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"Ship of Theseus & the Dunkirk small fleet" Topic

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372 hits since 2 Apr 2022
©1994-2022 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Korvessa02 Apr 2022 10:39 a.m. PST

I just watched the movie of Dunkirk for the 3rd or 4th time. As I understand it, at least some of the small boats used in the film were actual participants in the original evacuation.
That got me thinking about the paradox of the Ship of Theseus, an ancient Greek logical argument that ponders the thought about how many repairs a ship can undergo before it becomes a new ship.
It having been over 80 years since Dunkirk, it is amazing that any ship of 1940 would still be seaworthy. How may of them would be examples of the Ship of Theseus?

Deucey Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2022 2:02 p.m. PST

At the cell and molecular level, our bodies are probably Ships of Theseus?

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2022 2:49 p.m. PST

It's the old story of the SGT Majors mop. That very mop was with the regiment at Waterloo. Since then it has had the handle replaced 37 times and the mop head 143 times, but it's the exact same mop.

For a firearm or an automobile in the United States it's the frame that is considered the "thing" itself. All other parts are just parts and replaceable. I suspect there is something similar to that with ships, probably the hull.

There are plenty of ships that old still floating, the USS Constitution is way over 200 years old and still afloat.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

Dagwood03 Apr 2022 1:51 a.m. PST

For the English amongst us – Trigger's broom ?

Korvessa03 Apr 2022 9:43 a.m. PST


Re Constitution: I believe the USN owns an oak forest for just the purpose of turning it into Theseus' ship.

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