Ship of Theseus
The story of the ship of Theseus has had philosophers puzzled for centuries. The classical story is told by Plutarch (46-120 AD), ‘The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned from Crete 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; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same ship. Plutarch questions whether the ship would remain the same if each piece were replaced one by one, as the change was only slight. Another puzzle was introduced by philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) wondering what would happen if the parts that were replaced were then used to rebuild a second ship. Which ship is the original ship of Theseus? There are two ships, one has been renovated and the other reassembled. The renovated ship was the original ship of Theseus, but only before it was renovated, all the parts have been replaced which
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