The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

4.3 11
by Julian Jaynes
     
 

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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…  See more details below

Overview

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."

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"When Julian Jaynes . . . speculates that until late in the twentieth millennium b.c. men had no consciousness but were automatically obeying the voices of the gods, we are astounded but compelled to follow this remarkable thesis."—John Updike The New Yorker

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395563526
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Publication date:
09/19/1990
Pages:
469
Product dimensions:
6.11(w) x 9.23(h) x 1.35(d)

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Meet the Author

Julian Jaynes (1923-1997) achieved an almost cult-like reputation for this controversial book, which was his only published work.

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The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this a dozen years ago and and am still influenced by it. It is cogent, precise and expansive--a real thrill for the intellect. If you enjoy studying the mind, history, culture and philosophy, this is a stunning find. Couldn't be better!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am currently reading this facinating book for the third time. I don't know if Jaynes's hypothesis can ever be proven, but his analysis of human mentality is marvelous. He causes the reader to assess human consciousness, that is our verbal model-making, in a clear and novel way. Jaynes is a gifted writer as well as a brilliant mind and produces a scholarly work that reads like a page turner novel. This book is a trip well worth taking.
RobertK3 11 months ago
Quite possibly the most interesting work of non-fiction I've ever read. I recommend this to anybody that has any intellectual curiosity about human history, philosophy, religion and psychology. There's no doubt that I'll read this book more than once.
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