The Ship of Theseus

P. Chaudhuri and J.P. Dexter, Neukom Fellow - The Ship of Theseus is the name given to a famous philosophical paradox about the preservation of identity over time. It asks whether an object remains the same even after all of its individual components (such as planks in a ship) have been replaced. Chaudhuri and Dexter examine the relevance of the paradox to a wide range of problems outside of philosophy, including case studies in biology, art history, and literature. In particular, they argue that the paradox is important to understanding a well-known "chronological discrepancy" in Catullus' poem 64 about whether the legendary Argo was the world's first ship. Read More