Day 332 – Ship of Theseus

November 28, 2009

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.

Life of Theseus by Plutarch

Richard, my parents, and I were discussing the classic paradox of Theseus’ ship (stated above from Plutarch.) We each came up with different examples and related them to a number of different situations. Afterwards, I looked online to other possible solutions to the paradox, and found that my answer was a combination of two older ones: Aristotle’s causes, and the concept of four dimensions.

I am interested in hearing what other people think about this. If you have a little time to think about this, please do so and either email me or leave a comment with your thoughts