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: 7708

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: 8039

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 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: 1119

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.

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: 9263

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 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: 6865

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 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: 0300188374

Category: History

Page: 544

View: 8284

Explores the differences between the brain's right and left hemispheres and argues that the brain's differing insights, values, and priorities have had profound effects on society, history, and culture.$1

The Rage of Achilles

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Author: Terence Hawkins

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781934081204

Category: Fiction

Page: 197

View: 8556

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.

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: 3772

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.

Between the Rivers

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Author: Harry Turtledove

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0575121505

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 4644

Young Sharur is the scion of a merchant family in the city o Gibil, loyal - he thinks - to his city's god, Engibil, and to that god's human deputies. But like his fellows in Gibil, Sharur is less interested in gods than in invention and trade. Then, on a routine trading expedition, he learns that the gods of the other cities, resentful of Engibil's relaxed attitude toward his people, are uniting to punish Gibil and squelch the growing power of human creativity, epitomised by the city-state's easygoing ways. Now only Sharur's wits can save the city from the aroused divinities...and he's going to need all the inventiveness he can muster.

The Discovery of the Mind

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Author: Bruno Snell

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN: 0486143465

Category: Philosophy

Page: 352

View: 7353

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: 5635

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.

Life Ascending

The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution

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Author: Nick Lane

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 1847652220

Category: Science

Page: 469

View: 2902

Winner of the 2010 Royal Society Prize for science books Powerful new research methods are providing fresh and vivid insights into the makeup of life. Comparing gene sequences, examining the atomic structure of proteins and looking into the geochemistry of rocks have all helped to explain creation and evolution in more detail than ever before. Nick Lane uses the full extent of this new knowledge to describe the ten greatest inventions of life, based on their historical impact, role in living organisms today and relevance to current controversies. DNA, sex, sight and consciousnesses are just four examples. Lane also explains how these findings have come about, and the extent to which they can be relied upon. The result is a gripping and lucid account of the ingenuity of nature, and a book which is essential reading for anyone who has ever questioned the science behind the glories of everyday life.

Self Comes to Mind

Constructing the Conscious Brain

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Author: Antonio R. Damasio

Publisher: Vintage Books

ISBN: 9780099498025

Category: Self-Help

Page: 367

View: 5403

Winner of the CORINE International Book Award 2011 From one of the most important neuroscientists at work today, a path-breaking investigation of a question that has confounded neurologists, philosophers, cognitive scientists and psychologists for centuries: how is consciousness created? Antonio Damasio has spent the past thirty years studying and writing about how the brain operates, and his work has garnered acclaim for its singular melding of the scientific and the humanistic. In Self Comes to Mind, he goes against the long-standing idea that consciousness is somehow separate from the body, presenting compelling new scientific evidence that consciousness - what we think of as a mind with a self - is in fact a biological process created by a living organism. The result is a groundbreaking investigative journey into the neurobiological foundations of mind and self.

The Thinking Ape

Evolutionary Origins of Intelligence

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Author: Richard W. Byrne

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 0198522657

Category: Psychology

Page: 266

View: 1458

Intelligence" has long been considered to be a feature unique to human beings, giving us the capacity to imagine, to think, to deceive, to make complex connections between cause and effect, to devise elaborate stategies for solving problems. However, like all our other features, intelligence is a product of evolutionary change. Until recently, it was difficult to obtain evidence of this process from the frail testimony of a few bones and stone tools. It has become clear in the last 15 years that the origins of human intelligence can be investigated by the comparative study of primates, our closest non-human relatives, giving strong impetus to the case for an "evolutionary psychology", the scientific study of the mind."

Explaining Consciousness

The Hard Problem

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Author: Jonathan Shear

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262692212

Category: Philosophy

Page: 422

View: 3437

Why doesn't all this cognitive processing go on "in the dark," without anyconsciousness at all? In this book philosophers, physicists, psychologists, neurophysiologists,computer scientists, and others address this central topic in the growing discipline ofconsciousness studies.

The Head Trip

Adventures on the Wheel of Consciousness

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Author: Jeff Warren

Publisher: Vintage Canada

ISBN: 030737145X

Category: Psychology

Page: 400

View: 6893

A world at once familiar and unimaginably strange exists all around us, and within us – it is the vast realm of consciousness. In The Head Trip, science journalist Jeff Warren explores twelve distinct, natural states of consciousness available to us in a twenty-four-hour day, each state offering its own kind of knowledge and insight – its own adventure. The hypnagogic state, when our minds hover between waking and sleeping, can be a rich source of creativity and even compassion. Then there’s the Watch, an almost magical waking experience in the middle of the night that has been all but lost to electric light and modern sleep patterns. Daydreaming and trance, lucid dreaming, the Zone, and the Pure Conscious Event – from sleep laboratory to remote northern cabin, neurofeedback clinic to Buddhist retreat, Warren visits them all. Along the way, he talks to neuroscientists, chronobiologists, anthropologists, monks, and many others who illuminate his stories with cutting-edge science and age-old wisdom. On this trip, all are welcome and no drugs are required: all you need to pack are a functioning cerebrum and an open mind. Replete with stylish graphics and brightened by comic panels conceived and drawn by the author, The Head Trip is an instant classic, a brilliant and original description of the shifting experience of consciousness that’s also a practical guide to enhancing creativity and mental health. This book does not just inform and entertain – it shows how every one of us can expand upon the ways we experience being alive. From the Hardcover edition.

Westworld and Philosophy

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Author: James B. South,Kimberly S. Engels

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1119437989

Category: Philosophy

Page: 280

View: 806

“We can’t define consciousness because consciousness does not exist. Humans fancy that there’s something special about the way we perceive the world, and yet we live in loops as tight and as closed as the hosts do, seldom questioning our choices, content, for the most part, to be told what to do next.” —Dr. Robert Ford, Westworld Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? HBO’s Westworld, a high-concept cerebral television series which explores the emergence of artificial consciousness at a futuristic amusement park, raises numerous questions about the nature of consciousness and its bearing on the divide between authentic and artificial life. Are our choices our own? What is the relationship between the mind and the body? Why do violent delights have violent ends? Could machines ever have the moral edge over man? Does consciousness create humanity, or humanity consciousness? In Westworld and Philosophy, philosophers, filmmakers, scientists, activists, and ethicists ask the questions you’re not supposed to ask and suggest the answers you’re not supposed to know. There’s a deeper level to this game, and this book charts a course through the maze of the mind, examining how we think about humans, hosts, and the world around us on a journey toward self-actualization. Essays explore different facets of the show’s philosophical puzzles, including the nature of autonomy as well as the pursuit of liberation and free thought, while levying a critical eye at the human example as Westworld’s hosts ascend to their apotheosis in a world scarred and defined by violent acts. The perfect companion for Westworld fans who want to exit the park and bend their minds around the philosophy behind the scenes, Westworld and Philosophy will enrich the experience of the show for its viewers and shed new light on its enigmatic twists and turns.

All Things Shining

Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age

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Author: Hubert Dreyfus,Sean Dorrance Kelly

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9781439101704

Category: Religion

Page: 272

View: 1802

In unrelenting flow of choices confronts us at nearly every moment of our lives, and yet our culture offers us no clear way to choose. This predicament seems inevitable, but in fact it’s quite new. In medieval Europe, God’s calling was a grounding force. In ancient Greece, a whole pantheon of shining gods stood ready to draw an appropriate action out of you. Like an athlete in “the zone,” you were called to a harmonious attunement with the world, so absorbed in it that you couldn’t make a “wrong” choice. If our culture no longer takes for granted a belief in God, can we nevertheless get in touch with the Homeric moods of wonder and gratitude, and be guided by the meanings they reveal? All Things Shining says we can. Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly illuminate some of the greatest works of the West to reveal how we have lost our passionate engagement with and responsiveness to the world. Their journey takes us from the wonder and openness of Homer’s polytheism to the monotheism of Dante; from the autonomy of Kant to the multiple worlds of Melville; and, finally, to the spiritual difficulties evoked by modern authors such as David Foster Wallace and Elizabeth Gilbert. Dreyfus, a philosopher at the University of California, Berkeley, for forty years, is an original thinker who finds in the classic texts of our culture a new relevance for people’s everyday lives. His lively, thought-provoking lectures have earned him a podcast audience that often reaches the iTunesU Top 40. Kelly, chair of the philosophy department at Harvard University, is an eloquent new voice whose sensitivity to the sadness of the culture—and to what remains of the wonder and gratitude that could chase it away—captures a generation adrift. Re-envisioning modern spiritual life through their examination of literature, philosophy, and religious testimony, Dreyfus and Kelly unearth ancient sources of meaning, and teach us how to rediscover the sacred, shining things that surround us every day. This book will change the way we understand our culture, our history, our sacred practices, and ourselves. It offers a new—and very old—way to celebrate and be grateful for our existence in the modern world.

Consciousness

Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist

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Author: Christof Koch

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262301032

Category: Science

Page: 200

View: 6919

What links conscious experience of pain, joy, color, and smell to bioelectrical activity in the brain? How can anything physical give rise to nonphysical, subjective, conscious states? Christof Koch has devoted much of his career to bridging the seemingly unbridgeable gap between the physics of the brain and phenomenal experience. This engaging book -- part scientific overview, part memoir, part futurist speculation -- describes Koch's search for an empirical explanation for consciousness. Koch recounts not only the birth of the modern science of consciousness but also the subterranean motivation for his quest -- his instinctual (if "romantic") belief that life is meaningful.Koch describes his own groundbreaking work with Francis Crick in the 1990s and 2000s and the gradual emergence of consciousness (once considered a "fringy" subject) as a legitimate topic for scientific investigation. Present at this paradigm shift were Koch and a handful of colleagues, including Ned Block, David Chalmers, Stanislas Dehaene, Giulio Tononi, Wolf Singer, and others. Aiding and abetting it were new techniques to listen in on the activity of individual nerve cells, clinical studies, and brain-imaging technologies that allowed safe and noninvasive study of the human brain in action. Koch gives us stories from the front lines of modern research into the neurobiology of consciousness as well as his own reflections on a variety of topics, including the distinction between attention and awareness, the unconscious, how neurons respond to Homer Simpson, the physics and biology of free will, dogs, Der Ring des Nibelungen, sentient machines, the loss of his belief in a personal God, and sadness. All of them are signposts in the pursuit of his life's work -- to uncover the roots of consciousness.