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Iain McGilchrist: The Coincidence of Opposites

Podcast 17th November 2021

Stephen Blackwood Stephen
Our Guest Iain McGilchrist

Dr Iain McGilchrist is a psychiatrist, author, and a thinker of extraordinary versatility and originality. He is a Quondam Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, an Associate Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. McGilchrist is also a Visitor of Ralston College and you can view his full bio page here.

His recently published book, which this lecture is based on, is The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World.

"What we essentially need is meaning. A life without meaning is not worth living. This doesn’t mean that we should invent meaning. It means we should discover meaning. Meaning is there."

Ralston College presents a lecture by Dr Iain McGilchrist followed by a discussion with Dr Stephen Blackwood and questions from the audience. In his lecture Dr McGilchrist deals with certain themes that are treated at greater length in his recent book The Matter With Things. He focuses especially upon the coincidence of opposites (coincidentia oppositorum), which he explores (providing an extraordinary range of illustrative examples) in such a way as to make manifest both its universality and its particular relevance to our present historical moment.

The event took place online on October 26th, 2021.

Dr McGilchrist's books include The Master and His Emissary and The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions and the Unmaking of the World.


Artists, Art, and Writings Mentioned in this Episode

Iroquoian Cosmology
Charles Sanders Peirce
Niehls Bohr
Friedrich Hölderlin
Alan Watts
William Blake
Jacob Needleman
Alfred North Whitehead
M.C. Escher, “Angels and Devils”
Friedrich Nietzsche
Ryōan-ji Zen Garden
Friedensreich Hundertwasser
Carl Jung
Ochwiay Biano
William Blake, “Auguries of Innocence”
Sam Johnson
Laurence Sterne
William Wordsworth
David Olive (physicist)
William Empson
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Joseph Campbell
F.W.J von Schelling
Aristotle, concept of “phronesis”
Louis Pasteur
Pierre Curie
William James
Wilfred Owen, “Strange Meeting”
Jonathan Sacks
Franz Schubert, String Quartet in C Major
The Sophists
Immoderate Greatness, William Ophuls
Oedipus Rex
Jesus, “The Lord’s Prayer”


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