Sunday, September 19, 2004

Theseus

Anyone care to talk about how you are presenting the argument for the Ship of Theseus paradox?

7 Comments:

Blogger Alissa said...

I presented my ship of Theseus Paradox by splitting the conclusion up into two sub-conclusions. I worked with the "The ship of Theseus is identical to Replacement" first, and then dealt with "The ship of Theseus is identical to Planks". I used a lot of the Modus Ponens form, just because it was the simplest and easiest for me to follow. The hardest part was trying to find an opening argument premise, but for those I refered to the texts, and tried to find what arguments they used to support either conclusion. I ended up with an extremely long argument, so I don't know if this was the best way to approach the assignment, but it was the only way I could think to present the argument validly.

September 19, 2004 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

I took a simmilar approach, though my biggest problem was explaining why planks was identical to ship. I just couldnt think of an easy way to do it.

September 21, 2004 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Yeah, I came up with an argument for why Planks=Ships, but as I thought about it more, I came to the conclusion that Planks does not equal Ships.... So now I can't think of any reason why anyone would believe that. If they're identical, the words "Ships" and "Planks" should refer to the same thing. But they don't. Planks is the ship rebuilt from the scraps of Ships. So when Planks was built, Ships didn't really exist.... Right?

September 21, 2004 at 8:12 PM  
Blogger dscheffe said...

I have the opposite view of Steve. I can't see how something made of all the identical parts isn't the identical object. That is, I believe the Ship of Theseus is identical to planks. Just because they are called different names doesn't mean they aren't the same thing. Names are given to things based on how they should be represented. They don't necessarily describe something's identity.

September 23, 2004 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger Howeman said...

"A rose by any other name would be just as sweet"

So I agree. Just because they are called different things doesn't mean they are different. That doesn't mean that they aren't other reasons why the two may not be the same, but I agree with Chisholm on this one.

September 23, 2004 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger Alissa said...

I think there is a big difference between similarity and whether or not two things are identical. "A rose by any other name would be just as sweet" is a good example of this. A rose is, plain a simple, a rose. You can rename it, and it would still be a rose, but it would no longer be identical to its original part. Two things can't be identical and have different names, because then they differ by their names. I agree, that yes it is still a rose, but it is no longer identical to the original rose. A rose can be identical to another rose in the sense that they are both the same type of flower, but one specific rose cannot be identical to a different rose. So with the Ship of Theseus paradox, it depends on how closesly you are trying to relate the 'identicality' of the ships.

September 25, 2004 at 5:05 PM  
Blogger Howeman said...

I agree with everything you said, except when you said that renaming the flower would make a new flower. The language humans use helps us defining things, but our words do not have magical powers over objects. If I called you "Sally", you would not become a new person, I would just be using language to define you further in my mind. Calling you something else doesn't change you at all, as names are just used to help express our thoughts.

September 26, 2004 at 2:46 PM  

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