Title - THE ORIGINS OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN THE BREAKDOWN OF THE BICAMERAL MIND Pub- Houghton Mifflin Co, Boston, 1976 ISBN 0-395-32932-9 (paperback) Central ideas 1st surfaced 9/69 in a speech to the Am Psychological Association, Washington DC. The paperback edition I found has a preface dated 1982. A companion book - THE CONSEQUENCES OF CONSCIOUSNESS - was scheduled for late 1984 publishing. The book I have is "three books." I The Mind of Man II The Witness of History III Vestiges of the Bicameral Mind in the Modern World The theory Dr. Jaynes advances, using his own words, is "preposterous." Yet - a theory need not be true to be useful! (We all know that). Given the evolution paradigm, you may recall that I argued last year that the problem of explaining human consciousness was a major gap. This book begins to suggest an answer to that objection. In many respects, the theories advanced are - at least partially - perhaps wholly - testable. In some respects - they are not - at least as far as I can understand them. For the first time, I have read an author who does not regard "Cogito, ergo sum" as a necessary starting point. The book begins by arguing the following: C is not a property of matter. What Whitehead calls "prehension." C is not a property of protoplasm. C is not learning. C is not a Metaphysical Imposition. C is not "we are a helpless spectator" of events. (Spencer) C is not from "emergent evolution." (Morgan, 1923). C is not Behaviorism. (Psychology center stage, 1920-1960). C is not a "Reticular Activating System."All those points constitute just the Introduction to the three books.
He then discusses what C really is. And then goes on. The neat thing is that some phenomena, such as hypnotism, become explainable under his theory. Also some kinds of mental illness. And - have you ever wondered if some colleague/friend/neighbor is really "all there?" By his theory - perhaps - really - there is "nobody home!"
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