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I have two questions:

  1. What is "which I find convincing" referring to? to "pleasing analyses" or "the idea that we should not get too carried away with pleasing analyses"?

  2. What does "But at the end of the day they are models" mean? does it mean "and finally these analyses convert to models"?

Context:

It is tempting to apply contemporary theories, both scientific and unwittingly socio-political, to the human mind to make definitive explanations as to how the brain evolved and operates, but in perhaps fifty years time we may see it all differently again. I say this as a reminder to myself not to get too carried away with pleasing analyses such as the examples that follow, which I find convincing because they somehow ring true for me instinctively. But at the end of the day they are models.The brain is not arranged this way, it may have evolved differently, but for the time being it is plausible and helpful to consider it so metaphorically.

From Art and Science (Sian Ede)

3 Answers 3

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It refers to 'examples'.

the examples that follow, which I find convincing

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  • Might we have some evidence for this reasonable assertion?
    – deadrat
    Commented Aug 2, 2015 at 0:02
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I say this as a reminder to myself not to get too carried away with pleasing analyses such as the examples that follow, which I find convincing because they somehow ring true for me instinctively.

What Ede may find pleasing:

  1. examples
  2. the fact that the examples follows from pleasing analyses
  3. analyses
  4. the reminder to herself.

The nonrestrictive relative clause might attach itself to a noun or to the entire clause. Number 2 above would be less plausible if actual examples actually followed.

But at the end of the day they are models.

The antecedent of "they" cannot be determined.

You cannot determine the meaning of these sentences by analyzing the syntax. It's far too garbled.

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  • I certainly agree with deadrat's final sentiment. This author has an unerring knack for making even platitudes incomprehensible. Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 8:42
  • I had never heard of Sian Ede until quotations from her work started showing up here a week or two ago. At this point she seems not only to have fully expended her 15 minutes of fame but to have encroached on several other people's as well.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 23:57
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The writer is explaining about the contemporary model/explanations that scientists currently employ to describe how the human brain works.

Like many other concepts including Rutherford model, the way we picture our brain cells and the transferring of signals etc are all merely a hypothesis, and in fifty years’ time, we will probably use a different approach/model to describe human brains.

We are inclined to believe what we think about our brain at the moment, especially with the pleasing analysis results and examples that ring very true (or they actually may be true) for many of us.

So, the answer to your first question (which I highly believe I am right) is:

"which I find convincing" refers to "pleasing analyses such as the examples that follow”.

And the answer to the next question I think is:

the approach/model/hypothesis we are using to describe our brain, i.e. the subject of this story.

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