[Wittrs] New Discussion Board Message
wittrsfeed at undergroundwiki.org
Thu Aug 25 11:03:21 CDT 2011
It is harmless enough to talk about the cortex behaving in certain
ways and doing certain things if you are referring to neurons firing
etc. It is even harmless to talk about (eg) the brain (or parts of it)
"understanding" certain stimuli in certain ways so long as you make it
clear that this is a metaphorical use of language, or a specialised
use only pertinent to a narrow field of activity.
The problems arise when scientists start taking their own metaphors
literally, or forgetting that their specialised use of a word doesn't
have general application in the language.
That's when you get (eg) Richard Dawkins announcing that we are
selfish because our genes are selfish, or Crick claiming that "What
you see is not what is really there; it is what your brain believes is
there". Both have forgotten that they were using ordinary words
("selfish", "see") in specialised ways and then made the blunder of
describing a conceptual confusion as an empirical fact.
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