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The Matter With Things | Dr Iain McGilchrist

30 March.7:30 pm-9:00 pm

Dr Iain McGilchrist is in conversation with Lance Butler about post-materialism for the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre

Tuesday Talks

The Matter With Things

Tuesday 30th March 2021. 7.30pm until 9.00pm. £5 online via ZOOM.


‘But we – who are we?’ – Plotinus

Plotinus may be of great interest to the contemporary philosopher of consciousness and the self. Proponents of the current paradigm, scientific materialism, fail to explain adequately exactly what consciousness or the self actually ‘is’. The materialist may suggest consciousness and notions of self exist within and are manifestations of the brain. However, this line of thinking fails to address metaphysical questions once posed by Plotinus which are still relevant today. What is it that makes you the same person at different times? What distinguishes persons at the same time? Whatever it is, does it transcend the material body, does it go beyond the personal ‘self’ and does it survive post-mortem?

Dr Iain McGilchrist’s work is forging the way towards a post-materialist consensus. His pathbreaking theories on the nature of the mind offer a new approach to the questions of consciousness and self. Dr McGilchrist considers the subject from multiple perspectives – neuroscience, philosophy and vast swathes of Western culture. From looking at consciousness as part of something larger than simply matter – we may get closer to solving long-standing problems.

In this Tuesday Talk, Professor Lance Butler will interview Dr Iain McGilchrist. Together they will discuss Dr McGilchrist’s latest thinking and how it fits in with contemporary thought.

Please join us at 7.30PM on Tuesday the 30th of March via ZOOM. Purchase a ticket below and you will receive an email with access. Save money by purchasing a winter season pass here and get access to our full Winter Season programme.

Dr Iain McGilchrist talks about the negative impact of extreme reductionism at the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre

About Dr Iain McGilchrist

Author of The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World

Dr Iain McGilchrist is a Quondam Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, an Associate Fellow of Green Templeton 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 and a Fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. 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 a number of books, but is best-known for The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World (Yale 2009), and is currently working on a book of epistemology and ontology for Penguin Random House. He lives on the Isle of Skye, and has 2 daughters and a son.

Read More About Iain Here


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30 March
7:30 pm-9:00 pm
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The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre
25 Palmerston Place
Edinburgh, EH12 5AP United Kingdom


The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre
0131 625 0700


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