How to Test the Ship of Theseus

Dialectica 74 (3) (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The story of the Ship of Theseus is one of the most venerable conundrums in philosophy. Some philosophers consider it a genuine puzzle. Others deny that it is so. It is, therefore, an open question whether there is or there is not a puzzle in the Ship of Theseus story. So, arguably, it makes sense to test empirically whether people perceive the case as a puzzle. Recently, David Rose, Edouard Machery, Stephen Stich and forty-two other researchers from different countries have undertaken that task. We argue that their tests do not provide any evidence that bears on the question as to whether the Ship of Theseus case is a genuine puzzle. In our discussion we address also what should be taken into account if one wishes to test the puzzling, or not puzzling, status of the Ship of Theseus story.

Similar books and articles

Change Becomes Essential.Chris Brown - 2013 - Binghamton Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):23-40.
Verities, the sorites, and Theseus’ ship.Igor Douven - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3867-3878.
Identity and Indeterminacy.David Winthrop Cowles - 1991 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
The Band of Theseus: Social Individuals and Mental Files.Enrico Terrone - 2017 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 47 (4-5):287-310.
Ship of Theseus.[author unknown] - 2012 - Questions: Philosophy for Young People 12:19-19.
Mereological Nihilism and Puzzles about Material Objects.Bradley Rettler - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):842-868.
The Ship of Theseus.Theodore Scaltsas - 1980 - Analysis 40 (3):152 - 157.
The Problem of Material Constitution.Michael C. Rea - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (4):525-552.
How to Reidentify the Ship of Theseus.Brian Smart - 1972 - Analysis 32 (5):145 - 148.


Added to PP

452 (#39,858)

6 months
111 (#30,004)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Genoveva Martí
ICREA And University Of Barcelona
Enrico Terrone
Università degli Studi di Genova
Marta Campdelacreu
Universitat de Barcelona
1 more

References found in this work

Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.
Sameness and substance.David Wiggins - 1980 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Sameness and Substance.David Wiggins - 1981 - Philosophical Quarterly 31 (124):260-268.
Sameness and substance.David Wiggins - 1980 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 174 (1):125-128.

View all 11 references / Add more references