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

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

by Iain McGilchrist

Paperback(2, New Expanded Edition)

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Overview

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. 

“A veritable tour de force, gradually and skilfully revealed. I know of no better exposition of the current state of functional brain neuroscience.”—W. F. Bynum, TLS
 
“A profound examination.”—Philip Pullman
 
“Persuasively argues that our society is suffering from the consequences of an over-dominant left hemisphere losing touch with its natural regulative ‘master’ the right.  Brilliant and disturbing.”—Salley Vickers, a Guardian Best Book of the Year
 
“Clear, penetrating, lively, thorough and fascinating. . . . I couldn’t put it down.”—Mary Midgley, The Guardian

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300245929
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 03/26/2019
Edition description: 2, New Expanded Edition
Pages: 616
Sales rank: 39,481
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vi

Acknowledgements viii

Preface to the New Expanded Edition x

Introduction: The Master and His Emissary 1

Part 1 The Divided Brain 15

Chapter 1 Asymmetry and the Brain 16

Chapter 2 What do the Two Hemispheres 'Do'? 32

Chapter 3 Language, Truth and Music 94

Chapter 4 The Nature of the Two Worlds 133

Chapter 5 The Primacy of the Right Hemisphere 176

Chapter 6 The Triumph of the Left Hemisphere 209

Part 2 How the Brain has Shaped Our World 239

Chapter 7 Imitation and the Evolution of Culture 240

Chapter 8 The Ancient World 257

Chapter 9 The Renaissance and the Reformation 298

Chapter 10 The Enlightenment 330

Chapter 11 Romanticism and the Industrial Revolution 352

Chapter 12 The Modern and Post-Modern Worlds 389

Conclusion: The Master Betrayed 428

Notes 463

Bibliography 518

Index 577

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