The Mimetic Brain – by Jean-Michel Oughourlian

The well-known psychiatrist Jean-Michel Oughourlian, a collaborator with René Girard on the book Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World, referred to the Mimetic, or third, brain as the part of the brain which has the function of relationship, reciprocity, mimeticism. Obviously, every person only has one biological brain—but different functions of the brain have been recognized for some time. Oughourlian wrote this book in an attempt to highlight an often overlooked part of the brain which is responsible for the highly mimetic function of humans, which Aristotle noticed 2,500 years ago as the thing that sets us apart the most from animals.

Oughourlian writes: “It seems to me that the misery of the human condition lies in the difficulty of accepting the otherness of one’s own being, of accepting that myself is an “other” and that this other who constitutes me is anterior to me. The tragedy of the human comes from denying having been created by the desire, the breath of God, out of nothing (or almost: dust) and that one is permanently re-created by the desire of the other at each instant of one’s life.”

The Mimetic Brain explains this great mystery of desire through the lens of psychology, and Oughourlian has a profound grasp of philosophical and theological concepts to supplement his professional work.

Check out The Mimetic Brain on Amazon