Binghamton Journal of Philosophy

Volume 1, Issue 1, 2013

Chris Brown
Pages 23-40

Change Becomes Essential
Identity in a World that Never Stops Moving

The Ship of Theseus example raises problems about the sense that things such as tables and chairs exist and how they are able to change. It challenges traditional metaphysical notions about parthood and identity over time. When analyzed, it turns out that the issues raised by this example are fatal to traditional ontologies. I propose a process approach that does not discard the concept of matter entirely that both conforms to our commonsense intuitions about how the world is and is able to adequately address the Ship of Theseus example. Under my theory, the Ship of Theseus actually includes the process that we would normally call a ship and the system of maintenance that is replacing the parts of the ship. I end by arguing that this is a com­monsensical view and respond to objections.