Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

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Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

I am told: "Consider the point in time at which just one or two planks from Theseus' original ship have been replaced. At this stage it seems natural to regard the repaired ship as the original. But then consider a later point, by which time the Athenians have made so many repairs that none of the original material remains. Can we still regard the repaired ship as the same vessel? If we answer yes, we have a problem. Although the ship has changed gradually and incrementally, it has, nonetheless, changed totally. Not one part of the original vessel remains. And if no part of an entity survives, can the entity itself still remain? If, on the other hand, we answer no, we have a different problem. Precisely when did the repaired ship cease to be the Ship of Theseus?"

I respond: "The answer to the first question is: of course not, for it is necessarily understood that any change (motion) applied to an object has it become a different object at each instance of change, yet, due to certain similar properties, the same name is reapplied to that object according to the supposed link. As the individual may not affirm that there is any space beyond what they feel also, and may not definitively ascribe an object in vision to an object of feeling, even what would be, in 3D space, the same object, is sensibly called a different object from each angle that it is viewed from, as it is only known that it is 2D. Every concept that applies to multiple objects (controlled through a word or phrase) is also rigidly defined for each consciousness and each instant, though the precise line is perhaps never identified. Therefore, the changed "Ship of Theseus" is no longer the same Ship of Theseus, but may still be re-named the Ship of Theseus according to certain properties that it shares with the originally perceived."

I am then told: "Ship A is constituted from new timber which has gradually replaced the old. Ship B has been constructed from the original planks - and to the original specifications - but in an entirely different location. Which is the genuine article?"

I then respond: "Ship B, provided it's constitution is visually exactly the same (to the nearest base unit), and is viewed from the exact angle that the original Ship of Theseus was, is the original article. Ship A, as discussed, may also be given the name, but only on the basis of similar properties to, and not an embodiment of, the original."

I was also told: "A more familiar example of this kind of question is pondered by people every day. For example, my wife Wendy Hayden has more than once remarked, when talking about her childhood, "I've changed so much, I sometimes wonder if I'm still the same person.""

I responded: "Assuming I am the example, so that I cannot doubt my own mental awareness: the physical embodiment of a life form changes constantly, while it's consciousness remains preserved, unified, consistent, even once memory of the past is lost."

THE OFFICIAL SOURCE

The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned 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 place, 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.
Plutarch, Theseus

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

The Mississippi River is the flow of water in that area generally acknowledged to be the Mississippi River bed. It is never the same water in the same proportions at the same rate. It is often not in the same local location. Yet it remains the Mississippi River.

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

CanadysPeak wrote:The Mississippi River is the flow of water in that area generally acknowledged to be the Mississippi River bed. It is never the same water in the same proportions at the same rate. It is often not in the same local location. Yet it remains the Mississippi River.

Thank you, I was intending to do the River of Heraclitus next, which is basically a manifestation of this paradox (and the most difficult paradox to explain that I have come across).

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

Keep_Relentless wrote:
CanadysPeak wrote:The Mississippi River is the flow of water in that area generally acknowledged to be the Mississippi River bed. It is never the same water in the same proportions at the same rate. It is often not in the same local location. Yet it remains the Mississippi River.

Thank you, I was intending to do the River of Heraclitus next, which is basically a manifestation of this paradox (and the most difficult paradox to explain that I have come across).

I don't mean this as snarky, but Greek philosophers often didn't have enough to do. Sometimes, things are just contradictory or difficult to categorize/explain.

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

Keep_Relentless

Not one part of the original vessel remains

If nothing of the original remains then it's a new ship. If it was built according to the idea of the old ship then the idea isn't new but the physical vessel itself will be new.
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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

charon wrote:Keep_Relentless

Not one part of the original vessel remains

If nothing of the original remains then it's a new ship. If it was built according to the idea of the old ship then the idea isn't new but the physical vessel itself will be new.

Yes. (:

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

I don't mean this as snarky, but Greek philosophers often didn't have enough to do. Sometimes, things are just contradictory or difficult to categorize/explain.

All the better for me, because I too do not have enough to do! :P

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

Keep_Relentless wrote:I am told: "Consider the point in time at which just one or two planks from Theseus' original ship have been replaced. At this stage it seems natural to regard the repaired ship as the original. But then consider a later point, by which time the Athenians have made so many repairs that none of the original material remains. Can we still regard the repaired ship as the same vessel? If we answer yes, we have a problem. Although the ship has changed gradually and incrementally, it has, nonetheless, changed totally. Not one part of the original vessel remains. And if no part of an entity survives, can the entity itself still remain? If, on the other hand, we answer no, we have a different problem. Precisely when did the repaired ship cease to be the Ship of Theseus?"

This appears also to be an analogy for Life.  You may ask, If Life evolves is it still Life?
I am inclined to think it is.

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

Gregorygregg1 wrote:
This appears also to be an analogy for Life.  You may ask, If Life evolves is it still Life?
I am inclined to think it is.

Yes, if the paradox does not immediately seem as relevant as it has been to philosophy, consider "The Example of You" :P
This is dealt with as an aside in these passages of the OP:

I was also told: "A more familiar example of this kind of question is pondered by people every day. For example, my wife Wendy Hayden has more than once remarked, when talking about her childhood, "I've changed so much, I sometimes wonder if I'm still the same person.""

I responded: "Assuming I am the example, so that I cannot doubt my own mental awareness: the physical embodiment of a life form changes constantly, while it's consciousness remains preserved, unified, consistent, even once memory of the past is lost."

I might elaborate more on humans as examples when I analyse the River of Heraclitus, because I am aware that a life form that one is not directly aware of is defined as "Matter that defies the scientific Laws of Nature", which would make other beings a process instead of an object; and a river is also a process, not an object.

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

Keep_Relentless wrote:I might elaborate more on humans as examples when I analyse the River of Heraclitus, because I am aware that a life form that one is not directly aware of is defined as "Matter that defies the scientific Laws of Nature", which would make other beings a process instead of an object; and a river is also a process, not an object.

But you are an "other being". If Life is the process of animating the inanimate in progressively more complex ways, aren't you part of that process too? And is the process today the same process it was at the beginning?

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

Gregorygregg1 wrote:
But you are an "other being". If Life is the process of animating the inanimate in progressively more complex ways, aren't you part of that process too? And is the process today the same process it was at the beginning?

I do not need to define life in terms of myself. I know that I am aware; in fact my knowledge is a part of my awareness. However, I cannot have other's experiences (and even if I could, I could not know that they were indeed "experiences of others"). Therefore I cannot have conclusive proof that others are alive, ever (it is far more feasible that I may have conclusive proof otherwise). Therefore, what I instead use to define "life" in terms of others is a motion that defies the scientific Laws of Nature; therefore others are a process, and since it is the same process for every other apparent life form, I cannot distinguish between them.
Well, as the scientific Laws of Nature have evolved, if I assume that everybody defines other minds the same way, of course there must have been, before these laws existed, a different expression of the process. But of course it is the same process, because presumably the differences between apparent life forms and inanimate objects have not changed.

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

[quote="Keep_Relentless"]
Therefore I cannot have conclusive proof that others are alive, ever (it is far more feasible that I may have conclusive proof otherwise).

You may interpret the movement of my hand on this keyboard as "defying the laws of nature", and the appearance of these words on your screen as self doubt.

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

Keep_Relentless wrote:Therefore, what I instead use to define "life" in terms of others is a motion that defies the scientific Laws of Nature

if that's the definition, I can't be sure there's ever existed a single thing that qualifies as living...

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

Gregorygregg1 wrote:
Keep_Relentless wrote:Therefore I cannot have conclusive proof that others are alive, ever (it is far more feasible that I may have conclusive proof otherwise).

You may interpret the movement of my hand on this keyboard as "defying the laws of nature", and the appearance of these words on your screen as self doubt.

Hahah. (: If that troubled me I would be miles behind even thinking up such a thing. How many examples of apparent sophistication, interaction and thought do I see, and still I do not revise my position. xP

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

flannel jesus wrote:if that's the definition, I can't be sure there's ever existed a single thing that qualifies as living...

I agree. You can't. But for yourself.

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

huh?

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

flannel jesus wrote:huh?

The only thing that you can know has a consciousness is yourself. Assuming you do. ;P

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

What does consciousness have to do with defying the laws of nature?

I tell you what: you figure out a way to make me sure that the matter in my body defies the laws of nature, and I'll do my damned best to help you win that Nobel Prize you so very much deserve.

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

flannel jesus wrote:What does consciousness have to do with defying the laws of nature?

I tell you what: you figure out a way to make me sure that the matter in my body defies the laws of nature, and I'll do my damned best to help you win that Nobel Prize you so very much deserve.

? (:
We assume that others have consciousnesses, and the only rational condition that triggers this belief is the matter that defies the Laws of Nature.

I speak of the Laws of Nature from the natural sciences. I refer to willed movement, or objective motion from the mind. In the objective world, there is not even a shred of evidence that the mind exists, so voluntary movement certainly defies the natural Laws of Nature as they stand.
All you need to do to be sure is respond to this message, I should think? Newton's laws would not explain that, nor any other natural theory.
In any case all I am trying to do here is establish a universal definition of "that which causes us to assume external consciousness".

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

Newton's laws are incorrect (though useful for certain predictive purposes), so if you're saying human action defies Newton's Laws, then you're certainly not talking about the actual laws of nature.

No, seriously, if you can prove that the human body defies physics, you'll have a Nobel Prize handed to you on a platter, I guarantee it. However, you should know that that proof won't include an article that says "All you need to do to be sure is respond to this message." That's not the proof that's going to win you the prize.

I do not yet have any reason to be sure that I'm defying the laws of Nature, though, and until I do I stand by my first response.

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

CanadysPeak wrote:I don't mean this as snarky, but Greek philosophers often didn't have enough to do. Sometimes, things are just contradictory or difficult to categorize/explain.

The same could be said of modern philosophy. Philosophers have a particular sand box they like to play in, which make them people who like to solve puzzles. It is the puzzling aspect of the ship of Theseus that provokes the philosopher to take part in trying to figure it out. Such puzzles that philosophers work on are those in which progress is very slow, and in fact they lose their appeal once or if they are worked out. However, as it happens, every budding philosopher has to figure them out anew and it turns out that the particular puzzles that philosophers devise, even those on which it is clear that progress has been made, don't have the benefit of understanding the history of ideas that bear on that progress and so we get these endless "debates" on this and other philosophy boards over the "simplest" problems that the ancient greeks worked on and on which substantial progress was actually made during that very lengthy period. In that vain, this board would do well to emphasize the contributions of those who make it their chosen profession to understand the history of ideas and to build on it, as multifaceted as this might be. And because we are blessed with having access to much of it on line, we would be well advised to make use of it. (Indeed, I think there is an attempt here with K_R in his quest to bring himself up to date, but I'd have to say that it would be better if he returned to school, and, so saying, I'd take my own advice if I could.)

Alternatively, to make the best use of the board, I believe he should try to figure out the puzzle not by quoting what he researches (without, by the way, just regurgitating it without the quotes as he does here), but rather to lay out in his own words what the puzzle is about and signal where he thinks the problem lies, and open that up for discussion, especially if wants to learn something. Where research comes in handy here is that others have done what he needs to do, so presumably he can learn how to best characterize the problem and how to move forward from that characterization. Trial and error still works, even here.

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

flannel jesus wrote:Newton's laws are incorrect (though useful for certain predictive purposes), so if you're saying human action defies Newton's Laws, then you're certainly not talking about the actual laws of nature.

Okay... Then, as I said, I am attempting to lay down a definition: What can you say that conclusively separates the physical action of "apparently alive" beings and "apparently inanimate" ones? (: On physical laws, then... "expressible by the statement that a particular phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions be present"... I will take your word for it on the actual laws of nature.

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

perhaps the wiki entry on life might help us figure out the criteria to distinguish life from non-life
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

Keep_Relentless,

What does any of that have to do with the topic of this thread, Ship of Theseus?

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

owleye wrote:Such puzzles that philosophers work on are those in which progress is very slow, and in fact they lose their appeal once or if they are worked out. However, as it happens, every budding philosopher has to figure them out anew and it turns out that the particular puzzles that philosophers devise, even those on which it is clear that progress has been made, don't have the benefit of understanding the history of ideas that bear on that progress and so we get these endless "debates" on this and other philosophy boards over the "simplest" problems that the ancient greeks worked on and on which substantial progress was actually made during that very lengthy period. In that vain, this board would do well to emphasize the contributions of those who make it their chosen profession to understand the history of ideas and to build on it, as multifaceted as this might be. And because we are blessed with having access to much of it on line, we would be well advised to make use of it. (Indeed, I think there is an attempt here with K_R in his quest to bring himself up to date, but I'd have to say that it would be better if he returned to school, and, so saying, I'd take my own advice if I could.)

I am nodding my head at all of this, except the suggestion that I return to school! Why on earth would you make such a suggestion? (:

owleye wrote:Alternatively, to make the best use of the board, I believe he should try to figure out the puzzle not by quoting what he researches (without, by the way, just regurgitating it without the quotes as he does here), but rather to lay out in his own words what the puzzle is about and signal where he thinks the problem lies, and open that up for discussion, especially if wants to learn something. Where research comes in handy here is that others have done what he needs to do, so presumably he can learn how to best characterize the problem and how to move forward from that characterization. Trial and error still works, even here.

James

I'll sleep on it but I'm quite sure you are right. I am simply eager to dissect them, it appears I do not care about opening discussions, but indeed I do...

edit: As for regurgitating the quotes, well, that is only if my (intendedly) independent line of thought happens to be much the same as another proposed explanation... which is most obvious with Galileo's Paradox and Achilles and the Tortoise so far.
Last edited by Keep_Relentless on May 28th, 2012, 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

mtbturtle wrote:Keep_Relentless,

What does any of that have to do with the topic of this thread, Ship of Theseus?

The Ship of Theseus is a paradox of change, continuity, and (more broadly) categorisation, and one of it's manifestations is to the physical form of human beings (and other life forms). Perhaps this should have been saved for the River of Heraclitus but of course a paradox identical to the River of Heraclitus was given by CanadysPeak anyway... but rivers are defined as a process, as are life forms, both physically (i.e. apparently) and through our own constant experience (would a fixed consciousness be a consciousness? I think not). My clarification of the River of Heraclitus, that is, that all instants satisfying the condition of the river form the identity of the river, applies also to life forms, and I am trying to set out exactly what that process/identity is for beings that are not directly experienced.

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

Keep_Relentless wrote:
mtbturtle wrote:Keep_Relentless,

What does any of that have to do with the topic of this thread, Ship of Theseus?

The Ship of Theseus is a paradox of change, continuity, and (more broadly) categorisation, and one of it's manifestations is to the physical form of human beings (and other life forms). Perhaps this should have been saved for the River of Heraclitus but of course a paradox identical to the River of Heraclitus was given by CanadysPeak anyway... but rivers are defined as a process, as are life forms, both physically (i.e. apparently) and through our own constant experience (would a fixed consciousness be a consciousness? I think not). My clarification of the River of Heraclitus, that is, that all instants satisfying the condition of the river form the identity of the river, applies also to life forms, and I am trying to set out exactly what that process/identity is for beings that are not directly experienced.

I think you are leaping too far ahead in the puzzle in your attempt to figure it out. If you are unable to figure out where the problem lies with the Ship, I'm pretty sure you won't be able to figure out the paradox of change and identity of more complex ideas. In particular, should you respond to the question by making it one about processes, I believe you will miss the point of it. This is not to suggest that the idea of a process is not a good idea; it definitely has its place in the discussion -- one taken up in some sense by Whitehead's Process theory -- but I should think it wise to attend to the Ship example, with its planks, before you launch into a discussion of processes.

From a pedagogical perspective, you could attend to the problem you are facing by having in front of you two opposing positions of the world (reality) that the ancient Greeks devised, one from Heraclitus, the other from Parmenides, that essentially responded to this puzzle by adopting alternative positions. In the case of Heraclitus, using the model of fire, he emphasized that the world is nothing but change, whereas, with Parmenides, the world was an unchanging One. (The consensus today on Heraclitus is more nuanced than this, but for this discussion, this should suffice, and it could warrant your (Canady's) process standpoint. And we may take the Parmenidean picture of reality in such a way that the only things that exist are unchanging things -- i.e. a pluralistic reality, which was later adopted by the Atomists.) Note that given these two positions, as great a philosopher as was Plato, he failed to make any significant progress on it, and his philosophy can be regarded as principally Parmenidean, though instead of it being physical, it was mental, it being more in line with Anaxagoras and his Nous idea. Aristotle could be said to be the philosopher who came up with the breakthrough. You may have encountered him in your researches.

Notwithstanding, your representation of the area of the problem still holds. The paradox, however, seems to elude you. Heraclitus would argue that ships don't exist at all, any reason for thinking they do would be merely because of the way our mind works, whereas for Parmenides, or his followers, if the ship did exist, it wouldn't change at all. Any change would be an illusion. You might recall Zeno's paradoxes. Despite that these philosophers had great influence in the market place of ideas, there is something unsatisfactory about each of their attempts to solve the problem. How can the ship exist, change and be the same ship? That's the question you should be responding to.

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

owleye wrote:I think you are leaping too far ahead in the puzzle in your attempt to figure it out. If you are unable to figure out where the problem lies with the Ship, I'm pretty sure you won't be able to figure out the paradox of change and identity of more complex ideas. In particular, should you respond to the question by making it one about processes, I believe you will miss the point of it. This is not to suggest that the idea of a process is not a good idea; it definitely has its place in the discussion -- one taken up in some sense by Whitehead's Process theory -- but I should think it wise to attend to the Ship example, with its planks, before you launch into a discussion of processes.

I would agree with you, but I consider that the original puzzle is solved to my satisfaction (until somebody has me reconsider), which is why it was posted. It is probably far too brief to do it justice as you alluded to before but even so. I did "deal with the planks" in my own eyes, albeit without referring to the planks hahah.
This thread has shifted to one of processes due to the River of Heraclitus extension paradox, as I think that an explanation of that would have as a strong component the emphasis that a river is defined as a process. As this isn't the River of Heraclitus thread (which I have not yet created), it is true that perhaps it should've waited, but I expressed that life is also a process (which is also partly given in the "Am I the same person?" attachment) and was asked to elaborate.

owleye wrote:From a pedagogical perspective, you could attend to the problem you are facing by having in front of you two opposing positions of the world (reality) that the ancient Greeks devised, one from Heraclitus, the other from Parmenides, that essentially responded to this puzzle by adopting alternative positions. In the case of Heraclitus, using the model of fire, he emphasized that the world is nothing but change, whereas, with Parmenides, the world was an unchanging One. (The consensus today on Heraclitus is more nuanced than this, but for this discussion, this should suffice, and it could warrant your (Canady's) process standpoint. And we may take the Parmenidean picture of reality in such a way that the only things that exist are unchanging things -- i.e. a pluralistic reality, which was later adopted by the Atomists.) Note that given these two positions, as great a philosopher as was Plato, he failed to make any significant progress on it, and his philosophy can be regarded as principally Parmenidean, though instead of it being physical, it was mental, it being more in line with Anaxagoras and his Nous idea. Aristotle could be said to be the philosopher who came up with the breakthrough. You may have encountered him in your researches.

Yes... though I have not done justice to the history, I know of all of these figures, and especially of Plato and Aristotle.
Nothing I have encountered on the block universe model has gained my support. Perhaps this should only cause me to seek further however.

owleye wrote:Notwithstanding, your representation of the area of the problem still holds. The paradox, however, seems to elude you. Heraclitus would argue that ships don't exist at all, any reason for thinking they do would be merely because of the way our mind works, whereas for Parmenides, or his followers, if the ship did exist, it wouldn't change at all. Any change would be an illusion. You might recall Zeno's paradoxes. Despite that these philosophers had great influence in the market place of ideas, there is something unsatisfactory about each of their attempts to solve the problem. How can the ship exist, change and be the same ship? That's the question you should be responding to.

James

Heraclitus would argue that the word "ship" holds a rigidly defined concept that may be applied to many objects? I would love to see why... I am very dully scratching the surface indeed.

I will respond now. x)

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

James, see my Raven Paradox OP and tell me if that is any better, and if it would be worth starting over in that vein... Please. xD

You ask: how does the ship even exist?
When I assert that a concept or category of true physical objects exists, I am expressing the opinion that such a categorisation is rigidly defined at any given moment, albeit subjectively. For every word, every object that is ever conceived of, there is a nature of the conception; and I assume, as is necessary for the meaningful use of language, that my conception of a word and your conception of a word share some fundamental qualities. What these qualities are for any given word I will not actively list, for it would be a monotonous task and the result would mirror a kindergarten-level reconstruction of language. I will simply go on the assumption that you conceive of a ship in much the same way that I do, and of course that you have actually seen an object that identifies with the (subjective) categorisation "ship", and hopefully, as it usually is, the language in which we thus correspond will give us a satisfactory mutual understanding.
Of the arguments against this, well, I know of none, and welcome any to reveal themselves.

How can it be the same ship once it has changed? There are two explanations I know of:

The first is physical continuity, which states that any object, so long as it's change is sufficiently gradual, may be deemed the same object. This I am not fond of, as it misleads us with the phrase "the same object"; quite obviously, no object that has changed is the same.

The second is the explanation I have given, which is that a separate categorisation is created, Ship of Theseus, even though the Ship of Theseus is no longer the original once it has either changed in material by even one base unit, or is being viewed from a different angle... but we could go even further and state that, simply because one's perception of an object has changed, that object has changed, as a property is different (a feature of my perception of it). In that sense at least, things ARE changing all the time, but we still maintain a general rubric "Ship of Theseus", albeit subjectively, just as we maintain a general rubric "My brother", even though in each instant by no means is he the exact same thing.

Note that this almost all relies on arbitrary conception and language... we can probably say whatever we want on the Ship of Theseus and be done with it... it is a conceptual system that is manipulable.

My question to everybody else, to make this a little more engaging and productive ;P, is:
1. Does it strike you as problematic or sensible that everything around you changes from one instant to the next? Then to what degree should we consider that an object has changed? When our classification of it is no longer met? When it's material composition changes, even if it is only one skin cell (and if not, where is the line?)? When we move our head and see it from a different angle, because we have no proof of 3D space beyond our senses? Or, at the most extreme, every single instant, simply because our conception of it changes? What is your favourite degree and why? :P

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Re: Paradox Resolution Challenge: Ship of Theseus

I am told: "Consider the point in time at which just one or two planks from Theseus' original ship have been replaced. At this stage it seems natural to regard the repaired ship as the original. But then consider a later point, by which time the Athenians have made so many repairs that none of the original material remains. Can we still regard the repaired ship as the same vessel? If we answer yes, we have a problem. Although the ship has changed gradually and incrementally, it has, nonetheless, changed totally.

No. A ship is not only a set of materials, but also a set of specific relationships (contributing to its uniqueness). A part of the informational aspects from the original ship were preserved so that it could not be concluded that the ship changed totally. On the ground that the same informational aspects of the original were preserved one can say that the changed one was the same ship on that aspect. One can be more specific to say that it is the same ship, but the materials are not the original anymore, in other words specifically that one did not replace the ship (by making a new one), instead you only replaced the materials.

A human being too is not only a set of material things but also of informational relationships, and in addition this relationship extends outside the skin because it is always man-in-an-environment, eventually making man situated and unique - in case of the ship, it will become ship-in-context (or historical environment).

If the relationships were further transformed but not disintegrated, a part of the identity and uniqueness contributed by virtue of its relation to its environment or context will still be preserved. Thus even in a radical change like metamorphosis, a part of uniqueness is preserved by virtue of its relationship to its environment. The transformed set of materials and information from old ship to new to a huge wooden horse will be the same unique organized thing in relation to its total environment and context.
Don Juan
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