1. Post #1
    Person
    geel9's Avatar
    June 2008
    5,595 Posts
    How does something change and yet stay the same?

    If you rip a corner off a sheet of paper, how do we recognize it as the same sheet of paper? What defines anything as "that thing," if at any point anything about it can change completely?

    A man with a finger cut off is no longer the same set of atoms as before, but he's still the same man.

    I would say that there is one or more "defining characteristics" of any one object. In the example of humans, I would have to say that a person is defined as a "unique person" by their past--which is the one thing about themselves that they cannot change.
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  2. Post #2
    DERAILER OF THREADS DESTROYER OF IDIOTS
    Emperor Scorpious II's Avatar
    February 2009
    24,905 Posts
    Many things have many definitions that are different to many people. I don't quite understand fully the purpose of the discussion, though.
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  3. Post #3
    Person
    geel9's Avatar
    June 2008
    5,595 Posts
    Many things have many definitions that are different to many people. I don't quite understand fully the purpose of the discussion, though.
    The point is, what is it about any one thing that defines it as itself? If you apply whiteout to a paper, thus removing its content, it's STILL the same paper. What defines it as that unique piece of paper?
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  4. Post #4
    DERAILER OF THREADS DESTROYER OF IDIOTS
    Emperor Scorpious II's Avatar
    February 2009
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    The point is, what is it about any one thing that defines it as itself? If you apply whiteout to a paper, thus removing its content, it's STILL the same paper. What defines it as that unique piece of paper?
    Your perception of it, only. Outside of your perception, it's just a clump of atoms surrounded by clumps of atoms.

    And each of us, having completely unique and independent perceptions of reality, have completely unique and independent definitions of "what is" for each given object.
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  5. Post #5
    Person
    geel9's Avatar
    June 2008
    5,595 Posts
    Your perception of it, only. Outside of your perception, it's just a clump of atoms surrounded by clumps of atoms.

    And each of us, having completely unique and independent perceptions of reality, have completely unique and independent definitions of "what is" for each given object.
    But if you remove all the letters, your perception of it changes--yet you still identify it as "the same sheet of paper."
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  6. Post #6
    DERAILER OF THREADS DESTROYER OF IDIOTS
    Emperor Scorpious II's Avatar
    February 2009
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    But if you remove all the letters, your perception of it changes--yet you still identify it as "the same sheet of paper."
    Hm, good point.

    Perhaps there's a "core ideal" of what the object is, and after that comes additional perceptions and characteristics of it.
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  7. Post #7
    Person
    geel9's Avatar
    June 2008
    5,595 Posts
    Hm, good point.

    Perhaps there's a "core ideal" of what the object is, and after that comes additional perceptions and characteristics of it.
    Which brings up another point I had. When I tell you to think of dog--not A dog, but just "dog"--you can't. You have to think of a specific instance. You can't think of the general idea of "dog". Why is this? How do we identify so many different things as a dog if we can't even imagine a dog?
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