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A Two-Tiered Theory of Emotions

Julian Jaynes
Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1982, 5: 434-435.
Reprinted in Marcel Kuijsten (ed.), The Julian Jaynes Collection (Julian Jaynes Society, 2012).


... With this metaphor-generated consciousness, there comes the metaphor of time as a space, or spatialized time, in which human beings 'see' themselves as embedded in their own histories. This human sense of a lifetime begins over the same period as the development of the idea of historical time, as well as the appearance of ideas of justice, retribution, doing wrong, remission of wrongs, and forgiveness, all very curious behaviors when we think of them against the background of the evolution of mammalian behavior, and all occurring in world history for the first time. The result is a new set of social and political problems. Behind these social changes are the changes in personal emotion that arise from the new human capacity to stretch out the affects over the spatialized time, or, in other words, to dwell on past behaviors or on possible future behaviors and respond to them as if they were presently occurring, with copies of the affects themselves. These are our feelings. My language here is difficult and metaphoric, because these processes are not fully understood at present. But let us consider some examples. ...