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The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the…

de Iain McGilchrist

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495838,027 (4.09)7
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.… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porAliG3, p.carstenpedersen, EAG, Finn-Williams, egb22
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Mostrando 1-5 de 8 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Who am I kidding? I had to give up on this. Couldn't make it through the dense first third description of brain function and the existence of brain asymmetry. So I never even made it to his ground breaking idea about the world we've made and how one half of our brain is being a bully. Or whatever. May try again when I am old and unplagued by children and working and other interests. May not.
  Je9 | Aug 10, 2021 |
Starts off very promising but then abandons all pretence of science and just discusses poetry. I understand the book is more about philosophy in its old meaning but I just wasn't persuaded because there weren't any concrete points just vague insinuations and attempts to redress what the author sees as the left side trashing the right for too long now. ( )
  Paul_S | Dec 23, 2020 |
McGilchrist's argument in The Master and His Emissary is expansive and well wrought. I was particularly impressed with his interdisciplinary heft, and it's helped me pull together historical and philosophical concepts, particularly from Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, and really capture some excellent language around epistemology that I've been trying in vain to articulate for a few years. He lost me for a while in his discourse on art, but overall the his attention to style and tone makes the text is eminently readable and not at all daunting as it may seem from the outset.
  b.masonjudy | Apr 3, 2020 |
In a book of unprecedented scope--now available in a larger format—Iain McGilchrist presents a fascinating exploration of the differences between the brain’s left and right hemispheres, and how those differences have affected society, history, and culture. McGilchrist draws on a vast body of recent research in neuroscience and psychology to reveal that the difference is profound: the left hemisphere is detail oriented, while the right has greater breadth, flexibility, and generosity. McGilchrist then 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.
"A landmark new book. . . . It tells a story you need to hear, of where we live now."—Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

"A very remarkable book. . . . McGilchrist, who is both an experienced psychiatrist and a shrewd philosopher, looks at the relation between our two brain-hemispheres in a new light, not just as an interesting neurological problem but as a crucial shaping factor in our culture . . . splendidly thought-provoking. . . . I couldn't put it down."—Mary Midgley, The Guardian

Named one of the best books of 2010 by The Guardian
1 vote | tony_sturges | Jun 22, 2017 |
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 tea. Iain McGilchrist does an incredible job with developing our current understanding of the brain from a hemispheric point of view. The work completely altered my understanding of the right and left hemispheres. The way the right and left sides work are not what you may think. The book then takes you on a trip through time and suggests how our hemispheric balance as a civilization may have have changed over history. He also looks at current cultures and suggests different balances due cultural behaviors, etc. He also gives ideas on how our current hemispheric unbalance might be brought into a more fruitful alignment. So much food for thought here. It took me a while to work my way through and there is some technical jargon, but so well worth it. One of the most significant non-fiction books I've ever read. ( )
2 vote stevetempo | Aug 18, 2012 |
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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.

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Edições: 030014878X, 0300168926

 

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