- Philosophical investigations of the conceptual sort are often pursued in the light of puzzle cases; and this is, I think, both understandable and (at least up to a point) justifiable, since it is only by pressing our concepts to their limits that we may discover where their boundaries lie and thus achieve some insight into their logical shape.
- This is as true in the philosophy of identity as in that of any other concept worthy of philosophical investigation.
- Hence, in discussions of personal identity, the abundance of examples involving amnesia, paramnesia, duplication1 of memories, brain transplantation2, commissurotomy3, and so forth.
- Philosophers concerned with artifact identity exhibit the same interest in puzzling or paradoxical cases, and of these the example of the ship of Theseus4 is perhaps the most notorious.
- Since this ancient puzzle is still very much a subject of dispute, I make no apology in raising it yet again. My procedure will be:
- To recall precisely what the problem is;
- To offer (yet another) solution to it; and finally
- To relate what I have said to the opinions of others, especially where these seem to involve important divergences from my own.
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