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The Matter with Things: A Day’s Seminar with Iain McGilchrist

9 April.10:00 am-6:00 pm


The Matter with Things: A Day’s Seminar with Iain McGilchrist

9th April 2022 | 10am-6pm | £100-£80 | In-Centre


Join the author and scholar for lectures, questions and conversation


You are invited to join Iain McGilchrist at the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre on Palmerston Place for an in-house Seminar on Saturday 9th April 2022. This Seminar will be focused on his new book, The Matter with Things. Attendees can pre-order an advance copy of The Matter with Things below.

Iain McGilchrist, world-famous philosopher, author and psychiatrist, discusses the links between neurology, spirituality and consciousness. 



Alexander McCall Smith is part of a Christmas Special at the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre.

About Iain McGilchrist

Iain McGilchrist is a former 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, a Consultant Emeritus of the Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital, London, a former research Fellow in Neuroimaging at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, Baltimore, and a former Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Stellenbosch.

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.

With a background in English, he eventually followed his interests in philosophy and psychology into medicine. He has written for numerous magazines and journals, and his books include Against CriticismThe Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western WorldThe Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning; Why Are We So Unhappy?, and Ways of Attending.

You can find out more about McGilchrist and his work on his website at https://channelmcgilchrist.com/.

What To Expect

The day will have several lectures, a Q&A and an opportunity to buy McGilchrist’s new book, The Matter with Things. 

10:00 am Lecture:  Iain McGilchrist, ‘An Introduction to the Hemispheres’

11:00 am Coffee Break

11:30 am Iain interviewed by Lance Butler

01:00 pm Lunch

02:00 pm Lecture:  Iain McGilchrist, ‘The Sense of the Sacred’

03:00 pm Discussion with Iain McGilchrist: chaired by Lance Butler and including participants

04:00 pm Tea Break

04.30 pm Q&A: Iain, Lance and Everyone

06:00 pm Finish: Book signing available in the Tea Room

Topic Breakdown


Mindfulness & Mysticism Class

An Introduction to the Hemispheres

Everything you thought you knew about hemisphere differences is false. The truth is far more interesting – indeed fascinating and revelatory; and helps make sense of what is happening to us in the modern world.


The Sense of the Sacred

The sacred is simultaneously the profoundest aspect of human experience and the hardest to articulate. What can knowledge of the hemispheres contribute to our understanding?


Alexander McCall Smith Love in the Time of Bertie

About The Matter with Things

Our Brains, Our Delusions, and the Unmaking of the World


This text is a sustained critique of reductive materialism from McGilchrist’s educated and varied perspective. In this landmark new book, Iain McGilchrist addresses some of the oldest and hardest questions humanity faces – ones that, however, have a practical urgency for all of us today:

  • Who are we?
  • What is the world?
  • How can we understand consciousness, matter, space and time?
  • Is the cosmos without purpose or value?
  • Can we really neglect the sacred and divine?
  • In addressing these questions, he argues that we have become enslaved to an account of things dominated by the brain’s left hemisphere over the more intuitive right hemisphere. Through this we have been blinded to an awe-inspiring reality that is all around us.

McGilchrist suggests that in order to understand ourselves and the world we must employ science and intuition, reason and imagination, not just one or two- and that these modes of thinking are not in conflict.

By recognising left hemisphere bias and by taking steps to follow the intuition of the brain’s right side, we can avoid making disastrous decisions.

Following the paths of cutting-edge neurology, philosophy and physics, McGilchrist reveals how each leads us to a similar vision of the world, one that is both profound and beautiful – and happens to be in line with the deepest traditions of human wisdom.

It is a vision that returns the world to life, and us to a better way of living in it: one we must embrace if we are to survive.

You can buy The Matter with Things via our Amazon affliate link here. 

Purchase Tickets, Recordings or Season Pass

Please note that this is an In-person event and will be held at The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre in Edinburgh.  Places are limited to 30 so book in advance to avoid disappointment. Orders for The Matter with Things will close two weeks before the event, so please remember to order in advance. 

If you have any issues, please contact us during office hours. All bookings are subject to our terms and conditions.


9 April
10:00 am-6:00 pm
Event Tags:
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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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