Twins and the Mind-Brain Problem
If proponents of Mind-Brain Identity theory are correct then all of
our mental events are reducible to brain states. We dont have a mind at
all; we are purely physical. All of our thoughts, dreams, our personality and character,
our very consciousness are events that exist due to physical (chemical and
electrical) interactions within the folds of our brain.
This theory suggests all sorts of strange possibilities, most of
which are pure fantasy. For instance, if we produced a pair of human clones and raised
them identically then we should expect them to be identical in every way. Since each would
have identical brains and experienced identical life circumstances, their personalities
and consciousness would also be identical. Talking to one would be exactly like talking to
the other. Each would have identical dreams and desires, fears and doubts.
Though this experiment is impossible today, and unethical anyway, we
can explore a version on a theme by looking at twin studies. To investigate the mind -
brain problem, studies have been done on identical twins that were separated at birth and
raised in separate environments. Some of the similarities between these twins are