ship of Theseus

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An example deriving from a story in Plutarch, and often used to illustrate problems with the identity of composite objects. Theseus has a ship, and in the way of things parts need constant replacement. There comes a point at which none of the original components remain. Is it the same ship? Thomas Hobbes (De Corpore, 2, 11, 7) asks whether if someone went around picking up the discarded parts and constructed a ship with them, which would be the better candidate for being the original ship?

Subjects: Philosophy.

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