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The Wayward Mind: An Intimate History of the Unconscious

Guy Claxton

4 Reviews

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Prose: non-fiction, Psychology, Popular science

* In this exceptional book, Guy Claxton finally frees the unconscious from its narrow psychoanalytic confines and explores its evolution from the Sun God myths of Ancient Eygpt to the insights of 21st century neuroscience.

The unconscious has had a long and chequered history. For at least the last 4,000 years, societies have concocted comforting fables in the face of the recurrent puzzles of human existence - death, dreaming, madness, possession, inspiration - that invariably rely on some notion of the unconscious. Supernatural 'fairy stories' need some internal proxy or contact point through which the influence of demons and spirits can flow. And without such gods and forces, some psychological machinery is needed to take over their work. But what IS the unconscious Is it 'God's viceroy', the soul Is it the locked ward of Freudian desire Is the subliminal mind the source of the sublime emotions of the Romantics Is is the mental microchip of cognitive science Or is it simply the brain

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Praise for The Wayward Mind: An Intimate History of the Unconscious

  • With wit, weird tales and wonderful metaphors, Claxton illuminates the long dark history of the undermind - Susan Blackmore, author of 'CONSCIOUSNESS: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE MEME MACHINE

  • It is hard not to feel enticed by a book with such engaging opening words - Steven Rose, GUARDIAN

  • For anyone who ever wondered why people can be terrified of harmless things, why tunes get stuck in their head or what happens during hypnosis, this vigorously written, fascinating yet accessible book is a must. - IRISH EXAMINER

  • Intriguing. - FOCUS

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Guy Claxton

Guy Claxton is an internationally renowned writer, author of HARE BRAIN, TORTOISE MIND. He is Visiting Professor in Learning Science at the University of Bristol Graduate School of Education.

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