The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

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Author: Julian Jaynes

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0547527543

Category: Science

Page: 512

View: 9100

At the heart of this classic, seminal book is Julian Jaynes's still-controversial thesis that human consciousness did not begin far back in animal evolution but instead is a learned process that came about only three thousand years ago and is still developing. The implications of this revolutionary scientific paradigm extend into virtually every aspect of our psychology, our history and culture, our religion -- and indeed our future.

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

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Author: Julian Jaynes

Publisher: Mariner Books

ISBN: 9780618057078

Category: Philosophy

Page: 491

View: 2516

At the heart of this classic, seminal book is Julian Jaynes's still-controversial thesis that human consciousness did not begin far back in animal evolution but instead is a learned process that came about only three thousand years ago and is still developing. The implications of this revolutionary scientific paradigm extend into virtually every aspect of our psychology, our history and culture, our religion -- and indeed our future.

The Recursive Mind

The Origins of Human Language, Thought, and Civilization

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Author: Michael C. Corballis

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400851491

Category: Psychology

Page: 312

View: 9048

The Recursive Mind challenges the commonly held notion that language is what makes us uniquely human. In this compelling book, Michael Corballis argues that what distinguishes us in the animal kingdom is our capacity for recursion: the ability to embed our thoughts within other thoughts. "I think, therefore I am," is an example of recursive thought, because the thinker has inserted himself into his thought. Recursion enables us to conceive of our own minds and the minds of others. It also gives us the power of mental "time travel"--the ability to insert past experiences, or imagined future ones, into present consciousness. Drawing on neuroscience, psychology, animal behavior, anthropology, and archaeology, Corballis demonstrates how these recursive structures led to the emergence of language and speech, which ultimately enabled us to share our thoughts, plan with others, and reshape our environment to better reflect our creative imaginations. He shows how the recursive mind was critical to survival in the harsh conditions of the Pleistocene epoch, and how it evolved to foster social cohesion. He traces how language itself adapted to recursive thinking, first through manual gestures, then later, with the emergence of Homo sapiens, vocally. Toolmaking and manufacture arose, and the application of recursive principles to these activities in turn led to the complexities of human civilization, the extinction of fellow large-brained hominins like the Neandertals, and our species' supremacy over the physical world. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.

The Jaynes Legacy

Shining New Light Through the Cracks of the Bicameral Mind

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Author: Lawrence Wile

Publisher: Andrews UK Limited

ISBN: 1845409728

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 250

View: 4457

Julian Jaynes' 1976 book, The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, continues to arouse an unsettling ambivalence. Richard Dawkins called it "either complete rubbish or a work of consummate genius, nothing in between". The present book suggests that the bicameral mind is a phantasm; the dating of the origin of consciousness contradicts archeological and literary evidence; and the theory contributes nothing toward explaining why some physical states are conscious while others are not because the nonconscious bicameral brain is neurophysiologically equivalent to the conscious brain. However, the author pays tribute to Jaynes's work as a work of "consummate genius" because it compels us to re-evaluate the significance of humankind's earliest traditions and texts that might shine light on the "very suspicious totem of evolutionary mythology" that consciousness has evolved continuously and gradually from worms to man. The present book suggests that the evolution of the relationship between consciousnesses, mass, energy, and spacetime radically changed nearly 6,000 years ago during the epigenetic, evolutionary degeneration of a little-known, threadlike structure originating from the center of the central nervous system called Reissner's fiber. The earliest Egyptian, Hebrew, Indian and Chinese traditions, buried beneath the dust of fallen Babel and thousands of years of distortions and disguisings, describe this process during the origin of religion and mystical traditions.

The Master and His Emissary

The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World

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Author: Iain McGilchrist

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 030014878X

Category: History

Page: 597

View: 7301

Why is the brain divided? The difference between right and left hemispheres has been puzzled over for centuries. In a book of unprecedented scope, Iain McGilchrist draws on a vast body of recent brain research, illustrated with case histories, to reveal that the difference is profound—not just this or that function, but two whole, coherent, but incompatible ways of experiencing the world. The left hemisphere is detail oriented, prefers mechanisms to living things, and is inclined to self-interest, where the right hemisphere has greater breadth, flexibility, and generosity. This division helps explain the origins of music and language, and casts new light on the history of philosophy, as well as on some mental illnesses. In the second part of the book, McGilchrist takes the reader on a journey through the history of Western culture, illustrating the tension between these two worlds as revealed in the thought and belief of thinkers and artists, from Aeschylus to Magritte. He argues that, despite its inferior grasp of reality, the left hemisphere is increasingly taking precedence in the modern world, with potentially disastrous consequences. This is truly a tour de force that should excite interest in a wide readership.

Between the Rivers

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Author: Harry Turtledove

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9781429914963

Category: Fiction

Page: 416

View: 7091

At the sun-drenched dawn of human history, in the great plain between the two great rivers, are the cities of men. And each city is ruled by its god. But the god of the city of Gibil is lazy and has let the men of his city develop the habit of thinking for themselves. Now the men of Gibil have begun to devise arithmetic, and commerce, and are sending expeditions to trade with other lands. They're starting to think that perhaps men needn't always be subject to the whims of gods. This has the other god worried. And well they might be...because human cleverness, once awakened, isn't likely to be easily squelched.

The Tides of Mind: Uncovering the Spectrum of Consciousness

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Author: David Gelernter

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 1631490842

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 668

A “rock star” (New York Times) of the computing world provides a radical new work on the meaning of human consciousness. The holy grail of psychologists and scientists for nearly a century has been to understand and replicate both human thought and the human mind. In fact, it's what attracted the now-legendary computer scientist and AI authority David Gelernter to the discipline in the first place. As a student and young researcher in the 1980s, Gelernter hoped to build a program with a dial marked "focus." At maximum "focus," the program would "think" rationally, formally, reasonably. As the dial was turned down and "focus" diminished, its "mind" would start to wander, and as you dialed even lower, this artificial mind would start to free-associate, eventually ignoring the user completely as it cruised off into the mental adventures we know as sleep. While the program was a only a partial success, it laid the foundation for The Tides of Mind, a groundbreaking new exploration of the human psyche that shows us how the very purpose of the mind changes throughout the day. Indeed, as Gelernter explains, when we are at our most alert, when reasoning and creating new memories is our main mental business, the mind is a computer-like machine that keeps emotion on a short leash and attention on our surroundings. As we gradually tire, however, and descend the "mental spectrum," reasoning comes unglued. Memory ranges more freely, the mind wanders, and daydreams grow more insistent. Self-awareness fades, reflection blinks out, and at last we are completely immersed in our own minds. With far-reaching implications, Gelernter’s landmark "Spectrum of Consciousness" finally helps decode some of the most mysterious wonders of the human mind, such as the numinous light of early childhood, why dreams are so often predictive, and why sadism and masochism underpin some of our greatest artistic achievements. It’s a theory that also challenges the very notion of the mind as a machine—and not through empirical studies or "hard science" but by listening to our great poets and novelists, who have proven themselves as humanity's most trusted guides to the subjective mind and inner self. In the great introspective tradition of Wilhelm Wundt and René Descartes, David Gelernter promises to not only revolutionize our understanding of what it means to be human but also to help answer many of our most fundamental questions about the origins of creativity, thought, and consciousness.

Consciousness Explained

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Author: Daniel C. Dennett

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 0316439487

Category: Psychology

Page: 528

View: 1967

"Brilliant...as audacious as its title....Mr. Dennett's exposition is nothing short of brilliant." --George Johnson, New York Times Book Review Consciousness Explained is a a full-scale exploration of human consciousness. In this landmark book, Daniel Dennett refutes the traditional, commonsense theory of consciousness and presents a new model, based on a wealth of information from the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and artificial intelligence. Our current theories about conscious life-of people, animal, even robots--are transformed by the new perspectives found in this book.

The "Other" Psychology of Julian Jaynes

Ancient Languages, Sacred Visions, and Forgotten Mentalities

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Author: Brian J. McVeigh

Publisher: Andrews UK Limited

ISBN: 1845409736

Category: Psychology

Page: 359

View: 9936

In his provocative but critically acclaimed theory about the origin of introspectable mentality, Julian Jaynes argued that until the late second millennium people possessed a different psychology: a "two-chambered" (bicameral) neurocultural arrangement in which a commanding "god" guided, admonished, and ordered about a listening "mortal" via voices, visions, and visitations. Out of the cauldron of civilizational collapse and chaos, an adaptive self-reflexive consciousness emerged better suited to the pressures of larger, more complex sociopolitical systems. Though often described as boldly iconoclastic and far ahead of it time, Jaynes's thinking actually resonates with a "second" or "other" psychological tradition that explores the cultural-historical evolution of psyche. Brian J. McVeigh, a student of Jaynes, points out the blind spots of mainstream, establishment psychology by providing empirical support for Jaynes's ideas on sociohistorical shifts in cognition. He argues that from around 3500 to 1000 BCE the archaeological and historical record reveals features of hallucinatory super-religiosity in every known civilization. As social pressures eroded the god-centered authority of bicamerality, an upgraded psychology of interiorized self-awareness arose during the Late Bronze Age Collapse. A key explanatory component of Jaynes's theorizing was how metaphors constructed a mental landscape populated with "I's" and "me's" that replaced a declining worldview dominated by gods, ancestors, and spirits. McVeigh statistically substantiates how linguo-conceptual changes reflected psychohistorical developments; because supernatural entities functioned in place of our inner selves, vocabularies for psychological terms were strikingly limited in ancient languages. McVeigh also demonstrates the surprising ubiquity of "hearing voices" in modern times, contending that hallucinations are bicameral vestiges and that mental imagery - a controllable, semi-hallucinatory experience - is the successor to the divine hallucinations that once held societies together. This thought-provoking work will appeal to anyone interested in the transformative power of metaphors, the development of mental lexicons, and the adaptive role of hallucinations.

Medicine, Mind, and the Double Brain

A Study in Nineteenth-Century Thought

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Author: Anne Harrington

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691024226

Category: Medical

Page: 354

View: 3137

The study concentrates on, without being strictly limited to, the years 1860-1900 and encompasses explorations into the concepts of symmetry and asymmetry in early nineteenth-century neurology.

The Rage of Achilles

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Author: Terence Hawkins

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781934081204

Category: Fiction

Page: 197

View: 8445

Blood. Guts. Pride. Wrath. The ancient clash of armies outside the walls of Troy is a cornerstone of Western literature. In The Rage of Achilles, Terence Hawkins brilliantly reimagines that titanic encounter. His stunningly original telling captures the brutality of the battlefield, the glory and the gore, in language that never relents. Raw and compelling, The Rage of Achilles tells the story of Achilles, a monstrous hero, by turns vain and selfish, cruel and noble; of Paris, weak and consumed by lust for his stolen bride; of Agamemnon, driven nearly to insanity by the voices of the gods; and of Trojans and Achaeans, warriors and peasants, caught up in the conflict, their families torn apart by a decade-long war. The Rage of Achilles is an exhilarating story that has captured the imaginations of readers for thousands of years restored to immediacy.

Muses, Madmen, and Prophets

Hearing Voices and the Borders of Sanity

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Author: Daniel B. Smith

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101202122

Category: Psychology

Page: 272

View: 9521

An inquiry into hearing voices-one of humanity's most profound phenomena Auditory hallucination is one of the most awe-inspiring, terrifying, and ill- understood tricks of which the human psyche is capable. In the age of modern medical science, we have relegated this experience to nothing more than a biological glitch. Yet as Daniel B. Smith puts forth in Muses, Madmen, and Prophets, some of the greatest thinkers, leaders, and prophets in history heard, listened to, and had dialogues with voices inside their heads. In a fascinating quest for understanding, Smith examines the history of this powerful phenomenon, and delivers a ringing defense of the validity of unusual human experiences.

Self Comes to Mind

Constructing the Conscious Brain

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Author: Antonio Damasio

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 030747495X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 398

View: 8546

A leading neuroscientist addresses key questions about the origins and mechanisms of human consciousness, drawing on decades of research to challenge beliefs about the separateness of consciousness from the body while presenting a revisionist perspective built on traditional approaches. By the author of Descartes' Error. Reprint.

Discussions With Julian Jaynes

The Nature of Consciousness and the Vagaries of Psychology

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Author: Brian J. McVeigh

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781536100549

Category:

Page: 70

View: 4657

In 1976, the late Julian Jaynes of Princeton University published the groundbreaking The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind in which he argued that before the twelfth century BC, the minds of individuals were of a different neurocultural organisation. Rather than being consciously self-aware as people nowadays think of it, the behavior of our ancient predecessors was governed by religiously-inflected voices and visions. These were produced by a two-chambered or bicameral mentality: language areas in the right hemisphere (the ruler or god side) organised advice and admonishments and coded them into hallucinatory experiences that were conveyed over the anterior commissure to the left hemispheres corresponding language regions (the follower or person side). Brian J. McVeigh, a student of Julian Jaynes, took the opportunity in 1991 to record a series of informal, wide-ranging, and unstructured discussions with Jaynes, considered a controversial maverick of the psychology world. Weaving their way in and out of the discussions are the following themes: a clarification of the meaning of consciousness; the relation between linguistics, consciousness and language study as a crucial method to reveal this relation; the history of psychology and its prejudices (e.g., the marginalisation of consciousness as a research topic, ignoring socio-historical aspects of psyche, the significance of religion, the fraudulence of Freudianism, and the overuse, vagueness, and emptiness of cognitive); and some practical, therapeutic implications of Jayness ideas on consciousness. This book will appeal to anyone interested in the emergence of consciousness, language and cognition, cultural psychology, the history of psychology, and the neurocultural transformation of our species. A glossary of names provides useful historical context. Presenting a series of wide ranging and thought-provoking conversations with Julian Jaynes, who was one of the most insightful and original thinkers of the twentieth century, Discussions with Julian Jaynes constitutes an important contribution to the growing literature on Jaynes and his ideas.

Origins of the Modern Mind

Three Stages in the Evolution of Culture and Cognition

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Author: Merlin Donald

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674644847

Category: Medical

Page: 413

View: 9784

This bold and brilliant book asks the ultimate question of life sciences: How did the human mind acquire its incomparable power? Origins of the Modern Mind traces the evolution of human culture and cognition from primitive apes to the era of artificial intelligence, and presents an original theory of how the human mind evolved from its presymbolic form. Illustrated with line drawings.

Human Traces

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Author: Sebastian Faulks

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307389448

Category: Fiction

Page: N.A

View: 4702

Sixteen-year-old Jacques Rebière is living a humble life in rural France, studying butterflies and frogs by candlelight in his bedroom. Across the Channel, in England, the playful Thomas Midwinter, also sixteen, is enjoying a life of ease-and is resigned to follow his father's wishes and pursue a career in medicine. A fateful seaside meeting four years later sets the two young men on a profound course of friendship and discovery; they will become pioneers in the burgeoning field of psychiatry. But when a female patient at the doctors' Austrian sanatorium becomes dangerously ill, the two men's conflicting diagnosis threatens to divide them--and to undermine all their professional achievements. From the bestselling author of Birdsong comes this masterful novel that ventures to answer challenging questions of consciousness and science, and what it means to be human. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Discovery of the Mind

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Author: Bruno Snell

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN: 0486143465

Category: Philosophy

Page: 352

View: 4208

German classicist's monumental study of the origins of European thought in Greek literature and philosophy. Brilliant, widely influential. Includes "Homer's View of Man," "The Olympian Gods," and "Aristophanes and Aesthetic Criticism."

Materialism and the Mind-body Problem

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Author: David M. Rosenthal

Publisher: Hackett Publishing

ISBN: 9780872204782

Category: Philosophy

Page: 315

View: 7617

Expanded and updated to include a wide range of classic and contemporary works, this new edition of David Rosenthal's anthology provides a selection of the most important and influential writings on materialism and the mind-body problem.

Making up the Mind

How the Brain Creates Our Mental World

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Author: Chris Frith

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118697480

Category: Psychology

Page: 248

View: 2119

Written by one of the world’s leading neuroscientists, Making Up the Mind is the first accessible account of experimental studies showing how the brain creates our mental world. Uses evidence from brain imaging, psychological experiments and studies of patients to explore the relationship between the mind and the brain Demonstrates that our knowledge of both the mental and physical comes to us through models created by our brain Shows how the brain makes communication of ideas from one mind to another possible

The Greatest Story Ever Told--So Far

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Author: Lawrence M. Krauss

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476777632

Category: Science

Page: 336

View: 456

From award-winning physicist, public intellectual, and the bestselling author of A Universe from Nothing Lawrence Krauss, comes “a masterful blend of history, modern physics, and cosmic perspective that empowers the reader to not only embrace our understanding of the universe, but also revel in what remains to be discovered” (Neil deGrasse Tyson, American Museum of Natural History). In this grand poetic vision of the universe, Lawrence Krauss tells the dramatic story of the discovery of the hidden world that underlies reality—and our place within it. Reality is not what you think or sense—it’s weird, wild, and counterintuitive, and its inner workings seem at least as implausible as the idea that something can come from nothing. With his trademark wit and accessible style, Krauss leads us to realms so small that they are invisible to microscopes, to the birth and rebirth of light, and into the natural forces that govern our existence. His unique blend of rigorous research and engaging storytelling invites us into the lives and minds of remarkable scientists who have helped unravel the unexpected fabric of reality with reasoning rather than superstition and dogma, and to explain how everything we see—and can’t see—came about. A passionate advocate for reason, Krauss gives the rationale for the seemingly irrational—and the mysteries and apparent contradictions of quantum physics, and explores what that means for our lives here on Earth—and beyond. At its core, The Greatest Story Ever Told—So Far is about the best of what it means to be human—an epic history of our ultimately purposeless universe that addresses the question, “Why are we here?”