I present Eila with a couple of those little philosophical problems involving identity. “The philosopher breaks the handle of his axe,” I tell her, “and replaces it. A few years later he breaks the blade and replaces that. Is it still the same axe?” Eila says, without a moment’s thought: “no.” “Theseus has a ship,” I say. “We’ll call it The Ship of Theseus. Over the years, he replaces each plank, throwing the old planks overboard. They all wash up on an island where a master ship-builder is marooned. Once the master ship-builder’s got them all, he builds a ship in which each plank ends up in exactly the same spot it held in the original, and sails away. Who is now sailing The Ship of Theseus?” She answers immediately: “the master ship-builder.”
She’s consistent, eh? And she has a proclivity for the consistency of things. Not to mention their materiality: a thing is the sum of its material parts. Lots of good common sense there.
On a roll, I decided to try her on the problem of Heinz. Heinz’s wife is sick, and needs 1000$ for medicine, but they don’t have any money and the druggist refuses to sell it for a lower price. Does he steal the drug? According the Carol Gilligan, boys faced with this puzzle play by the rules, arguing either yes or no, while girls refuse to play by the rules and seek other solutions. After her answers to the other two puzzles I thought Eila would be decisive and boy-ish. But she took her time, and finally suggested that the people at the bank probably had a lot of money and should be made to give some to Heinz. Very girlish, and nicely philosophical.