The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World

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Yale University Press, Feb 14, 2019 - Psychology - 616 pages
A new edition of the bestselling classic – published with a special introduction to mark its 10th anniversary

This pioneering account sets out to understand the structure of the human brain – the place where mind meets matter. Until recently, the left hemisphere of our brain has been seen as the ‘rational’ side, the superior partner to the right. But is this distinction true?

Drawing on a vast body of experimental research, Iain McGilchrist argues while our left brain makes for a wonderful servant, it is a very poor master. As he shows, it is the right side which is the more reliable and insightful. Without it, our world would be mechanistic – stripped of depth, colour and value.  

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User Review  - stevetempo - LibraryThing

This work is not for everyone, but I give my highest recommendation. If you have ever had an interest in the brain, consciousness, or how we all perceive and engage the world, this might your cup of ... Read full review

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User Review  - AlbertoGiuseppe - LibraryThing

A marvelous, herculean tome which points in the direction of how and where multidisciplinary studies could and should be heading in cogsci. and elsewhere. Even just the footnotes are a fountain of ... Read full review


List of Illustrations
Introduction The Master and His Emissary
Asymmetry and the Brain
What do the Two Hemispheres Do?
Language Truth and Music
The Nature of the Two Worlds
The Primacy of the Right Hemisphere
The Triumph of the Left Hemisphere
The Ancient World
The Renaissance and the Reformation
The Enlightenment
Romanticism and the Industrial Revolution
The Modern and PostModern Worlds
Conclusion The Master Betrayed


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About the author (2019)

Iain McGilchrist is a former fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, where he taught literature before training in medicine. He now lives on the Isle of Skye, where he continues to write, and lectures worldwide.

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