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Books Related to Jaynes's Bicameral Mind Theory

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Top 5 Books on Julian Jaynes's Theory

After reading Jaynes's book, people often wonder where they can read more on the topic. The following books are a good place to start.

See also: The Julian Jaynes/Bicameral Mind Recommended Reading List on

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind
Julian Jaynes, Houghton-Mifflin, 1976, 2000.
If you are new to Jaynes's theory, start with this book.
Summary & Reviews Origin of Consciousness English

Translations: French Origin of Consciousness French translation   |   German Origin of Consciousness German translation   |   Italian Origin of Consciousness Italian translation   |   Spanish Origin of Consciousness Spanish translation   |   Persian

Gods, Voices, and the Bicameral Mind

Gods, Voices, and the Bicameral Mind: The Theories of Julian Jaynes
Marcel Kuijsten (ed.), Julian Jaynes Society, 2016.
Does consciousness inevitably arise in any sufficiently complex brain? Although widely accepted, this view ó inherited from Darwinís theory of evolution ó is supported by surprisingly little evidence. Offering an alternate view of the history of the human mind, Julian Jaynesís ideas challenge our preconceptions of not only the origin of the modern mind, but the origin of gods and religion, the nature of mental illness, and the future potential of consciousness. The tremendous explanatory power of Jaynesís ideas force us to reevaluate much of what we thought we knew about human history.

Gods, Voices, and the Bicameral Mind both explains Julian Jaynesís theory and explores a wide range of related topics such as the ancient Dark Age, the nature of dreams and the birth of Greek tragedy, poetic inspiration, the significance of hearing voices in both the ancient and modern world, the development of consciousness in children, the transition to consciousness in early Tibet, the relationship of consciousness and metaphorical language, and how Jaynesís ideas compare to those of other thinkers.

The Julian Jaynes Collection

The Julian Jaynes Collection
Marcel Kuijsten (ed.), Julian Jaynes Society, 2012.
Princeton University psychologist Julian Jaynes's revolutionary theory on the origin of consciousness or the "modern mind" remains as relevant and thought-provoking as when it was first proposed. Supported by recent discoveries in neuroscience, Jaynes's ideas force us to rethink conventional views of human history and psychology, and have profound implications for many aspects of modern life. Included in this volume are rare and never before seen lectures, interviews, and in-depth discussions that both clear up misconceptions as well as extend Jaynes's theory into new areas such as the nature of the self, dreams, emotions, art, music, therapy, and the consequences and future of consciousness.

Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness: Julian Jaynes's Bicameral Mind Theory Revisited

Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness: Julian Jaynes's Bicameral Mind Theory Revisited
Marcel Kuijsten (ed.), Julian Jaynes Society, 2007.
"In this book Marcel Kuijsten and his colleagues have integrated a quintessential collection of original thoughts concerning Jaynesís concepts as well as some of Jaynes's original essays. I have rarely read a manuscript that so eloquently and elegantly examines a complex and pervasive phenomenon. The contributors of this volume have integrated the concepts of psychology, anthropology, archaeology, theology, philosophy, the history of science, and modern neuroscience with such clarity it should be considered an essential text for any student of human experience."
ó from the Foreword by Dr. Michael A. Persinger, Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience, Biomolecular Sciences Program, Laurentian University

The Minds of the Bible

The Minds of the Bible: Speculations on the Cultural Evolution of Human Consciousness, Rabbi James Cohn
Julian Jaynes Society, 2013
In 1976, Julian Jaynes hypothesized that as recently as 2,500-3,000 years ago, human beings were non-introspective. Jaynes said that while we are acculturated from infancy on, to understand our mental life as a narratized interior mind-space in which we introspect in a ceaseless conversation with "ourselves," our ancestors were acculturated to understand their mental life in terms of obedient responses to auditory prompts, which they hallucinated as the external voice of God. Although these "bicameral" people could think and act, they had no awareness of choices or of choosing Ė or of awareness itself. Jaynes claimed that one could trace this cultural transformation over the course of a scant millennium by analyzing the literature of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Also, for Italian readers:

Il Nostro Inquilino Segreto

Il Nostro Inquilino Segreto: Psicologia e Psicoterapia della Coscienza
(Our Secret Tenant: Psychology and Psychotherapy of Consciousness)

Alessandro Salvini and Roberto Bottini (eds.), Italy: Ponte alle Grazie, 2011 (in Italian)
In this book are the contributions of an international group of scholars, constituted of researchers and clinicians inspired by the work of Julian Jaynes. The authors explore the plurality of the possible configurations of consciousness in its relationship with language and action. Consciousness isn't something that exists 'by itself', a psychic object, but the name we give to a class of interactive operations. Among which, for example, the reflex of the relationships we entertain with our selves, with others, and with the world ó a systemic 'dialogue' that contributes to shape the different ways of being and feeling conscious.