January 02, 2010
The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World
From The Guardian:
This is a very remarkable book. It is not (as some reviewers seem to think) just one more glorification of feeling at the expense of thought. Rather, it points out the complexity, the divided nature of thought itself and asks about its connection with the structure of the brain.
McGilchrist, who is both an experienced psychiatrist and a shrewd philo–sopher, 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. He questions the accepted doctrine that the left hemisphere (Left henceforward) is necessarily dominant, the practical partner, while the right more or less sits around writing poetry. He points out that this "left-hemisphere chauvinism" cannot be correct because it is always Right's business to envisage what is going on as a whole, while Left provides precision on particular issues. Moreover, it is Right that is responsible for surveying the whole scene and channelling incoming data, so it is more directly in touch with the world. This means that Right usually knows what Left is doing, but Left may know nothing about concerns outside its own enclave and may even refuse to admit their existence.
Posted by Azra Raza at 06:42 AM | Permalink