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Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy Volume 3$
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Tania Lombrozo, Joshua Knobe, and Shaun Nichols

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198852407

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198852407.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 August 2021

The Ship of Theseus Puzzle

The Ship of Theseus Puzzle

Chapter:
(p.158) 6 The Ship of Theseus Puzzle
Source:
Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy Volume 3
Author(s):

David Rose

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198852407.003.0007

Does the Ship of Theseus present a genuine puzzle about persistence due to conflicting intuitions based on “continuity of form” and “continuity of matter” pulling in opposite directions? Philosophers are divided. Some claim that it presents a genuine puzzle but disagree over whether there is a solution. Others claim that there is no puzzle at all since the case has an obvious solution. To assess these proposals, a cross-cultural study involving nearly 3,000 people across twenty-two locations, speaking eighteen different languages was conducted. The results speak against the proposal that there is no puzzle at all and against the proposal that there is a puzzle but one that has no solution. Moreover, the results also suggest that there are two criteria—“continuity of form” and “continuity of matter”—that constitute our concept of persistence and these two criteria receive different weightings in settling matters concerning persistence.

Keywords:   persistence, Ship of Theseus, continuity of matter, continuity of form, thought experiment

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