There are thoughts and ideas in life and in theory that leave our mind in a mess and on a Tuesday morning leave us thinking it’s the Wednesday before Christmas. I hope to bring some of these to you and leave you with little to say (maybe) and much to think about.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

The Wooden Boat

A man owns a wooden boat, he uses it to go fishing with and uses it everyday. Each day he goes out and the boat’s form suffers wear and tear, over time parts of the boat are replaced until eventually when the man is quite old none of the original boat remains.

My question is this: At the point that he’s replace all the parts on the boat, does he have a new boat or is it the same boat?

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18 thoughts on “Philosophical Conundrums – The Wooden Boat

  1. I had a mountain bike and I know when it left my care, after 18 years, it still had the original handle bar stem. More or less everything else had been replaced at least twice and I considered it to still be the same bike.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Ship of Theseus is one of my favourite philosophical questions!

    As for my answer, the logical part of my brain wants to say it’s a new boat, while the sentimental part wants to say it’s the same. So, both? πŸ€”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s very true, both statements can be true – it suggests that maybe we’re asking the wrong question in terms of the limited way in which we’re asking it.


  3. Good question.
    I’m going with a sort of existentialist response with ownership overtones.
    Since the man has always owned a craft but replaced parts of it in order to maintain the status of ‘his boat’ the craft remains ‘his boat’ and thus can be considered the same craft, ie ‘his boat’

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Each part of the boat has touched a part of the boat in its previous iteration so it’s 6 degrees of separation away from the original, assuming the man who owns the boat is Kevin Bacon.😁

    Liked by 2 people

  5. At that point to me it’s more of a philosophical question, and it’s about his attitude. One can look at it in a way that it’s now a new thing, or an accomplishment, or can consider it the improved version of the same thing. If the guy thought it’s a new thing, but others don’t, would that make a difference?
    So, in conclusion I don’t know, but also not sure it matters πŸ€”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like this, you’ve really thought about it, it begs the question does it matter and reality as you suggest is not really but it depends on who you talk to and what they think about it.


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