The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

ISBN: 0618057072

Category: Uncategorized


Posted on 2011-05-19. By anonymous.

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The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

Julian Jaynes, "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind"
H..ghton M..flin | 2000 | ISBN: 0618057072, 0802023061 | 512 pages | PDF | 3 MB

At the heart of this seminal work is the revolutionary idea that human consciousness did not begin far back in animal evolution but was a learned process that emerged, through cataclysm and catastrophe, from a hallucinatory mentality only three thousand years ago and that is still developing. The implications of this scientific paradigm extend into virtually every aspect of our psychology, our history, our culture, our religion — indeed our future. In the words of one reviewer, it is “a humbling text, the kind that reminds most of us who make our livings through thinking, how much thinking there is left to do.”

“When Julian Jaynes . . . speculates that until late in the second millennium B.C. men had no consciousness but were automatically obeying the voices of gods, we are astounded but compelled to follow this remarkable thesis through all the corroborative evidence.” — John Updike, The New Yorker

“This books and this mans ideas may be the most influential, not to say controversial, of the second half of the twentieth century. It renders whole shelves of books obsolete.” — William Harrington, Columbus Dispatch

“Having just finished The Origin of Consciousness, I myself feel something like Keats’ Cortez staring at the Pacific, or at least like the early reviewers of Darwin or Freud. I’m not quite sure what to make of this new territory; but its expanse lies before me and I am startled by its power.”

— Edward Profitt, Commonweal

“He is as startling as Freud was in The Interpretation of Dreams, and Jaynes is equally adept at forcing a new view of known human behavior.”

— Raymond Headlee, American Journal of Psychiatry

“The weight of original thought in [this book] is so great that it makes me uneasy for the author’s well-being: the human mind is not built to support such a burden.”— D. C. Stove, Encounter

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