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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent and accessible summary of "The Master and his Emissary", 24 July 2012
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This review is from: The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning (Kindle Edition)
For those of you who have read "The Matser and his Emissary" you will not find new arguments or information in this essay, for its purpose seems to be to make McGilchrist's argument more accessible.

However, that does not mean it is not worth reading if you are familiar with his case - far from it. Firstly, it provides an excellent summary of the key ideas, and, in addition, it serves as an excellent introduction to his work to which others can be referred without having to read the whole of his book.

If you have not read "The Master and his Emissary" then this should be the next thing you read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable and challenging, 8 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning (Kindle Edition)
A few years ago the author published 'The Master and his Emissary' a magisterial essay on the different thinking styles in the two hemispheres of the brain. A great and challenging book but heavy going for the non-specialist reader - 'Another damned thick, square book, eh Mr Gibbon!' as a former member of the royal family said of the 'Decline and Fall'. So McGilchrist has re-stated his arguments in a much more readable way. Because the ideas in it are important, they deserve the widest consideration, and this book is a long step down that path - I would even describe it as enjoyable.

The left and right hemispheres of the brain work together in our thinking processes, but they are very different in the way they go about it. The details are too many and too complex for this review. However as a great simplification, the left is reductionist and concerned with hard logic, the right holistic in bent and concerned with the believable inference. McGilchrist thinks that contemporary culture overvalues the contribution of the left at the expense of the right.

He makes what I think are errors, in particular seeming to believe that science is necessarily reductionist. It was, once upon a time, but not now. Statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, information theory and relativity theory are holistic. Others are a mix, like theoretical biology. But this is just to name the few of which I have some knowledge, matters of detail, easily corrected. The overall argument is powerful and would have profound implications. And is McGilchrist right? Gentle reader, you must judge.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning and seminal, 22 April 2013
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Clifford Skoog (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning (Kindle Edition)
This book casts an extraordinary and refreshing light on how we learn in the world. Coming from a background in education and somatic work: breath and movement, working with children and teenagers and teacher training I found McGilchrist's book moving, breath taking in its erudition and scope and a fantastic resource for teachers who need to understand more viscerally and vividly about education of the kinaesthetic, the cognitive and the emotional. In short, how the full human being learns. The affirmation of the right hemisphere and the dance between the two sides, offers archetypes for our age: of diversity,dialogue and partnership, rather than inequality, imbalance and dominance. The numerous examples and case studies build a drumbeat of examples, anchoring his points in the physical and metaphorical. A brilliant, brilliant book accessible to the lay reader and a tremendous boost for left handed misfits!I intend to have this book near me for a very long time for reread upon reread.
by Nell Smyth
Breath and the Word: literacy in action
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding !!!!!!!!!!, 23 July 2013
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This review is from: The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning (Kindle Edition)
I've just finished reading this impressive piece of work and I feel that what I have read is the answer to 4000 years of human struggles, epic mistakes and blind alleys. I can now imagine how those Victorian flat-earthers felt like after reading Darwin's Origin of the Species for the first time and thinking, as T. H Huxley did, "how extremely stupid not to have thought of that!"

The answers slot into place, once someone smart enough comes along to solve the puzzle. I am not exaggerating when I say that the way Darwin solved the mystery of the Giraffe, Iain McGilchrist has solved the mystery of our wretched state. I am not saying that McGilchrist is some sort of Albert Einstein, no, because the answer has been starring us in the face, like natural selection did, we just needed a very clever chap to come along, who happened to work with patients but who was also a dab hand at philosophy, and, most importantly, had the latest brain research at hand. Indeed, McGilchrist does not spin his ideas from first principle, but from solid brain imaging and years of first hand study on real sick people.

(not only is Iain McGilchrist a top hands-on researcher, who worked for years with real patients, rather than abstractions from the citadels of the ivory tower. McGilchrist has also read very widely and and he understands what he has read and so he is a true philosopher and this is why academic philosophers have been giving this book average reviews.)

McGilchrist is on to something here and intelligence roars out of the pages of The Master and his Emissary. It is the architectonics of the brain that is the problem and not the world etc and there is enough proof for even the diehard genetic determinists to accept. Can I suggest a similar book call Left in the Dark? It basically covered similar territory to this one.

These are exciting times!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic short read, 20 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning (Kindle Edition)
Absolutely brilliant, The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning is an excellent compliment to McGilchirsts other works, highly recommended reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Intresting., 11 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning (Kindle Edition)
Great short book, and recommended. He could have delved more into why a lot of us perceive ourselves to be unhappy in the West? More can be said in a social context, which is a manifestation of how we think. I think the author was just trying to simplify things by just concentrating on the differences between the right/left hemispheres of the brain. Would i buy another book book by this author? YES!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting..., 12 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning (Kindle Edition)
...read the master and his emissary first and then you will be fine! Very clear to understand also for someone who's not in the same field.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Summary of important work., 24 Oct. 2014
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Stephen Bigger (Wiltshire, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning (Kindle Edition)
The good news is it was cheap. The bad news is it was cheap. Not a replacement for the big book, but more like an executive summary.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great read!, 4 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning (Kindle Edition)
This book is very interesting and easy to digest. It certainly makes you think about the way we pay attention to the world.
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