The ship of Theseus

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Das Troll
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Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:10 am

The ship of Theseus

Post by Das Troll » Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:51 am

Some of you may have heard of this little thought experiment but some of you may not have as well. It goes like this:

Say the famous ship of Theseus was in a museum and it was starting to fall apart. One day a restorationist decided he was going to replace the board on the side that was rotting, is the ship still the original ship? Most people would say yes. Now take that further down the line, the sail starts to rot, the rigging is falling apart. Each time the rotted part was replaced. When does the ship stop being the original ship of Theseus and start being a reproduction of it? Is it at 50, 50%? 51, 49%? What percentage does it become something else and why?

An additional caveat, if you took all of those rotted parts and someone figured out a cure and reassembled the rotted parts into a ship, is it now the original ship of Theseus? What happened to the old ship? What if the old ship was 50% reproduction and 50% original and the new ship was 50% reproduction and 50% original?

Where is the line drawn with the metaphysics of identity?

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Re: The ship of Theseus

Post by AngryIVer » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:30 am

Thinking of it on such a large scale makes it more of a grey area imo.

I like the "grandfather's ax" version where it most certainly is a new product.
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