RSA Animate - Will "divided brain" survive?


Forget Daniel Pink's revenge of the right brain. The right brain has been taken hostage.

In the latest RSA Animate, psychiatrist and writer Iain McGilchrist argues that the divided brain continues to change and physically evolve, but in ways that favors the left brain's rational point of view. That's not a good thing.

If rationality is "grounded in a leap of intuition," then our view and experience of the world, now increasingly dominated as McGilchrist claims by rational processes and by the left hemisphere, becomes ever more constrained and impoverished as a result. Using Gödel's incompleteness theorems, for example, he points out that strict logic ultimately is self-referential and incomplete.

On his view, the world becomes entirely self-consistent, unironic and uninformed by paradox and metaphor. It becomes less meaningful because life is not a set of propositional statements, but a way of being that must be experienced to be known in full.

Check out this interview with McGilchrist at Bookslut for more on this provocative idea. Here is McGilchrist on his move from English teacher to psychiatry, and the links he sees between the two - IdeaFestival fans should find this kind of lateral connection appealing.