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Free Content The Grammar of Neuroscience: What can and cannot be said about brains and minds

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While we are encouraged by the appearance of articles about neuroscience which support SF practice, we urge caution in interpreting these findings on three grounds. The different grammars of neuroscience (molecular grammar) and SF practice (people grammar) are not transposable, and according to Wittgenstein one cannot be reduced to the other. There is a risk of falling for the mereological fallacy – applying to a part (a brain) something which can only be applied to a whole (a person). Finally, the fundamentally social aspect of language calls into question our everyday assumptions about the links between mind, brain and language. Wittgenstein and others offer a way to say what can be said clearly, and to be as unmuddled as possible in our investigations and discussions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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