Iain McGilchrist, a psychiatrist, writer, and former Oxford literary scholar, has delved extensively into the significance of the brain’s two hemispheres in human culture and history. In his latest book, The Matter With Things, he builds upon his acclaimed 2009 work, The Master and His Emissary, which argued that the left hemisphere, associated with rationality, logic, and language, has overshadowed and suppressed the right hemisphere, linked to intuition, creativity, and empathy.
Within The Matter With Things, McGilchrist expands his thesis, examining how this imbalance between the hemispheres has given rise to some of our most pressing challenges, including environmental degradation, social fragmentation, political polarization, and spiritual emptiness. He also presents a vision for reestablishing harmony between the two hemispheres, fostering reconnection with ourselves, each other, and the natural world.
‘It’s very simple: this is one of the most important books ever published. And, yes, I do mean ever.’Professor Charles Foster
Oxford University, Author of ‘Being a Human’ and ‘Being a Beast’
Drawing upon a broad array of disciplines, from neuroscience and psychology to philosophy and art, McGilchrist illustrates his arguments and challenges prevalent assumptions within modern society. He reveals how the left hemisphere’s narrow and abstract perspective of reality has distorted our self-perception and understanding of our place in the universe. Conversely, he illuminates how the right hemisphere’s holistic and embodied perspective can assist us in rediscovering the significance and worth of our existence.
The Matter With Things is a profound and thought-provoking book that beckons us to reassess our relationships with ourselves, others, and the world at large. It serves as an invitation to question our assumptions, broaden our perspectives, and embrace a more balanced and integrated way of being. Ultimately, it instills hope for a future that is more compassionate and sustainable.
Last modified: May 18, 2023