The great divide

Renowned psychiatrist and writer Iain McGilchrist explains how our ‘divided brain’ has profoundly altered human behaviour, culture and society. Taken from a lecture given by Iain McGilchrist as part of the RSA’s free public events programme.

Iain McGilchrist is a psychiatrist and writer who works privately in London, and otherwise lives on the Isle of Skye. He is committed to the idea that the mind and brain can be understood only by seeing them in the broadest possible context, that of the whole of our physical and spiritual existence, and of the wider human culture in which they arise – the culture which helps to mould, and in turn is moulded by, our minds and brains.

He was a late entrant to medicine.  After a scholarship to Winchester College, he was awarded a scholarship to New College, Oxford, where he read English.  He won the Chancellor’s English Essay Prize and the Charles Oldham Shakespeare Prize in 1974 and graduated (with congratulated 1st Class Hons) in 1975 (MA 1979).  He was awarded a Prize Fellowship of All Souls College, Oxford in 1975, teaching English literature and pursuing interests in philosophy and psychology between 1975 and 1982.  He then went on to train in medicine, and during this period All Souls generously re-elected him to a further Fellowship (1984-1991), and again in 2002 (to 2004).

 

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