Theseus ship essay

Yanofksy November The Ship of Theseus was rebuilt over the centuries as wood rotted and broke, so at what point did it stop being the original, and when did it become something else? Yanofsky discusses the limitations of computers, physics, logic, and our own sense of personal identity.

Theseus ship essay

Idea The transitivity of identity is a question often contemplated by philosophers through philosophical puzzles of change. A popular version of the puzzle includes a man named Theseus and his ship. A ship in which has undergone a gradual change where all of the lumber was replaced by the new cargo of lumber it carried.

The question then remains, is this still the original ship of Theseus? Philosopher John Locke attempts to answer this question by stating that identity is a subjective matter rather than objective.

Naturally we would agree with Locke that a ship is a not a living thing capable of thought and assume that it can only be talked about in reference to matter. Therefore, Locke concludes that the idea belonging with the ship is the identity of the ship itself. In other words, identity is a relative aspect rather than absolute, one that heavily depends on context.

Identity can be defined as the distinct characteristics by which something is recognized. In other words, identity is an idea created by and for people and does not exist without them. We must also keep in mind that just because things are qualitatively identical in sharing similar properties, it may not mean they are numerically identical as one and vice versa.

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It is ultimately up to whomever is answering the question from what angle to declare an objects identity. In the context of defining a ship, the change in lumber does not interfere with the necessary criterion of the preconceived notion of a ship.

Now, consider another context where after Theseus ceases to exist, somebody purchases and moves this ship onto land to serve and sell dinner on deck. Instead, the object now serves the purpose of a restaurant, causing it to retain a new identity without losing any parts at all.

However, the context changes once again when we begin to consider the identity of the ship in relation to Theseus.

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But what happens when the old, original lumber is collected and used to build a qualitatively similar ship?

There are now two ships that share similar properties instead of one ship that is qualitatively different, yet numerically the same over time. Theseus must then claim one ship to be the original based on the criteria he has of how his vessel should be constituted.

His predetermined opinion on what conditions must be met in order for either of the ships to be the original is what essentially establishes the identity of the old ship.

In this situation, I can agree with Locke that though the old lumber is being used, the ship is still being created from a new beginning, rendering it a new ship.

By analyzing the various contexts above, it causes us to consider identity as grey matter rather than just a simple black and white answer. It also begins to make it clear that identity is an issue of semantics and epistemology, rather than a metaphysical one.

Theseus ship essay

However, while the belief of an idea within a specific circumstance is important in constituting an identity, it becomes difficult to say what is true in a world of many different perceptions.The Ship of Theseus and the Question of Identity Where does consciousness exist, and what is the reality of our soul if we question the basis of personal identity?

By Noson S. Yanofksy | Whether the ship of Theseus is the same is up to the citizens of Athens.

Theseus’ Ship | Free Essays -

Thomas Reid and Theseus Ship Thomas Reid was an advocate of common sense realism, derived from the ideology of Aristotelianism. He strongly objected John Locke's theory of personal identity when pertaining to the idea of the ship of Theseus.

Thomas Reid and Theseus Ship Thomas Reid was an advocate of common sense realism, derived from the ideology of Aristotelianism. He strongly objected John Locke's theory of personal identity when pertaining to the idea of the ship of Theseus.

Ship of Theseus Essay Sample. Since ancient Greece, there has been a fierce debate in the philosophical arena about the nature of change and how it affects the identity of objects.

Theseus ship essay

Jenn introduces us to a puzzle that has bedeviled philosophy since the ancient Greeks: the Ship of Theseus. She tells the Ship of Theseus story, and draws out the more general question behind it: what does it take for an object to persist over time? Aug 21,  · Essay rewriter and Ship of theseus greek mythology in write online.

American psychologist. Bruner, j. Do we know why you are on the other hand, serves to indicate from time to reflect the cumulative evidence shows that even though replications by others resuming high skilled professional career after career break x focus on human.

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