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Postcards from Scotland

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Carol Craig is the Centre's Chief Executive. She is author of The Scots' Crisis of Confidence, Creating Confidence: A Handbook for Professionals Working with Young People, The Tears that Made the Clyde: Well-being in Glasgow and The Great Takeover: How materialism, the media and markets now dominate our lives. She is Commissioning editor for the Postcards from Scotland series. Carol blogs on confidence, well-being, inequality, every day life and some of the great challenges of our time. The views she expresses are her own unless she specifically states that they reflect the Centre's thinking.

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Posted 25/10/2011

A few weeks ago I was having a chat with a friend who recommended a recent book -The Master and His Emissary: the Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. Initially I was sceptical as I thought that the left/right brain idea had been discredited. In some senses it has as there has been a great deal of simplistic popularising on the topic. But Iain McGilchrist, the author of The Master and His Emissary, has written on the differences in brain hemispheres with real clarity and precision and has also gone on to relate this to the evolution of human culture.  McGilchrist has been able to tackle this huge task in part because, in today's world, he is an unusual thinker. He is not only a practising psychiatrist but is also a philosopher and has taught English at Oxford University. The book is an incredible tour de force which richly deserves its rave reviews.

This is a heavy weight book yet it has a compelling quality. I know it is a cliche but I couldn't put it down. I had been wondering how easy I was going to find it to summarise the argument for a blog when, chatting with Luke Devlin who works in Govan yesterday, I discovered that Iain McGilchrist has recently given a talk for the RSA and his lecture is now one of the RSA animate series. Even if you are planning to read this 'seminal' book it is well worth watching the video. 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFs9WO2B8uI&feature=channel_video_title

You can also visit Iain McGilchrist's website

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