Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 8, No 1 (2012)

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The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Western World

Arran Gare

Abstract


This is a review Iain McGilchrist, The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Western World, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010, ix + 534 pp. ISBN: 978-0-300-16892-1 pb, £11.99, $25.00. It argues that through his work in neuroscience, McGilchrist has provided us with the means to comprehend the nihilistic tendencies of Western civilization, how these tendencies emerged and where they are taking us. He shows it to be the consequence of malfunctiong brains. At the same time, through his study of eras when the brain was not malfunctioning while supporting philosophers who recognized what is wrong, he offers us a clearer idea of what civilization should be and how nihilism might be overcome..


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