They’re ‘OK’ insofar as metaphysical speculations go at the time when we have little definite information. I’m not a proponent of either Actually, I don’t have any terribly strong opinions beyond the musing that philosophers of consciousness, and even many neurobiologists who are engaging in philosophical musings, are probably going to be very surprised as we delve deeper. Which it to say that the empirical sciences are probably going to forge the path ultimately, with philosophers updating their thoughts afterward. Nature does what it wants, independent of what philosophers want it to do*. If there’s anything I tend to favor as a complete amateur to the subject, it would be something like Occam’s Razor. That’s why I’m less enamored with ideas like ‘the hard problem’, ‘panpsychism’, and other metaphysical ‘-isms’ that, IMO, seem to add explanatory mechanisms (or remove the possibility if explanations) that we’re not sure are actually necessary at this point. So, I’ll tend to favor physical mechanisms and fields for now.
If we’re going to crack the problem, I believe we need to think beyond human experience and consider animals with brains as well. There seem to be animals with some level of consciousness. So, is there a definitive line between those animals with consciousness and those without? I think so. If there is a gradient or transition, what were the step-wise changes that enabled those traits? Or, what particular capabilities/structures are required to support a particular aspect of consciousness?
About twins, twins are not perfect molecule by molecule copies, they only share the same DNA. Sure, the pattern of their synapses are very likely waaay more similar to each other than when compared to other people, but distinct nonetheless…that is why I don’t think they are very helpful on thought experiments about consciousness (except maybe for the rare cases of conjoined twins sharing grey matter).
Hmm. Yes that’s right. I guess I was thinking about ‘souls’ with that example in the sense, pace Christianity, that there is some immaterial essence granted by God to people. The essence would return with resurrection. The question there would relate to the timing of the ‘ensoulment process’. Souls tend to be described as binary state: Either there is a soul present or not. There is no ‘partial’ or ‘limited’ soul. If we propose that the Biblical concept of the soul is related to some degree with consciousness, then the timing of ensoulment would likely happen after the period when embryos can twin.
* That won’t prevent philosophers from writing books and earning a living until then, like the philosophers who had to complete with the super computer ‘Deep Thought’ in the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series by Douglas Adams.