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

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

by Iain McGilchrist

  • ISBN: 0300168926
  • Category: Medicine
  • Subcategory: Medicine
  • Author: Iain McGilchrist
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; Reprint edition (November 2, 2010)
  • Pages: 544
  • ePub book: 1772 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1152 kb
  • Other: mobi azw lit mobi
  • Rating: 4.2
  • Votes: 504

Description

The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World is a 2009 book written by Iain McGilchrist that deals with the specialist hemispheric functioning of the brain.

The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World is a 2009 book written by Iain McGilchrist that deals with the specialist hemispheric functioning of the brain.

Part I, The Divided Brain, lays the groundwork for his thesis, examining two lobes' significantly different features .

Part I, The Divided Brain, lays the groundwork for his thesis, examining two lobes' significantly different features (structure, sensitivity to hormones, et. and separate functions (the left hemisphere is concerned with "what," the right with "how"). While no doubt this book deepens our understanding of the brain and has vast implications for psychotherapy and the understanding of human psychology, it is far more than this.

The principal goals of the study were to articulate the scientific rationale and objectives.

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This book argues that the division of the brain into two hemispheres is essential to human existence, making possible incompatible versions of the world, with quite . Some responses to The Master and his Emissary.

This book argues that the division of the brain into two hemispheres is essential to human existence, making possible incompatible versions of the world, with quite different priorities and values. Most scientists long ago abandoned the attempt to understand why nature has so carefully segregated the hemispheres, or how to make coherent the large, and expanding, body of evidence about their differences. In fact to talk about the topic is to invite dismissal. Download Introduction (PDF file, 455 KB). Download Bibliography (PDF file, 579 KB).

Start by marking The Master and His Emissary: The Divided .

Start by marking The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

This is a very select list of some of the more significant works referred to in this book

The left hemisphere is detail oriented, prefers mechanisms to living things, is inclined to self-interest. This is a very select list of some of the more significant works referred to in this book.

For most of the book, McGilchrist writes almost as if the left and right. 128hemispheres really were separate people, with intentions, wills, personalities, etc.

33betrayed by its emissary, especially over the last 200 years. 34It is crucial to appreciate that McGilchrist is not committed at all to the probably. For most of the book, McGilchrist writes almost as if the left and right. 129True, McGilchrist makes this point focal himself, on pages 98–99 of his book; it.

The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World by Iain McGilchrist. Mary Midgley enjoys an exploration of the in divide. Rather, it points out the complexity, the divided nature of thought itself and asks about its connection with the structure of the brain.

the documentary inspired by the book, "The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World" by Dr. Iain McGilchrist. THE DIVIDED BRAIN is the mind-altering documentary inspired by the book, The Master and his Emissary by Iain McGilchrist. It features Iain McGilchrist with actor-comedian John Cleese of Monty Python, neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor of TED Talks fame, pioneering neuroscientist Dr. Michael Gazzaniga, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, neuroscientist Jurg Kesselring, Aboriginal elder and scientist Dr. Leroy Little Bear, neuroscientist Onur Gunturkun, and – brains!

Why is the brain divided? The difference between right and left hemispheres has been puzzled over for centuries. In a book of unprecedented scope, Iain McGilchrist draws on a vast body of recent brain research, illustrated with case histories, to reveal that the difference is profound—not just this or that function, but two whole, coherent, but incompatible ways of experiencing the world. The left hemisphere is detail oriented, prefers mechanisms to living things, and is inclined to self-interest, where the right hemisphere has greater breadth, flexibility, and generosity. This division helps explain the origins of music and language, and casts new light on the history of philosophy, as well as on some mental illnesses.

In the second part of the book, McGilchrist takes the reader on a journey through the history of Western culture, illustrating the tension between these two worlds as revealed in the thought and belief of thinkers and artists, from Aeschylus to Magritte. He argues that, despite its inferior grasp of reality, the left hemisphere is increasingly taking precedence in the modern world, with potentially disastrous consequences. This is truly a tour de force that should excite interest in a wide readership.

Comments

Modimeena Modimeena
I give this book 5 stars because it is utterly engrossing, well argued, expansively researched and I could not put it down. There is cutting edge neuroscience, vast historical, artistic, philosophical and literary discussions. An enormous argument based on the neuroscience of the right and left brain hemispheres and their effects on Western history and its development. There are ideas and concepts I learned which I most likely never would have been exposed to.I will conclude this part of my review with a hearty recommendation for reading this book and I say that you open your mind and go on the journey. There is time for thinking about it afterwards.
Though I give this book 5 stars, it does not mean I have no reactions.
McGilchrist is tireless with his argument of the left hemisphere dominating the right to such an extent that you feel exhausted by the end of the book. He makes it clear that he desires a balance of the two hemispheres, yet you can loose that point during his arguments. I do wish he had discussed more the dangers of right hemisphere dominance. Indeed, The Renaissance's open minded worldliness led down some murderous pathways.
Nietzsche is quoted many times to support his arguments of Western Civilization's dominance by left hemisphere rationality and abstract thinking and indeed the critique is very much in line with Nietzsche's views. McGilchrist and Nietzsche both see Western civilization going off the rails because of Plato and only going back on the rails with the Renaissance and then going back off with the Reformation and Enlightenment. Nietzsche's condemnation of other- worldly rationality is given a specific place in the brain-the left hemisphere. Those Platonic Forms and the argument that truth is only found through rationality, McGilchrist says is the left hemisphere's poison which rolls through Western history. A stunning neuroscientific backing of Nietzsche. Yet, Nietzsche's philosophical overview can break down in the cold objective view of hemispheric brain science and actual history. McGilchrist's hammering of the nasty left hemisphere's dominance of history, sounds like McGilchrist's own left hemisphere going off the rails. I think Nietzsche would have told him to calm down a bit, and that is saying a lot, indeed.
McGilchrist's view on religion is fascinating. He understandably leaves out Nietzsche's complete condemnation of all things Christian and wades in. The Protestants are condemned as destroying the Renaissance,(Nietzsche agrees) by bringing back a rational word based left hemisphere religion which assaults the intuitive and metaphorical Catholics. The Catholic church can be comforted that McGilchrist says they are more right hemisphere based than the fundamentalist Protestants who are left hemisphere based, yet will priests find comfort looking out at a flock who are there to buff up their right hemispheres'? The idea that Catholicism is good for brain hemisphere balance is interesting but may not be taken up by the Vatican just yet.
There are more things to say, but as Nietzsche wrote:"Follow you, not me". Read this amazing book and think your own thoughts.
Gozragore Gozragore
I agree with all the previous reviews of this remarkable book. As I was reading, I kept track of the specific elements of each of the hemispheres that McGilchrist cites in this well researched book. I thought I would share this with the readers:
A very partial summary of the nature of the left hemisphere could be as follows: it has an emphasis on doing, on things mechanistic, of the "whatness" of things; it is interested purely in functions and can only see things in context. The LH is not interested in living things. It does not understand metaphor and deals with pieces of information but cannot see the gestalt of situations. It recognizes the familiar and is not the hemisphere that attends to the "new", therefore it searches for what it already understands to categorize and nail down, often with (another of its characteristics) an unreasonable certainty of itself. Remember, it can't observe anything outside of its own confines. Since it prefers the known, it attempts to repackage new information (if unaided by the RH) as familiar - a kind of re-presenting the experience. It positively prefers (and defends!) what it knows! The LH tends to deny discrepancies that do not fit its already generated schema of things. It creates "a sort of self-reflexive virtual world" according to McGilchrist. Additionally, it is "regional" and focuses narrowly. The metaphor for its structure is vertical. It brings an attention that isolates, fixes and makes things explicit by bringing it under the spotlight of attention. It helps us to be grounded and "in life", looks for repetition and commonality between things without which we would drift and be unable to understand our experiences since all would be continuously new. It is efficient in routine situations where things are predictable. Without benefit of the RH (seen in studies of people with hemispheric damage, for example), it also renders things inert, mechanical and lifeless.. But it allows us to "know" and learn and make things.

The right hemisphere's emphasis is on process, on the "how", "the manner in which" or the "howness" as McGilchrist puts it. It is interested in "ways of being" which only living things have. I was amazed to learn that the RH does recognize one group of inanimate objects as belonging to the class of living entities, and that is musical instruments (!) It helps us resonate with other living beings and the natural world, seeing its ultimate interconnectedness. The RH can carefully see things out of their context, it is global rather than regional, is broad and flexible, and as mentioned above, understands metaphor. It sees the gestalt and the wholeness; it tolerates ambiguity and the unknown. Its structure metaphor is "horizontal"; it is spacious and helps us with enough distance so we can observe. In it, we experience the live, complex, embodied, world of individual, always unique beings, forever in flux, a net of interdependencies, forming and reforming wholes, a world with which we are deeply connected. The RH is responsible for every kind of attention: divided, vigilant, sustained, and alertness - except for "focused", the domain of the LH. It can direct attention to what comes to us "from the edges" of our awareness regardless of the hemisphere side. It alone detects new or novel experiences. It distinguishes old information from new better than the LH. Animals, like horses, perceive new and emotionally arousing stimuli with the left eye (which is governed by the RH). It is more capable of a frame shift; think "possibility"; it has flexibility when encountering the "new" and suppresses the immediate impulse to see it as "old". It actively watches for discrepancies, more like a "devil's advocate". It approaches certainty with caution and humility. It says "I wonder" or "it might be" when confronted with information. But it also, without the LH, would create an experience that was always unique, forever in motion and unpredictable. `'If all things flow, and there is never a repeated experience, then we can never step into the same river twice, and we would never be able to `know' anything." If nothing can ever be repeated, then nothing can be known.

Is the result of this growing LH dominance over the RH an increasingly dehumanized society where mechanism, bureaucracy, obsession with structure and with "what" predominates over a concern for living things and beings and their interconnectedness? You will be immersed in this question throughout this remarkable book.

While no doubt this book deepens our understanding of the brain and has vast implications for psychotherapy and the understanding of human psychology, it is far more than this. It isn't possible to read this book without a continuing awareness of our political system, the growing dominance of our corporations, the weak assumptions of war, and the uncomfortably growing sense of the "dehumanization" of our world.
Shliffiana Shliffiana
I read the first chapter and was intrigued. By the time I got to the end, I was exhausted and completely turned off. In between, the same basic idea -- about two incompatible ways of looking at the world, which sometimes cooperate with each other and at other times compete for control inside our crania -- is stated at least 2 or 3 or more times on every page, well over a thousand times in all.

Chapter Two alone is a formidable challenge to wade through -- 60 mind-numbing pages of references to neuropsychological studies piled one on top of another, footnoted with more than 500 citations!

The author never lets up for even a moment, hammering away at it single-mindedly, browbeating the reader's frontal lobes into submission, until the idea is forced to carry so much weight that it sinks in a sea of cherry-picked data -- he never even mentions the "default mode network" hypothesis! -- and portentous quotations. Archenemy #1 (Descartes), then Hegel, Schlegel, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Shklovsky, Kleist, Goethe, Nietzsche, and a host of other arbitrarily selected bit players (mostly Teutonic) are dragged on and off stage as needed to prop up the Argument and thicken the ideological plot against the human race, which appears doomed, until the final 10 pages when, like a deus ex machina, the Oriental mind suddenly appears out of the wings, offering us the hope of Salvation.

Some of it is interesting, and maybe even true, at least as a metaphor, but McGilchrist just doesn't know when to quit, and soon your eyes begin to glaze over and you start to skim the page, then skip whole pages, and finally both hemispheres just nod off into a stupor.