A paradox

This post is probably a bit more “philosophical” than what I usually tend to post.  Please don’t let that scare you away.

Let’s assume that I have built a bolt-on bass, by purchasing one neck and one body (along with all requisite hardware, pickups, etc.) and giving it a name after assembly is complete.  I don’t usually name my instruments, but for the sake of argument, assume I give this one a name.

If I purchase a new neck for it, then after the neck is replaced, is it still the same bass?  (Probably not.)

Then, if I purchase a new body to use with the existing neck, have I created a new bass?  (I’d say yes.)

Later on, if I swap the necks again, so that the original neck and original body are together again, have I “recreated” the same bass?  (Yep.)  By swapping the necks again, have I destroyed the bass again?

However, if I purchased a third body, and used that with the new neck instead of the second body, is it still the same bass?  (Huh?)

This paradox is known as the “Ship of Theseus“.  Let’s not exen get started on pickup swapping!

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