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Posers and Puzzles

Posers and Puzzles

  1. 13 Oct '10 16:26
    if a man has a boat, and one board is rotten, so he replaces it. if eventually, one by one, all the boards have been replaced so there is not one original part. is it a new boat? and if so, when dd it stop being his old boat and start being his new boat?

    no one has ever answered this in the history of the world. its impossible. so dont feel bad when you cant figure it out.
  2. 13 Oct '10 16:27
    P.S. sorry about my grammer.
  3. 13 Oct '10 17:47
    The 'boat' and the individual 'boards' relate to each other like a 'set' relates to it's 'elements' in mathematics. As long as each individual repair doesn't change (except repairing) the concept or functions of the boat, the boat's identity remains the same. In the same way as a liver transplant doesn't change the identity of the patient. That comparison has it's limitations though, there (may be) are parts of a living person that are not just interchangeable. I don't think this is the case for the parts of a boat.
  4. Standard member forkedknight
    Defend the Universe
    13 Oct '10 18:01
    This is really a subjective question. If I build a computer using 50% of the parts of my old computer, is it a new computer, or is it just an upgrade? What about 30%? What about 80%?

    In a way, any time you replace a board in the boat, you have a "new" boat. It's definitely not the same as the old one. Anything with interchangable parts behives like this: cars, computers, guns.

    The difference between a "new" unit and a "modified" unit is purely subjective.
  5. Subscriber joe shmo
    Strange Egg
    13 Oct '10 20:46
    Originally posted by jasperdash
    if a man has a boat, and one board is rotten, so he replaces it. if eventually, one by one, all the boards have been replaced so there is not one original part. is it a new boat? and if so, when dd it stop being his old boat and start being his new boat?

    no one has ever answered this in the history of the world. its impossible. so dont feel bad when you cant figure it out.
    If noone has ever answered it, then you don't know the answer. So who will tell poster if he is correct?
  6. 13 Oct '10 23:03
    The boat has a name, let's call it 'The Mad Mary'.

    The Mad Mary was built in say 1940. so it's 70 years old.

    All the boards have been replaced but it's still 'The Mad Mary.'
    and it is still 70 years old.
  7. Standard member Igloo
    Fishing
    14 Oct '10 11:59
    We were posed this question in a second year philosophy course. It's a scaled down version of the question of personal identity (what makes you you?).

    This question has had many forms over the years, boats, trees, chairs, etc. Socrates (or someother Greek philosopher) proposed the concept of "chairness" to describe the nature of the chair. I found it was all very subjective and did not lend itself to one finite answer.

    In terms of the boat, I agree with Greenpawn. Most people would say that the replanked boat is the same boat as the old. It never becomes the "new" boat.

    I imagine it would cause comments such as "The boat is like new", rather than "The boat is new".

    If you really want an unanswerable question, ask what makes us who we are (personal identity). Is it our bodies? Our minds? Our souls (big fight that)? The continuity in the experiences have?
  8. Standard member forkedknight
    Defend the Universe
    14 Oct '10 21:49
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    The boat has a name, let's call it 'The Mad Mary'.

    The Mad Mary was built in say 1940. so it's 70 years old.

    All the boards have been replaced but it's still 'The Mad Mary.'
    and it is still 70 years old.
    Every time you replace a board in "The Mad Mary", you keep the old piece. Once all of the boards have been replaced, you take all the old pieces and form them into a boat. is it "The Mad Mary"? Is it a new boat? It has all the original pieces of "The Mad Mary".
  9. Standard member PBE6
    Bananarama
    15 Oct '10 13:52
    I think the word "is" in the OP is misleading. "Mad Mary"-ness is not a property that emerges from the collection of objects when they are put together to make the boat, but rather a category applied to the collection of objects when viewed at a certain level of aggregation by the observer. At this level, where "Mad Mary"-ness seems to emerge, the details get blurred into a cohesive whole. Depending on the context, the number of details that can change before the grouping dissolves can be fewer or greater (i.e. a collector of ships would probably only be satisfied with a very small number of changes to the ship before declaring a lack of "Mad Mary"-ness, while a builder might tolerate a much higher number of changes provided the functionality of the ship doesn't change).
  10. 16 Oct '10 14:49
    No matter what you do to it.
    Rip out the engine, change the sails or rip up the deck.
    It's still the Mad Mary and will registered as such.

    To make it new you will have to re-name it and that as
    every sailor knows is very unlucky.
  11. 16 Oct '10 19:16
    how many of the cells a human being is borne with are the same when he/she dies?
  12. 16 Oct '10 20:40
    Originally posted by iamatiger
    how many of the cells a human being is borne with are the same when he/she dies?
    age at death please ?
  13. 16 Oct '10 20:56
    Originally posted by jasperdash
    P.S. sorry about my grammer.
    Why, what'd ya do with her?

    Richard
  14. 16 Oct '10 20:59
    Originally posted by forkedknight
    This is really a subjective question. If I build a computer using 50% of the parts of my old computer, is it a new computer, or is it just an upgrade? What about 30%? What about 80%?
    If you ask Mic*#&^oft, excuse my French, any time you replace more than one out of about a dozen "essential", "identifying" parts (such as, ooh, the screws in the case), you have a new computer and need to pay $978,34 for a new license for Losedows.

    Hope that answers your question.

    Richard
  15. 16 Oct '10 21:02
    Originally posted by Igloo
    We were posed this question in a second year philosophy course. It's a scaled down version of the question of personal identity (what makes you you?).
    If you've been asked this in your second year as a philosophy student, and none of you wastrels has yet learned enough to answer "What makes me me is me, damn it!", you need to ask your money back for your first year.

    Richard