I’m not sure I hit the nail on the head on this one. It is a toughie. But, lack of knowledge never stops me from publishing! My thought is that even if my ideas on a tough subject such as this are only half baked, half is better than nothing. Perhaps if I publish something no matter how imperfect, others can add to it, and thus my publication even though erroneous, will still help our movement get that one millionth of an inch closer to the Truth with a capital T. In any case, here are my puny, pathetic efforts in this regard:
Dyke, Jeremiah and Walter E. Block. 2011. “Explorations in Property Rights: Conjoined Twins.” Libertarian Papers, Vol. 3, Art. 38; http://libertarianpapers.org/2011/38-dyke-block-conjoined-twins/; http://libertarianpapers.org/38-explorations-property-rights-conjoined-twins/
Sent: Monday, October 18, 2021 2:40 PM
To: Walter Block <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Conjoined Twins and Self-Ownership
I have yet another question for you regarding self-ownership, this one I was approached with in a conversation today actually. We were discussing general libertarian arguments and these were the problems they proposed:
How would self-ownership work for conjoined twins? Furthermore, what would be the case if they happened to share the same brain. The person who asked me this proceeded to further argue that self-ownership cannot exist if brains can be connected, and that self-ownership (and Hoppe’s argumentation ethics) assumes that individuals have individuals bodies. They linked me this paper to demonstrate: https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/the-illusion-of-individualism-helped-us-succeed-as-a-species-but-now-the-scales-are-tipping/ They argued “how could you have sole-use over your body if there is the potential that you won’t”.
I’ll send exactly what they said to me below.
“Now what about combined twins that share the same brain. Are they two different people or no?”
“Self-ownership doesn’t exist if brains can be connected: want a link to a source?” (The source they sent is the link above).
“Who owns the body is the question? No one. Argumentation ethics and self-ownership assume that individuals have individual bodies”
“How can you have sole use over your body when there’s a potential that you won’t? That goes for everyone”
“Through technology you can connect brains together.”
I’m not really sure how to approach this. It looks like a modern critique as the usage of technology seems to be required for these problems to be valid. I have asked other people about this but since you have worked on Evictionism for so long you may have a much more nuanced response. I know I gave you a lot of stuff to think about, so feel free to respond whenever you want.
3:31 am on October 28, 2021 Email Walter E. Block