Social Question

tups's avatar

If a car cannot drive, is it still a car?

Asked by tups (6692 points ) January 6th, 2014

Even after it has lost its function, is it still a car? Why do you think what you think?

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19 Answers

janbb's avatar

Well, I’m still a woman even though I can’t produce babies any more. :-P

mowens's avatar

Not sure why this question reminded me of this quote, but it did.

An escalator cannot break. It can only become stairs.

dxs's avatar

Sure. Are matchbox cars still cars?

kritiper's avatar

Yes, Because it still has a VIN.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yes. Want proof? Try leaving it in front of your house in NYS. You will get a ticket for having an unlicensed vehicle on your property.

tups's avatar

@LuckyGuy What makes that a proof? Does the law define cars, or language for that matter?

Darth_Algar's avatar

Is a blunted knife still a knife?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Junker is a sub category of a larger one.

YARNLADY's avatar

No, it never was a car – the correct name is automobile, which it is not. It is now a shell.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@tups The ticket issued by the state defines it. No amount of arguing about the trees falling in the woods, or I think therefore I’m not, or arguments in the alternative, or the tea in Russel’s teapot is going to change it. Registered or not, running or not if they call it a car I have to pay the fine.

flutherother's avatar

When is a door not a door? When it’s ajar.

picante's avatar

It can still park in the driveway;
It can still enjoy a tow;
It can still get sold on Craigslist;
It simply cannot “go.”

It may have lost its essence,
But it still has its style;
And it can be your finest car
That’s driven its last mile.

tups's avatar

@YARNLADY I like that thought. Automobile is another kind of a word than car, it describes its function, yes, and then when the function does no longer exist, neither does the automobile identity.

@LuckyGuy Yes, you have to pay the fine. So a car that can’t drive but parks illegally is still a car when it comes to giving out tickets.

Is there really one meaning behind the word ‘car’? Does there lie some idea, some kind of source, behind this word? I doubt it. But this of course is not only the case when it comes to cars, but most words for that matter.

Darth_Algar's avatar

The word “car” is taken from an older word, “carre” (meaning “cart”), which was likely derived from a still older word for “chariot”. The word “carriage” likely has a similar origin. So with that in mind is a carriage not a carriage because the horse is not lashed to it?

flutherother's avatar

An alternative question: if a working car could be transported back to the stone age would it still be a car?

stanleybmanly's avatar

Yes. It is the most succinct and accurate definition for the “object” The word best identifies the object for as long as it is recognizable as a “car” Is your leather jacket still a cow?

josie's avatar

A car is conceptually a car based on a lot of characteristics, including it’s ability to be driven.

Just like a tree is a conceptually a tree based on many characteristics, including its leaves.

Using that example, it is part of the nature of trees to lose their leaves in the Autumn, but they are still trees, even without their identifying leaves. Even when they die, and produce no leaves but still stand in the forest.

Cars are machines, and one of the things that happens to machines is that they wear out.

But it is still a car, even if it is a worn out car.

snowberry's avatar

@flutherother If a working car could be transported back to the stone age it wouldn’t be just a car anymore, because as soon as it broke down or ran out of gas or got stuck somewhere, it would become a junked car or a wrecked car.

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