Dr. Iain McGilchrist – What is the Matter with Things?
Many of us are aware that the mindset of reductionist materialism is inadequate, but may find it harder to articulate why. My latest book, The Matter with Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World, draws on hard evidence from neurology and physics to suggest that such a way of thinking is indeed mistaken; and that it is all that can be expected as a product of the left hemisphere’s way of being in the world. It is not just my opinion, but a fact, that the left hemisphere is less perceptive, less intelligent and less imaginative than the right hemisphere, and is frankly prone to delusion: unfortunately all the signs are that it dominates our thinking in today’s world. This ranges from the bankrupt philosophy which leads to destruction of the natural world, to the most bizarre and illogical aspects of the culture we now inhabit. I will give an overview of the argument of the book and highlight its relevance to some aspects of contemporary culture which might otherwise seem baffling.
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 (Yale 2009); and his book on neuroscience, epistemology and ontology called The Matter with Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World (Perspectiva 2021).