On a Temporal Slippery Slope Paradox |
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Over (D.E.) |

Source: Analysis, Vol. 46, No. 1 (Jan., 1986), pp. 15-18 |

Paper - Abstract |

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__Author’s Introduction__

- There has been increasing interest in a range of problems which Kit Fine has felicitiously called (in unpublished work) modal
^{1}slippery slope paradoxes. A good, succinct example of this type has recently been described by Nathan Salmon in his paper, 'Impossible Worlds' (__Analysis 44.3, June 1984, pp. 114-17___{2}). - My purpose here is to point out that this example, like some of the others, is paralleled by what might be called a temporal slippery slope paradox, as can be seen by considering the following principle (which parallels Salmon's principle (2')):
- (T) If a given artefact x is assembled from a set of components y, then x could be completely disassembled and later re-assembled from another set of components z which sufficiently overlaps y; but x could not later be re-assembled from any set of components z' which does not sufficiently overlap y.

- This principle is as intuitively appealing as many of those under lying modal
^{3}slippery slope paradoxes, and to see in detail how we might implicitly appeal to it, suppose that we take our watch x to a watch-maker who completely disassembles it. … - [ … ]
- Notice that the above case is not identical with that of the famous ship of Theseus
^{4}, which is continuously modified over a long period without being completely dismantled….

- Salmon's book, Reference and Essence (Blackwell and Princeton U.P., 1982), Appendix I, pp. 219-59, and
- Graeme Forbes, 'Two Solutions to Chisholm's Para dox', Philosophical Studies 46, 1984, pp. 171-87.

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