ABC Radio’s All in the Mind has so many good shows, we almost require a permanent feed. This week is no exception with an excellent edition on ‘An Intimate History of the Unconscious’.
Our minds are wayward beasts. Many of the quirks of our conscious experience go unexplained. Could our conscious mind be but the tip of an iceberg, underpinned by the seething underbelly of the unconscious? Freud famously thought so. The Ancients appealed to gods, the gremlins and the underworld to explain our strange ways. Cognitive scientist Guy Claxton has unearthed the unconscious throughout history. Despite the exciting triumphs of neuroscience, he argues that mystical metaphors of the hidden mind still have their place.
Guy Claxton has written a book on the same topic, entitled The Wayward Mind: An Intimate History of the Unconscious, and shares some of the insights he discovered while writing it.
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And I’ll take the opportunity to heartily recommend Guy Claxton’s “Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind: Why Intelligence Increases When You Think Less”. It is one of those books that I really found useful, and would have mentioned in Mind Hacks but it was talking about slightly different stuff so it didn’t get a name check. More here: