearing on the actual ship. It's just a game of words and preference. Meh I say! MEH!

  3. #3
    Senior Member animenagai's Avatar
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    lol this is a typical identity question. the natural second step to this is to ask the same about the human body. we completely swap our body's cells etc. around every 2 years. how are you the same person if the biological parts are all different? there are 2 two common answers to this question.

    1. that there is some kind of soul which did not change during the biological change. there are obvious reasons to be skeptical of an answer like this.

    2. there is a shared consciousness between time A and time B, which makes me the same person. what is this consciousness that we speak of though?

    fun fun funlosophy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Journey's Avatar
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    Story 1: Possession by Theseus makes it the ship of Theseus.

    Story 2: Same as Story 1 plus: Since the second ship would no doubt sink or soon sink (if it ever floated at all) with all those worn out parts, the question is moot.
    "My Journey is my Destination."

    "Today Counts Forever." R.C. Sproul

  5. #5
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    I believe that story 2 is essentially impossible according to our modern understanding of science. The self replacing Ship of Theseus is the only possible Ship of Theseus and therefore the "true" Ship of Theseus.
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Kora's Avatar
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    It's still the Ship of Thesseus because it's Thesseus' property.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Grayscale's Avatar
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    i think it would most likely defy the laws of buoyancy to carry enough parts to replace everything on the ship

    assuming that's not the case (or if they repaired while in port!) it would depend... most of the time a title is not for the sum of the parts it refers to at the point in time it is given, but rather as in reference to the significance that objects holds as a whole--the defining characteristics may change through time, but only gradually. that is to say, a house that is white is not the White House, and as long as what makes it significant is recognized in what it refers to, then that thing it shall remain!

  8. #8
    ThatGirl
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    screw that.

    If ship 1 made of all the origonal parts and destined for a jorney relinqished its parts, it is still ship one and that is part of its journey.

    Ship two is a new ship. Things dont have memories or ties. They are newely put together as a new ship of old parts.

    During the transportation, some parts must have undergone a marking of their passage as well as the fact that the second ship beared the markings of the new reconstrution, seperating it from its origonal form.

    They all exist.


    If you want to know which one was the thesis, they are all the thesis. But, the changes make them subchaptures. Parts, related to but not of.

    Too easy

  9. #9
    Senior Member animenagai's Avatar
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    o my god. guys, it's a hypothetical question. it is designed to pick out certain key aspects of a concept or a debate and making you think about it. how practical the actual story is is irrelevant. it's practicality comes in the concept that the story is trying to express.

  10. #10
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    This horseshit is not an excercise. The Gettier problem is an excercise. Solve that one and i'll be the promethius satisfying your genetialia til the end of time.

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