Sorites Paradox (Philosophic Paradoxes #1)

Author: Crocodile ,

Topic's posts

Posts in total: 16
  • Crocodile
    Crocodile avatar
    Debates: 15
    Forum posts: 776
    2
    4
    9
    Crocodile avatar
    Crocodile
    I'll post these every week or two and let people speculate about them.

    SORITES PARADOX.

    Ok, first of all, what is the Sorites paradox? It's basically a philosophic paradox that says if you change an object repeatedly, when does that object not become an object anymore?

    Let's explore more examples of this:
    • Assume you have a heap of grain. Let's say you have 1000 pieces of grain in that heap, and every hour you took one piece of grain from the heap. At what point does it stop becoming a heap?
    • Another classic version of the Sorites paradox is the Theseus's sheep paradox
    The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned from Crete had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their places, in so much that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same.
    So, what do you think? What do you think the solution to the paradox is?
  • Crocodile
    Crocodile avatar
    Debates: 15
    Forum posts: 776
    2
    4
    9
    Crocodile avatar
    Crocodile
    --> @oromagi @Ragnar @RationalMadman @User_2006 @WaterPhoenix
    Tag.
  • User_2006
    User_2006 avatar
    Debates: 47
    Forum posts: 518
    3
    3
    11
    User_2006 avatar
    User_2006
    --> @Crocodile
    Your post is equal to saying:

    If I have a group of friends, remove one each day, and at what day it stops being a group?
    HEAP Definition:
    an untidy collection of things piled up haphazardly.
    If I organize them all into tidy rows and columns, then it stops becoming a heap shortly after. 



  • User_2006
    User_2006 avatar
    Debates: 47
    Forum posts: 518
    3
    3
    11
    User_2006 avatar
    User_2006
    The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned from Crete had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their places, in so much that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same.
    The present one is the actual ship because of its credit. The reason everything is everything is because of Credit. You could have a Gucci bag, then invent one bag that excels in basically all material statistics, such as quality, graphic design, size, etc. However, people will still buy Gucci because of their credit. Unless you put the old one together and sail in the place of the new one, the new one is da one.  

    Also, it is not sheep. it is a ship. 

    This could be the same for the congress. If all people in the congress are being replaced by their newer successors, and you put the old ones in a meeting, they aren't the congress itself despite it is a truism that they are former congress members. The old planks are former ship planks, but together they aren't something that is one-off and already exists. 
  • oromagi
    oromagi avatar
    Debates: 89
    Forum posts: 3,354
    6
    9
    11
    oromagi avatar
    oromagi
    --> @Crocodile
    The problem is all in the vagueness of the descriptor. 

    A heap is a collection of things into a single mass creating some elevation.  A heap of grain stops being a heap when no grain has any elevation.

    Theseus' ship stopped being the entire, original ship when the first plank was replaced.  People assumed it was still Theseus entire, original ship because the new information was seldom conveyed but that lack of information did not change the nature or definition of the ship which was a partially restored ship.  When every plank was replaced it became a fully restored ship.

    A heap is not an object.  It is an abstract descriptor for the way a group of objects are arranged.  Likewise, a line is not an object. No object stopped being an object after the arrangement changed.

    Theseus' ship is not an object.  It is an abstract descriptor for the ship's history of ownership.  After Theseus stopped owning the ship, the descriptor was no longer true but people used it a shorthand label for the history and significance of the ship.  No object stopped being an object after any plank was replaced.  The old plank was still a plank.  The old ship was still a ship.

    What's paradoxical about any of this?

  • Crocodile
    Crocodile avatar
    Debates: 15
    Forum posts: 776
    2
    4
    9
    Crocodile avatar
    Crocodile
    --> @oromagi
    It reveals the flaws of human ideas, such as definitions. 
  • BearMan
    BearMan avatar
    Debates: 8
    Forum posts: 453
    1
    3
    8
    BearMan avatar
    BearMan
    Not every philosophical idea is a paradox Croc.
  • Crocodile
    Crocodile avatar
    Debates: 15
    Forum posts: 776
    2
    4
    9
    Crocodile avatar
    Crocodile
  • Crocodile
    Crocodile avatar
    Debates: 15
    Forum posts: 776
    2
    4
    9
    Crocodile avatar
    Crocodile
    --> @oromagi
    The entire paradoxical state arises from the vagueness of the predicates.
  • Crocodile
    Crocodile avatar
    Debates: 15
    Forum posts: 776
    2
    4
    9
    Crocodile avatar
    Crocodile
    Your post is equal to saying:

    If I have a group of friends, remove one each day, and at what day it stops being a group?
    It's not. The sorites paradox deals with vague terms and ideas invented by humans. 
  • oromagi
    oromagi avatar
    Debates: 89
    Forum posts: 3,354
    6
    9
    11
    oromagi avatar
    oromagi
    --> @BearMan
    well its not croc asserting paradox, it's Greek philosophy by way of Standford.

    Standford says

    , "The puzzle can be expressed as an argument most simply using modusponens:
    • 1 grain of wheat does not make a heap.
    • If 1 grain doesn’t make a heap, then 2 grainsdon’t.
    • If 2 grains don’t make a heap, then 3 grainsdon’t.

    • If 999,999 grains don’t make a heap, then 1 million grainsdon’t.
    Therefore,
    • 1 million grains don’t make a heap.
    The argument is a paradox because apparently impeccable reasoning fromapparently impeccable premises yields a falsehood.

    I don't buy "falsehood"

    We use deliberately use vagueness in our language  to indicate non-specificity.  Applying specificity to a non-specificity necessarily breaks at some point but that doesn't make the vague term false.

    When we say 'a few' we mean 'more than two but an unspecified normal, readily countable amount' 

    I had a few drinks.  We dated a few years back.

    3 drinks are a few
    5 drinks are a few
    7 is pushing it
    10 drinks, "dude!"

    Now some Greek philosophers who have definitely had more than a few drinks say well if 4 drinks are a few and 3 drinks are a few than it should follow that two drinks is also a few and we're liars if its not.  But no, we definitely indicated more than two but we kept it vague because of uncertainty or obfuscation or some other reason.  Likewise the Greeks want to say if 5 can be a few and 6 can be a few than seven drinks should also be a few and we are liars if say otherwise but no, too many to be few is highly circumstantial and we indicated that we weren't being specific so no falsehood is proved.

  • User_2006
    User_2006 avatar
    Debates: 47
    Forum posts: 518
    3
    3
    11
    User_2006 avatar
    User_2006
    --> @Crocodile
    Well, a group cannot be defined of its minimum number, at least I can't, but that is out of the question.

    A heap must be disorganized and piled, so if I arrange the grains like the pixels of a monitor, then no matter how many grains there are, it isn't a heap.
  • Crocodile
    Crocodile avatar
    Debates: 15
    Forum posts: 776
    2
    4
    9
    Crocodile avatar
    Crocodile
    --> @User_2006
    But in this scenario, the definition is not the case. The paradoxical state of this is the vagueness of our language.
  • WaterPhoenix
    WaterPhoenix avatar
    Debates: 11
    Forum posts: 1,785
    3
    3
    10
    WaterPhoenix avatar
    WaterPhoenix
    --> @Crocodile
    Restoring a boat doesn't make it not an ancient boat anymore. Restored art is still the same piece it was no matter if you restored it or not. And a heap is an extremely vague term, I would classify anything that has a dome-like structure a heap, while you may say that only 1000< grains can be a heap.
  • Crocodile
    Crocodile avatar
    Debates: 15
    Forum posts: 776
    2
    4
    9
    Crocodile avatar
    Crocodile
    --> @WaterPhoenix
    There's actually several solutions. Group consesus is  one of them

  • Crocodile
    Crocodile avatar
    Debates: 15
    Forum posts: 776
    2
    4
    9
    Crocodile avatar
    Crocodile
    --> @WaterPhoenix
    You can find more info on the link i posted above