The Wayward Mind by Guy Claxton
An Intimate History of the Unconscious

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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?

About Guy Claxton

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Guy Claxton teaches at the University of Bristol.
Published August 1, 2005 by Little Brown and Company. 401 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, History. Non-fiction

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The Guardian

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The Wayward Mind: An Intimate History of the Unconscious by Guy Claxton 401pp, Little, Brown, £20 "I don't know about you, but my mind has a mind of its own.

Jan 15 2005 | Read Full Review of The Wayward Mind: An Intimate...

Publishers Weekly

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In this lively history of thinking about what lies behind thinking, Oxford-trained cognitive scientist Claxton (Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind) ranges across societies from ancient Egypt to 20th-century Vienna and individual thinkers from Aristotle to Eugene Gendliln to trace the long development of t...

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