==
RSA.jpg



Here are some summary comments and links to further explore the ideas presented by Iain McGlichrist in his work The Master and His Emissary.==

A summary of his central thesis from the RSA website and PDF document Divided Brain- Divided World.
For a link to the full document CLICK HERE Divided Brain- Divided World

JR: Iain, let me begin by stating the argument as I have come to understand it, and you can tell me how you might express it differently or more fully.
You seem to be saying that the left hemisphere of the brain is gradually colonising our experience. While the brain hemispheres are connected by the corpus callosum, and both are involved in everything we do, if we cease to ask what the hemispheres do eg language, reasoning, creativity, forecasting, and instead ask how they do it, we find very significant differences in the two hemispheres. For instance the left hemisphere tends to decontextualise issues while the right contextualises, the left tends to abstract while the right makes vivid and concrete, the left seeks instrumental feedback while the right prefers affectively nuanced responses, and the right hemisphere appears to be much more receptive to evidence that challenges its own position. Both of these ‘hows’ are important and necessary, and the evidence for these differences is meticulously unpacked in your book in a cautious but extensive inductive argument.
You are clear that there is insufficient evolutionary time in Western cultural history for left or right hemisphere dominance to manifest at the structural level of the brain.
So you are not saying the left hemisphere is getting bigger or denser or better connected than the right. The point is that the left hemisphere’s ‘way of being’ is more culturally contagious than the ‘way of being’ of the right hemisphere.
The suggestion is that, slowly but surely, the left hemisphere’s perspec- tive shapes our culture in such a way that the culture begins to respond to it as the dominant one.
Your thesis matters because there is a very real danger that we may reach what you call ‘a hall of mirrors’ in which the explicit, instrumental, defined, confident, abstract voice (not unlike the current voice of the materialistic orthodoxy in neuroscience or the neoliberal voice placing unqualified faith in markets) becomes the only one we appreciate, while the relatively implicit, intrinsic, fluid, visceral perspective of the right hemisphere begins to sound diminished and irrelevant.
Is that about right? If so, can you give some practical examples to illustrate the nature of this change?


IM: I think that is a good initial formulation. As you say, it is not about what each hemisphere does, as we used to think, because it is clear that each is involved with literally everything. It is about how it is done – an approach, a stance, a disposition towards things. Above all, this is not about ‘thinking versus feeling’. It is – as Mary Midgley perceived in her review in The Guardian – about two kinds of thinking.11 And, contrary to popular belief, it is the right hemisphere’s, not the left hemisphere’s, thinking that is more accurate, more down to earth – in a word, ‘truer’ to what is.