The Wayward Mind

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This book brilliantly charts history’s many different ways of explaining the unconscious mind, from ancient descriptions of the “underworld” to theories of contemporary neuroscience. Guy Claxton’s beautifully written book takes in intellectual and cultural history, literature, and spirituality. In The Wayward Mind, the common image of the mind is skillfully redrawn to acknowledge the constant influence of its invisible foundations on everyday human behavior.


“Claxton’s quest for the origins of the unconscious mind combines page-turning narrative with cutting-edge neuroscience. His ideas about how and why the brain creates our oddest experiences are both imaginative and credible. An important contribution to our understanding of what it is to be human.” —Rita Carter, author, Mapping the Mind