terça-feira, 25 de junho de 2013

The Master and his Emissary by Iain McGilchrist

The Master and his Emissary

Iain McGilchrist

          Iain McGilchrist argues that left-brain thinking – categorical, precise and decontextualising – has usurped the role of the holistic, contextualising and creative right, with pernicious consequences for modern society. While his argument has its roots in neuroscience, McGilchrist is also a student of literature and philosophy, and his book has a metaphorical resonance that extends beyond the purely scientific (metaphor being one of the many things which the left brain is unable to grasp). Mary Midgley wrote in the Guardian ‘McGilchrist’s suggestion is that the encouragement of precise, categorical thinking at the expense of background vision and experience – an encouragement which, from Plato’s time on, has flourished to such impressive effect in European thought – has now reached a point where it is seriously distorting both our lives and our thought . . . Why do we still think like this? Why can’t we be more realistic? McGilchrist’s explanation . . . in terms of our divided nature is clear, penetrating, lively, thorough and fascinating. Though neurologists may well not welcome it because it asks them new questions, the rest of us will surely find it splendidly thought-provoking. And I do have to say that, fat though it is, I couldn’t put it down.’


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