The Great Simplification #85 – Iain McGilchrist: “Wisdom, Nature, and the Brain”

| August 26, 2023 | Leave a Comment

The Great Simplification

Item Link: Access the Resource

Date of Publication: August 23

Year of Publication: 2023

Author(s): Nate Hagens

In this episode, literary scholar and psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist joins Nate to discuss the way modern culture teaches and encourages us to use – and not use – the two lobes of our brains. While most functions require the use of both sides of our brains, each side is specially attuned to see and interact with the world in certain ways: the left side acts as a narrow problem-solving executor, while the right side is a broadly open contextualizer. What happens when we humans – in aggregate – become imbalanced in our use of these two critical functions? Have we divided the Earth into pieces to be optimized rather than a whole (which we’re a part of) to be stewarded? Can we learn to bring these two components of our brains back into balance and in turn heal fractures in ourselves, and ultimately in our communities, Earth, and her ecosystems?

About Iain McGilchrist

Dr. Iain McGilchrist is a Quondam Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, an Associate Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and former Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director at the Bethlem Royal & Maudsley Hospital, London. He has been a Research Fellow in neuroimaging at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, and a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Stellenbosch. He has published original articles and research papers in a wide range of publications on topics in literature, philosophy, medicine, and psychiatry. He is the author of a number of books, but is best known for The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World (2009); and his book on neuroscience, epistemology, and ontology called The Matter with Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (2021).

Listen to the podcast below and to previous episodes here.

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