Reply To: Encounter in the Wild from an LH/RH Perspective

  • Whit Blauvelt

    March 30, 2023 at 4:11 pm


    You quote both hemispheres. Yet per McGilchrist only LH has fully command of syntax, while RH’s more capable with finding the poetically-appropriate word, but not with the assembly into sentences and paragraphs. I’ve long been convinced by Jerry Fodor’s work that the language of thought cannot be our public languages. If so, then even the LH perspective, as we know it in the form of the public-language “I” (Freud’s “ego”) is translation of the actual language of thought. I’ve also long favored Rudolph Arnheim’s claim for “visual thinking” — that the visuo-spatial is primary, and anything with language secondary to the core of our thought. But then factor in McGilchrist’s evidences for hemispheric specialization, and the blended picture could be of LH being more language-like, more “literal,” at both language-of-thought level and the surface public language, and RH being more visuo-spatial at every level. In either case, what’s brought to the conscious surface entails translation; but what’s brought to verbal discussion as here, in non-poetic terms at remove from metaphor, requires more of it by the time it’s expressed in our discussions.

    Of course, we are as a species good at telling stories of talking bears and the like, facile at translating into public speech. What I’d like to ask: As you recount your experience, does it feel like you’re doing more translation, more story-telling, on the RH side than on the LH?