Paper on Locke & the Hensel Twins
Write two full pages, double spaced typed, on Locke and the Hensel Twins.
We watched the movie Joined for Life on the Hensel Twins. You may watch other videos on them (there
are plenty on YouTube, including the long BBC documentary, and some TLC videos.)
NOTE THAT THERE IS MUCH MISINFORMATION AND FAKE NEWS ABOUT THEM! BE CAREFUL!
You must answer this question: are the girls (A) one person; (B) two people; or (C) something else.
You must refer to Locke reading in our textbook concerning the definition of persons, and you must
apply what Locke says to the case of the Hensel Twins. Locke discusses cases which are very similar to
the Hensel Twins. You need to find those cases and relate them to the Twins.
You get no credit for merely repeating irrelevant details of the film (e.g. where they live, the name of
their English teacher). You get no credit for an elaborate discussion of their bodies, unless it is relevant
to the issues about being one person or two persons. You get no credit for your personal opinion. Your
task is to use evidence from the movie to construct an argument for your answer.
You get no credit for merely telling me that the Twins have different preferences (one likes apples and
the other does not – so what, that’s not relevant in the least).
You get zero credit if you fail to distinguish between persons and humans. Obviously, there is only one
human involved, because humans are bodies and there is one body with two heads.
You need to carefully explain (using evidence from what you’ve watched or read) whether the Twins
have one mind, two minds, or something else (e.g. overlapping or fused minds). Do they really have
distinct memories? Distinct streams of consciousness? What evidence is there that their minds are
separate? What evidence is there that their minds overlap? What evidence is there that they have only
You need to carefully explain (using evidence from the movies or articles) whether the Twins have the
same moral responsibility (e.g. both are responsible for an act of their body, both get the same rewards
and punishments for what they do) or whether one Twin can be morally responsible for something and
the other not. Can they make their own independent decisions and plans?
You need to carefully explain (using evidence) whether the twins are one agent or two, especially when
it comes to social activities like sports, jobs, money, ownership, marriage, and children.
Do they really have distinct memories?
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Paper on Locke & the Hensel Twins
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