The Problem of Identity.
In this episode of Meta Treks, part one of a two-part discussion on the problem of identity in Star Trek, hosts Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling consider the metaphysical problem of identity over time as it applies to inanimate objects. As objects undergo changes over time, do they remain the same objects or do they become different objects? Mike and Zachary reinterpret the classic philosophical example of the Ship of Theseus, in which components of a ship are replaced one at a time, in Star Trek terms as the "Starship of Theseus," asking whether the Enterprise remains the same ship following repairs or a refit.
Mike and Zachary introduce the problem of identity with an overview of Leibniz's Law and the numerical identity of indiscernible objects, followed by a discussion of different possible responses to the problem of identity over time: the continuity-of-change response, four-dimensionalism and time slices, and Aristotle's four types of causes (material cause, formal cause, efficient cause, and final cause).
Welcome to Meta Treks 4 (00:01:07)
Introduction to the Topic (00:02:10)
The Ship of Theseus (00:10:18)
The Starship of Theseus (00:13:35)
Resolving the Identity Problem (00:29:17)
Continuity of Changes (00:29:51)
Four Dimensionalism (00:37:18)
Aristotle's Answers (00:46:37)
Final Thoughts (01:00:43)
Mike Morrison and Zachary Fruhling