We often ask what the brain can tell us, without asking the more fundamental question, what kinds of thing the brain
can and can’t tell us. In fact there is no substitute for understanding the brain: it explains definitively why a reductionist
approach is never adequate. Part of this is to do with our increasing understanding of the fact that the brain gives rise
to two distinct experiential worlds, each with its own particular strengths and weaknesses. To fail to understand this is
to fail to understand the human condition.’
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 has been a Research Fellow in neuroimaging at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore.
He has published original articles and research papers in a wide range of publications on topics in literature,
philosophy, 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 When The
Porcupine is a Monkey, to be published by Penguin Press. He lives on the Isle of Skye.