1. Territories Unknown
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    22 Mar '14 20:43
    Bought a plot of land.
    Cleared some trees, razed the surface of irregular mounds, over-sized rocks.
    Set up temporary housing (really, just a tent) while my house in earnest was being built.
    Once the building was complete, we rolled the tent up and put it away.

    Modest in size: 3,000 square feet, but water view on a semi-treed lot brings it all together for the family.
    If we want, we can expand the structure to add another room to act as the entertainment room.
    Or, if needed, we could tear down the garage and breezeway to reduce the cost of heating/cooling/maintenance.

    But what if I remove just the door of the laundry room, burn it for fuel: is my house still my house?
    Is the rolled up tent a house?
    What constitutes my house, anyway?
    Is it the sum of the parts or is it the whole?
  2. Cape Town
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    22 Mar '14 21:031 edit
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    What constitutes my house, anyway?
    Is it the sum of the parts or is it the whole?
    It is more than the sum of its parts. It is what you use it for as well. If you move somewhere else, it will no longer be your house even if all its parts remain. If it is converted into offices it will no longer be a house at all - even if all the parts remain.
    The tent may or may not be referred to as your house depending on context and who you are talking to. If you had a friend that came to visit you in your tent and you said 'welcome to my house' he would understand you - but would probably also consider it to not be a 'real' house.
  3. Territories Unknown
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    22 Mar '14 21:27
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    It is more than the sum of its parts. It is what you use it for as well. If you move somewhere else, it will no longer be your house even if all its parts remain. If it is converted into offices it will no longer be a house at all - even if all the parts remain.
    The tent may or may not be referred to as your house depending on context and who you are tal ...[text shortened]... y house' he would understand you - but would probably also consider it to not be a 'real' house.
    It is more than the sum of its parts.
    Can it ever be less than the sum of its parts?

    Maybe a better way of phrasing it would be: is it any less the building (would I call it H-LRD instead of simply, H, with H = house and LRD = laundry room door).
  4. Cape Town
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    22 Mar '14 21:47
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Can it ever be less than the sum of its parts?
    If you cut a house right down the middle, you might get two half houses. But you may also get two houses, or no house at all.
    A house is simply not a concrete object but rather a vague concept which includes both physical structures and their usage.
    So for example a holiday home that you use only one day a year may still be a house. You may share it will other people who use it at different times, or even at the same time, so it may be somebody else's house too.
  5. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    slatington, pa, usa
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    22 Mar '14 21:49
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    If you cut a house right down the middle, you might get two half houses. But you may also get two houses, or no house at all.
    A house is simply not a concrete object but rather a vague concept which includes both physical structures and their usage.
    So for example a holiday home that you use only one day a year may still be a house. You may share it wil ...[text shortened]... who use it at different times, or even at the same time, so it may be somebody else's house too.
    And, if you don't pay the yearly rent to the government you will find out whose house it is.
  6. Cape Town
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    22 Mar '14 21:59
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    And, if you don't pay the yearly rent to the government you will find out whose house it is.
    I guess that depends on the country. In some countries the government owns the land, in others they merely tax you, it is the government's road outside your gate.
    If you don't pay the taxes they might demand payment and confiscating your house might be one way to get your taxes off you, but it doesn't mean they currently own the house any more than the credit card company does.
  7. Territories Unknown
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    23 Mar '14 16:49
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    If you cut a house right down the middle, you might get two half houses. But you may also get two houses, or no house at all.
    A house is simply not a concrete object but rather a vague concept which includes both physical structures and their usage.
    So for example a holiday home that you use only one day a year may still be a house. You may share it wil ...[text shortened]... who use it at different times, or even at the same time, so it may be somebody else's house too.
    So let's say I wish to keep my house from succumbing to the ravages of time and decay, and embark on replacing every replaceable part of my house every year.
    First year, I replace all the doors.
    Year two, the windows.
    Third year, I redo every floor.
    Year four, I'm removing and replacing all the counters and tearing down the walls, replacing the studs and then installing new walls.
    Fifth year, all the plumbing is tore out: every sink, toilet, showers and even the hot water heater, all replaced.
    Year six, all of electrical wiring is ripped out and the house is completely rewired.
    Seventh year, I redo the roof and redo all the siding.

    Not speaking to ownership, but can I rightly claim the house is the same one I built seven years previously?
  8. Cape Town
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    23 Mar '14 17:44
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Not speaking to ownership, but can I rightly claim the house is the same one I built seven years previously?
    You can both rightly claim it is the same one, and rightly claim that it is a whole new house. The thing is, what matters is who you are talking to and what you want to get across to them.
    From a logical point of view, the house was made of certain parts and is now made of certain other parts and it is in the same place and you own it. Whether you choose to call it the same house or not is a matter of choice not a logical deduction.
  9. Joined
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    23 Mar '14 17:451 edit
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus

    "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, in so much that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same."
    —Plutarch, Theseus[2]
  10. Territories Unknown
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    23 Mar '14 22:07
    Originally posted by JS357
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus

    "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, in so much that this ship became a stand ...[text shortened]... emained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same."
    —Plutarch, Theseus[2]
    Figured someone would spot it.
  11. Territories Unknown
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    23 Mar '14 22:09
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    You can both rightly claim it is the same one, and rightly claim that it is a whole new house. The thing is, what matters is who you are talking to and what you want to get across to them.
    From a logical point of view, the house was made of certain parts and is now made of certain other parts and it is in the same place and you own it. Whether you choose to call it the same house or not is a matter of choice not a logical deduction.
    For all intents and purposes, however, do we consider the house the same--- despite the various upgrades and changes--- or is there some indelible trait continually missing, continually renewed?
  12. Joined
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    23 Mar '14 22:28
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Figured someone would spot it.
    You changed the words one by one until it came to be about your house, and yet it is the same conundrum. 🙂
  13. Joined
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    23 Mar '14 22:351 edit
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    For all intents and purposes, however, do we consider the house the same--- despite the various upgrades and changes--- or is there some indelible trait continually missing, continually renewed?
    "Same" and "other" is a deep, ancient topic.

    "There is an antithesis between ‘same’ and ‘other.’ The sentence says that different waters flow in rivers staying the same. In other words, though the waters are always changing, the rivers stay the same. Indeed, it must be precisely because the waters are always changing that there are rivers at all, rather than lakes or ponds. The message is that rivers can stay the same over time even though, or indeed because, the waters change. The point, then, is not that everything is changing, but that the fact that some things change makes possible the continued existence of other things."

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/heraclit/

    The house changes by fits and starts. Change is not essential to it, like change is essential to a river being a river (and not being a long skinny lake.)

    Is change essential to being human?

    PS about the "house" being a house, that is the meaning/purpose we assign that assemblage of matter, and maintain its identity as such, until we assign it another meaning and purpose, like firewood.
  14. Territories Unknown
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    23 Mar '14 22:35
    Originally posted by JS357
    You changed the words one by one until it came to be about your house, and yet it is the same conundrum. 🙂
    So what say you: does the house fundamentally stay the same?
  15. Joined
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    23 Mar '14 22:39
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    So what say you: does the house fundamentally stay the same?
    Sorry, I edited my other reply and I think that is more responsive to your question. Let me know.
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