The Master and His Emissary has ratings and reviews. Iain McGilchrist In a book of unprecedented scope, McGilchrist draws on a vast body of. The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World by Iain McGilchrist. Mary Midgley enjoys an exploration. Divided Brain, Divided World by Jonathan Rowson and Iain McGilchrist and the Humanities An Essay by Steven Pinker with Response by Iain McGilchrist.

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You know the ‘diamond bullet’ quote from Apocalypse Now?

Iain McGilchrist: The divided brain | TED Talk

Imperfect evidence and a healthy dose of intuition are our only guides here. For LH, everything—altruism, artwork, religion, creativity, food, etc. He holds, however, to his historical narrative and, particularly, to his diagnosis of the current unhappy situation–a diagnosis with which I substantially agree. Jul 20, Vagabond of Letters rated it did not like it.

I look forward to this as it’s always good to see the myriad patterns that emerge from any such survey. Such knowledge o 1 It took McGilchrist 20 years to write. Mar 21, Marjan rated it it was amazing.

Iain McGilchrist

But no less mechanistic, materialist and rules-based? Sometimes I wish he’d stuck to that to make his case. I can’t help feeling that the the author got lost in this vast topic, and that the book devolved to an old man’s ramblings about his favourite things.

How did the left hemisphere suddenly become triumphant? If you are looking for some popular science, this may not be quite what you were expecting. I would suggest that this was partly to do with nationalist wars, and with suffrage and the birth emisssry socialism.

Though he repeatedly cautions the reader that the hemispheric differences are not to be considered absolute in any way as they depend on each other and we are almost iaun using both hemispheres in our day-to-day liveshis book ironically Note to self: Magisterial treatment of left and right brain hemispheres by a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who read English lit and apparently philosophy at Oxford.


May 04, Lauren rated it liked it. Refresh and try again. List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction Asymmetry and the brain — What do the two hemispheres ‘do’? This should be a bit of a give-away that this is a fairly academic book.

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

Weirdly McGilchrist hardly references this book noting merely that he is saying something completely different. Fortunately, McGilchrist is also an exceptionally lucid writer of readable, even enjoyable prose.

But we are asked to judge an expert. Apr 04, Richard Newton rated it really liked it Shelves: We don’t have a spare planet and the luxury of a few centuries to try out different models of society, and we can’t control all the variables.

In our contemporary world It also provides some opportunities to frame behavior on a grand scale. It is worth noting that dual-systems theories, of which this is one, are perennially popular. Mar 12, Wing rated it really liked it. McGilchrist makes the case that the right brain’s advantages have emiswary do with engagement with the outside world, so the discussion naturally tends to go beyond the laboratory.

Unless you have some knowledge of modern theories of the brain – you probably won’t know the difference between left and right brain dominance and it is not that trite pseudo science that is often said about the brain.

The author refuses to make value judgements on every third page, with the entire book being one massive value emisswry – that sort of thing, along with inconsistent assumptions and attributions of lateralized function in the service of ‘whatever makes the right hemisphere look good’ add a dose of handwavium: On a related note, he explicitly skirts the issue of gender differences in hemisphere function.

I first read it shortly after it came out in prompted by a mention here on Mind Hacks! The inability of the mcvilchrist hemisphere to deal with uncertainty is the cause of all this God, karma, reincarnation hypothesis. It is how we come to understand the world.

I realize this review doesn’t do much more than emphasize my own enthusiasm — but for the curious reader, maybe that will suffice. Animal testing Archival research Behavior epigenetics Case study Content analysis Experiments Human subject research Interviews Neuroimaging Observation Psychophysics Qualitative research Quantitative research Self-report inventory Statistical surveys.


You probably emussary never see the other side unless someone else decides to write it and you choose to read it. Mind has the characteristics of a process more ialn of a thing; a becoming, a way of being, more than an entity. The writer is part of a much broader tradition iaij cultural conservatism. He has not, at this point of the book, realised that there are other frameworks that have grappled with his subject matter – and frameworks beyond the fine arts and fine ideas of philosophy.

I quite liked the title of the book, which comes from the legend of a ruler whose domains grew so large that he had to train emissaries to visit them instead of going himself. Jun 01, Wesley Schantz rated it it was amazing. It should be relatively downhill for the second half of the book consists of his survey of years or so of Western culture in support of his thesis.

I mean, as a lover of literature, I wouldn’t be alone in mounting my own critique of society and culture.

Dec 19, Yannick rated it it was ok. The disappointment is similar to seeing a child fail an essay when you know what they mean and what they want to say, you know they have the power and potential to do it, but they don’t.

I have a high regard for metaphor. This is where it gets murky, and you feel that McGilchrist is turning from a scientist into a scientist with an agenda. The differing world views of the right and left brain the “Master” and “Emissary” in the title, respectively have, according to the author, shaped Western culture since the time of the ancient Greek philosopher Platoand the growing conflict between these views has implications for the way the modern world is changing.