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The Wayward Mind

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349116549

Price: £12.99

ON SALE: 2nd February 2006

Genre: Society & Social Sciences

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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?

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Reviews

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