Sitting uncomfortably in the court room next to your public defender, you look around the audience to see who has come to support you in this unique case. Seth Shabo is quietly sitting in the second row, staring straight into the center of the courtroom, and Tyler Doggett can be seen in the front with his wife, listening to music comfortably through large, round headphones. David Christensen is grinning slyly in the back of the room, wearing a sophisticated and stylish tie covered in colored lights, and holding a large sign reading "Do not imprison the innocent!"
You are being charged with the murder of Dick Cheney (which you happily admitted to in spite of the advice from your defender), but your lawyer has a plan to keep you out of jail. He is using his revolutionary "Puccetti Defense" which says that we cannot (beyond reasonable doubt) rule out the possibility that there are two people/subjects of consciousness in each healthy human body, one associated with each cerebral hemisphere. If there truly are two selves within each human, it would be profoundly immoral to imprison you knowing that one of your hemispheres' selves is innocent, regardless of whether or not the DNA evidence proves that you are guilty.
[...] It seems as if evidence for two minds only surfaces when looking at split brain patients, and not normal human beings. The paradigm case argument for this idea states that there are two ways a concept can be defined. The two types are as follows: Concepts defined by application Concepts defined by description and belief. An example of a concept defined by application would be the color red. To teach children what red is, we would point to red objects such as roses or stop signs and say “that is An example of a concept defined by descriptions and beliefs would be a witch. [...]
[...] The argument the prosecutor might present in court, as Puccetti devised it, goes like this: Split brain patients have two minds. If then we have two minds as well (since there is no creation by splitting). It seems very unlikely that a sophisticated consciousness coming from the minor hemisphere should simply appear. It is far more likely that both have always been there. If that is the case, then the splitting only makes the two selves more apparent than before. [...]
[...] If, in these split brain patients, splitting the corpus callosum is what caused them to exhibit signs of having two selves, then it is quite likely that the second self was created upon splitting, and the patients were normal mind” humans like the rest of us. Nagel, in his “Unity of Consciousness” article argues that there are two hemispheres of the brain, both in “constant two- way internal communication” with one another. These two parts of the brain correspond with one another with such perfect accuracy that they are truly unified as one, single working mind. [...]
[...] We would be quite frightened if we woke up tomorrow morning having two separate streams of thought, or perceiving two different realities with our eyes. In fact, it seems quite hard to imagine having more than one stream of consciousness at all. Puccetti wants to distinguish between what we call a human organism and a person. Each human organism contains two persons, and they are the subjects of all experiences. A human organism has no consciousness and thus, experiences nothing. [...]
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