Iain McGilchrist will contend that the world in which we live in the West is shaped by a set of beliefs about reality which we know from experience, and feel intuitively, to be almost certainly false. Though the consequences of this are widely deplored, we seem strangely powerless to resist it. We are as if in a trance, whistling a happy tune as we sleepwalk towards the abyss.
Dr Iain McGilchrist is a former Fellow of All Souls 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 was a Research Fellow in neuroimaging at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, and is currently 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, medicine and psychiatry. He is the author of Against Criticism (Faber 1982), The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World (Yale 2009), The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning; Why Are We So Unhappy? (e-book short) and is currently working on a book entitled The Porcupine is a Monkey, or, Things Are Not What They Seem to be published by Penguin Press. He lives on the Isle of Skye.