Julian Jaynes Society Discussion Forum: Exploring Consciousness and the Bicameral Mind Theory since 1997

The Psychologist Boris Sidis
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Author:  cbarcus [ Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:52 pm ]
Post subject:  The Psychologist Boris Sidis

I discovered Boris Sidis sometime before coming into contact with Jaynes' work, and I must point out how remarkable it is see this former student of William James formulate such a modern view of human psychology. Sidis died in 1923, but fortunately his final book, Nervous Ills: Their Cause and Cure (1922), was an attempt at popularization. It is quite clear that Sidis formed his ideas within the context of a deep understanding of history (he admired Tolstoy). I think it is possible that Sidis' view could be meshed with Jaynes, filling in some of the explanatory gaps, and even providing a kind of reference point for social sanity.

The Boris Sidis Archive: http://www.sidis.net/boris_sidis_archives.htm
Nervous Ills: http://www.sidis.net/nervousillscontents.htm

Author:  cbarcus [ Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Psychologist Boris Sidis

It is probably a bit premature for me to elaborate too much on Boris Sidis, but I want to stress just how interesting this scientist is. About 100 years ago, he appears to have developed a model of the mind that is divided between two hemispheres (dual brain), and between the neocortex and the older limbic system (subconscious/emotional) of the brain. Additionally, he developed a theory of suggestion (The Psychology of Suggestion) that is essentially a mechanism for connecting individual minds. From this we can infer a group mind. He also roots mental illness in the fear instinct, which he considers (if I understand him correctly) the dominant driver of human mentality. It seems reasonable to infer with all of this that mental illness has a critical social aspect.

I am not a neuroscientist or even a psychologist, but an amateur scientific generalist. My primary concern lies with an ideological problem of civilization, which of course influences decision-making. Major industries within the U.S. rely upon what I consider a very archaic version of psychology. This certainly does not help them communicate their problems and lack of understanding to the rest of society. I believe the roots of the current economic crisis are far deeper than most people realize, and that past mistakes are being repeated on an unprecedented scale. There is an incredible rigidity to mainstream thinking, understandable as fear is a primary tool of organization. Many other disciplines would be revitalized by a revolution in psychology, and this probably would allow the scientific class to make more significant contributions to social stability and well-being. The intellectual challenges our leaders face are immense, and they need our help whether they are aware of that or not.

Author:  cbarcus [ Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Psychologist Boris Sidis

I believe the following article, The Source and Aim of Human Progress, is a good example of Boris Sidis applying his theory to Social Psychology.

http://www.sidis.net/source_and_aim_of_ ... gress1.htm

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