more from Epicharmus

Single Idea 16066

[catalogued under 9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 6. Constitution of an Object]

Full Idea

If you add or take away a pebble, the same number does not remain. If you add to a length or cut off from it, the former measure does not remain. So human beings grow or waste away. Both you and I were, and shall be, other men.

Gist of Idea

Additional or removal of any part changes a thing, so people are never the same person


Epicharmus (comedies (frags) [c.470 BCE], B02), quoted by Diogenes Laertius - Lives of Eminent Philosophers 03.12

Book Reference

'Ancilla to the Pre-Socratic Philosophers', ed/tr. Freeman,Kathleen [Harvard 1957], p.35

A Reaction

[The original is in dialogue form from a play. The context is a joke about not paying a debt.] Note the early date for this metaphysical puzzle. My new favourite reply is Chrysippus's Idea 16059; identity actually requires change.

Related Idea

Idea 16059 Change of matter doesn't destroy identity - in Dion and Theon change is a condition of identity [Chrysippus, by Long/Sedley]