WandaVision: What Is Vision's Ship of Theseus Thought Experiment?

WandaVision's finale introduced a lot of viewers to the Ship of Theseus thought experiment. So, if you haven't run to Wikipedia yet, here's a quick rundown of what the two synthezoids were talking about in a literal library. So, the idea stretches all the way back to 500 BCE with Heraclitus and Plato. Basically, historian Plutarch posed that the ship from Greek legend that ferried Thesus and Athenian warriors from Crete was placed into a museum structure by the Athenian people of the time. But, as fate would have it over time, the vessel would decay with age. It had already seen voyages and as a result, would rot as time passed in the space. Some of the people resolved to restore the object by taking out the rotted boards and substituting them with new planks that were stronger. Others thought that it should all remain as it was for posterity.

Eventually, both sides argue that the original ship was the "true" Ship of Theseus, while others argued that the spirit of the vessel persisted and that was "true" as well. It's an interesting debate and one that was complicated later by philosopher Thomas Hobbes when he asked if a ship made of the same discarded pieces would be a "true" Ship of Thesus as well. (It's all very circuitous and navel-gazing.)

This relates to WandaVision's story by having the Vision we've come to see over the season argue the merits of the puzzle with the White Vision bent on destroying him. The government commands the white variant of the Avenger to destroy both the Vision living in The Hex and Wanda. But, how can he destroy "The Vision" if the one inside the anomaly was created from memories inside of Scarlet Witch and contains none of the physical matter of the original? Conversely, how can the White Vision be the "true" version if he doesn't contain the memories that made him who he was? Well, colorful Vision actually unlocks his counterpart's memories, giving his duplicate a loophole to escape and find his own way. Many WandaVision fans are probably a little sad that there were philosophical fireworks in equal helping to the laser blasts.

Bettany told Black Girl Nerds, "There's stuff that I can't talk to you about, where I get to work with an actor that's going to be a surprise for everybody. I get to work with an actor that I've been wanting to work with forever, who is just unbelievable. We have some real fireworks together."


Did you enjoy that moment from the Finale? Let us know down in the comments!