Does anybody know of a historiography or review of the discussion of the idea of the Ship of Theseus and things related thereto (I suppose this might also include Alan Gibbard's discussion of the Lumpl-Goliath problem). Failing an actual historiography - or perhaps in addition to it - what are some key references on this?


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I wrote my dissertation on this! The ship of Theseus is just one example of a broader problem called the problem of material constitution, the literature on which is enormous.

As far as the history of the problem:

The ship case is first mentioned by Plutarch, in his Parallel Lives. And the general problem of identity over time is a topic among stoic philosophers in the Hellenistic period (inc. Chrysippus, IIRC.)

The problem is resurrected in early modern philosophy by Hobbes in a work known as the de corpore.

For a nice collection of contemporary papers on these issues see the collection called Material Constitution by Michael Rea.

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