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Old 14-01-2011, 12:29 PM   #1
Barrett Dorko
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At 462 pages, the main body of the book itself is formidable, but there are about 200 pages of notes beyond that to consider. The Master and His Emissary should transform our understanding of the cerebral hemispheres and what this split has accomplished. It can, if given a careful reading.

McGilchrist explains our way of apprehending the world with an intricate and carefully researched view of history.

On page 277 of the book:

Quote:
By the time we reach the fourth century BC, each of the changes that had taken place in written language favoured a shift of balance inexorably towards the left hemisphere. In this way the history of writing recapitulates the history of language generally: originating in the right hemisphere, but translating itself into the left.
And now there’s a pod cast that makes all of this clear. I couldn’t recommend it more highly.

From the transcript:

Quote:
What I learned about (the) differences between the hemispheres suggests that these actually underwrite two competing ways of being in the world and thinking about the world, only one of which we seem capable of entertaining these days.
Guess which side dominates these days and what that means.

Sound like anyone you know?
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Old 14-01-2011, 04:16 PM   #2
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Later in the transcript:

Quote:
So, (the left hemisphere) can delude itself that it knows everything, whereas I see the right hemisphere as seeing things that lie beyond what we ourselves can see. So it is all the time as it were grasping or trying to grasp, reaching out towards something that is beyond us.
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Old 14-01-2011, 04:21 PM   #3
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I enjoyed this TED video of Jill Bolte Taylor as she explained what it felt like to experience her other half of her brain as she had a stroke.

http://www.ted.com/speakers/jill_bolte_taylor.html
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Old 14-01-2011, 07:23 PM   #4
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I watched the video some time ago and know it's a favorite of many.

I found the speaker perky and enthusiastic. As it happens, I can barely tolerate that, but maybe that's just me.

No one has yet taken a shot at who McGilchrist is describing as unable to move from the left brain perspective (as brilliantly described by him and not in the simplistic and inaccurate manner we're used to hearing).

Anybody?
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:14 PM   #5
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i just listened to podcast by McGilchrist. Thanks for the link Barrett. I'll take a shot at your 19month old question.

I'd say McGhilchrist is describing anyone who tends to stick too rigidly to linear thinking and/or to dichotomous thinking, without an appreciation for a broader context. From a PT perspective I see that this could describe two different types who at first glance might seem opposite in their approaches.

type one- the PT who clings tightly to a single construct/rationale and considers nothing outside of it e.g. all treatment effects are attributable to the loosening or stabilizing of joints.

type two- the PT who is completely open minded, and believes everything is valid and worthy.

Like the interviewer, I found McGilchrist's interpretation of post modernism as left hemisphere perspective interesting.
Quote:
Natasha Mitchell: Which is interesting because I guess the postmodernist view would be that everything exists within a context and that perhaps there is no absolute truth and in a sense I would have thought that contextual framing of the world is more right hemisphere if your argument is to hold?

Iain McGilchrist: Well of course I agree that things are contextual and there's no absolute truth but unfortunately in postmodernism this often comes to mean there is no truth at all. There is nothing out there actually beyond the sort of paintings on the wall of the inside of our mind. And that seems to be very much more like what the left hemisphere sees, and in fact the products of the art of modernism and postmodernism bear striking resemblances to what the world looks like to people whose right hemisphere is not working very well.
That was something that was first pointed out indirectly by a marvellous book by Louis Sass, an American psychologist who wrote a book called Madness and Modernism in which he draws extensive parallels between the phenomena of modernism and postmodernism and of schizophrenia. Deficits of the right hemisphere present a world in which the literal triumphs over the metaphorical, things taken out of context triumph over their meaning in a context, particularly a social context, and the sense of connectedness to others -- empathy and so forth is lacking and the world appears to be a heap of fragments and one can see that in the sometimes wonderful but bizarre and exotic artistic productions of people with schizophrenia.
I would suspect that most PTs who describe themselves as free thinking, and who subscribe to the view that science cant explain everything would view themselves as freed from the rest of society who are slave to a left perspective
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:51 AM   #6
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I have been working on this book on-and-off for the last month. This passage in particular made me take pause this evening:

Quote:
The world of the left hemisphere, dependent on denotated language and abstraction, yields clarity and power to manipulate things that are known, fixed, static, isolated, decontextualized, explicit, disembodied, general in nature, but ultimately lifeless. The right hemisphere, by contrast, yields a world of individual, changing, evolving, interconnected, implicit, incarnate, living beings within the context of the lived world, but in the nature of things never fully graspable, always imperfectly known – and to this world exists in a relationship of care...

...To some people the brain is a thing, any particular type of thing, the machine; which is only to say that it is something we understand from the bottom up and which exists for the purpose we recognize. To others it is something that nature which is unique, which we can understand, therefore, only by being content with a degree of not-knowing which opens the mind to whatever it is, and whose purpose is not so easily determined. In other words, we should expect some people will be confident that they know precisely what sort of thing the brain is, while others may know 'precious little' about that.
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