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Plastic ReasonAn Anthropology of Brain Science in Embryogenetic Terms$
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Tobias Rees

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520288126

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520288126.001.0001

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(p.143) Five Experimental
Plastic Reason

Tobias Rees

University of California Press

This chapter discusses scientist Maria-Luz Montesinos' remark that “experiments are like a kind of window.” Maria-Luz was studying engrailed, a protein responsible for the formation of the midbrain–hindbrain boundary, when the author interviewed her about experimentation. Maria-Luz said that like windows, experimentation was the exhilarating possibility of finding a passage through which one could enter an open space, a space no one yet knew of, the contours of which no one could even anticipate. The author named this analogy experimental realism, saying that one thinks about possible windows, and imagines how they would have to be built; similarly, one has a question and considers the available tools and materials.

Keywords:   Maria-Luz Montesinos, engrailed, windows, experimental realism, tools, materials

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