Word of the day: homunculus

The word comes from the Latin for “little man” and you can find a short account of the the use of the word here.

I came across the word while reading “Enlightenment Now” by Steven Pinker [my review here]. He uses the word to represent the false notion that some people have of a little figure sitting inside our skull or brain independent of the brain itself.

in fact, Pinker writes: “Nothing that we know about consciousness is inconsistent with the understanding that it depends entirely on neural activity.” So, no spirit, no soul – when the brain dies, we die entirely.


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