The Ship of Theseus

 Photo by Alexander Andrews

Photo by Alexander Andrews

Summary: Extending the useful life of any item raises some important commercial and technical questions, some of which would have been familiar to Greek philosophy students 2,000 years ago.  Plutarch, who lived c.45 to 120 AD, asked at what point – if ever – did the famous ship of Theseus become a different vessel during the many years of repairs and replacements to its wooden structure?

David Fitzsimons thinks you’ll come across this paradoxical ship more and more often in the next five years, as environmental policy makers switch their focus from material recycling targets to product value retention…

Katie Baker