Julian Jaynes Society Forum

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

** PLEASE NOTE: Due to spam, registration is now BY REQUEST ONLY. To register (free), please e-mail info "at" julianjaynes "dot" org with your desired username; you will receive a login and temporary password. ** julianjaynes.org        
It is currently Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:03 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Psychopathy and Julian Jaynes' Theory
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 6:36 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 7:40 pm
Posts: 2
Aside from schizophrenia, there is one other condition which Jaynes' thinking seems to offer the best light on and that is the question of what exactly a psychopath is.

Robert Hare's Without Conscience is probably the best book commonly available on psyopathy. I'd been curious as to whether or not there actually was such a thing or whether it was just a term which was overused and badly defined. It turns out the concept is sufficiently real.

I noticed on page 44 of Hare's book:

Quote:
Many of the characteristics displayed by psychopaths -- especially their egocentricity, lack of remorse, shallow emotions, and deceitfulness, are closely associated with a profound lack of empathy (an inability to construct a mental and emotional "facsimile" of another person). They seem unable to "get into the skin" or to "walk in the shoes" of others, except in a purely intellectual sense.


And something pretty much just clobbered me over the head in that I've read that same sort of language before in Julian Jaynes' description of the development of the ability to "narratize" or form mental images of sequences of events.

Naturally enough, Hare notes that sort of thing is also a problem for psychopaths; he notes that they have difficulty visualizing consequences and keep on doing things which they know will produce bad consequences for themselves ("that's tommorrow, this is today") and that they frequently make statements in which a second part of a sentence will contradict the first part etc. Hare assumes some sort of a left brain/right brain thing is involved, i.e. some sort of a problem of who's in charge of the computer, and that's precisely the sort of thing which Jaynes was talking about.

My own thoughts are that in an age in which consciousness was planetary and not individualized and the other person's "ka" was right there to let you know how they felt about something, the kind of modeling ability which Hare speaks of as missing in the psychopath would not be necessary.

In other words, the thing missing in a psychopath would be some new feature which the human race had developed very rapidly and out of dire necessity, after the breakdown of the bicameral mind.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Psychopathy and Julian Jaynes' Theory
PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 11:44 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:13 am
Posts: 10
The term "psychopath(y)" does not appear in the APA's current DSM, so this concept doesn't officially exist anymore.

There is, however, a "theory of mind" (first described by Uta Frith) receiving much attention nowadays, which states that able people can "know" what someone else is thinking or feeling. In some people, this ability is deficient. The association of this disability with violent criminals wrong.

Animals don't need a "theory of mind" because, as Elaine Morgan points out, they instinctively interpret their species-mates' states of mind when smelling the pheromones they emit. We humans, almost uniquely among the terrestial animal kingdom, lost the ability to discern and interpret pheromones, and thus developed an alternative method, which doesn't work well and is easily derailed. So this is the
Quote:
new feature which the human race had developed very rapidly and out of dire necessity
but i.m.o. it has nothing to do with a supposed breakdown of the bicameral mind. Morgan points to a biological emergency when the terrain on which humans' ancestors lived became flooded, and within the space of a few short millennia, they were compelled to adapt to an aquatic way of life, robbing them of their sense of smell.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Psychopathy and Julian Jaynes' Theory
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 3:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 2:08 am
Posts: 18
Location: NYC
mrh wrote:
The term "psychopath(y)" does not appear in the APA's current DSM, so this concept doesn't officially exist anymore.

There is, however, a "theory of mind" (first described by Uta Frith) receiving much attention nowadays, which states that able people can "know" what someone else is thinking or feeling. In some people, this ability is deficient. The association of this disability with violent criminals wrong.

Animals don't need a "theory of mind" because, as Elaine Morgan points out, they instinctively interpret their species-mates' states of mind when smelling the pheromones they emit. We humans, almost uniquely among the terrestial animal kingdom, lost the ability to discern and interpret pheromones, and thus developed an alternative method, which doesn't work well and is easily derailed. So this is the
Quote:
new feature which the human race had developed very rapidly and out of dire necessity
but i.m.o. it has nothing to do with a supposed breakdown of the bicameral mind. Morgan points to a biological emergency when the terrain on which humans' ancestors lived became flooded, and within the space of a few short millennia, they were compelled to adapt to an aquatic way of life, robbing them of their sense of smell.
Your post is confusing because gungasnake refers to consciousness as being missing from psychopaths, explaining their behavior. Jaynes explains that this consciousness was formed about 4 thousand years ago for the first time. You state that somehow "psychopathy" which doesn't exist because it isn't in the DSM, is actually closer to the loss of our sense of smell, which would bring the psychopath timeline back to the Pliocene era. Although the term may be wrong, the concept as described by gungasnake seems to fit the idea of the Bicameral Mind better than a far reaching aquatic ape hypothesis which has little connection beyond man's physical attributes.

_________________
If you look around the table and can't tell who the sucker is, it is most probably you.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Psychopathy and Julian Jaynes' Theory
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:33 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:13 am
Posts: 10
Obdurately Conscious wrote:
Your post is confusing because gungasnake refers to consciousness as being missing from psychopaths, explaining their behavior.
He speaks of empathy being missing. I pointed out that we don't know what is meant by "psychopath" as this category is no longer used. I also pointed out that Uta Frith is known for her studies on "empathy" which she has renamed Theory of Mind and mentalizing.

Obdurately Conscious wrote:
You state that somehow "psychopathy" which doesn't exist because it isn't in the DSM, is actually closer to the loss of our sense of smell
No, I state that in most animals mind states are communicated through the sense of smell. This is probably not done "consciously" although it is impossible to know for certain, as we cannot observe consciousness.

Obdurately Conscious wrote:
far reaching aquatic ape hypothesis which has little connection beyond man's physical attributes.
Jaynes believed that the mind is subject to the forces of evolution as opposed to, say, God-given. If so, surely those forces would not selectively influence only the body and skip the mind?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Psychopathy and Julian Jaynes' Theory
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 2:08 am
Posts: 18
Location: NYC
Thank you for making your points clearer. As I said, they were a bit confusing. Still, I agree with the last point about the mind following selective evolution, of course. But how does the timeline of the aquatic ape hypothesis coincide with the timeline of TBOTBM?

_________________
If you look around the table and can't tell who the sucker is, it is most probably you.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Psychopathy and Julian Jaynes' Theory
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:13 am
Posts: 10
Obdurately Conscious wrote:
how does the timeline of the aquatic ape hypothesis coincide with the timeline of TBOTBM?
It doesn't.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Psychopathy and Julian Jaynes' Theory
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 5:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 2:08 am
Posts: 18
Location: NYC
exactly.

_________________
If you look around the table and can't tell who the sucker is, it is most probably you.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Psychopathy and Julian Jaynes' Theory
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 6:40 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:13 am
Posts: 10
Obdurately Conscious wrote:
exactly.
What is your opinion of this review?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Psychopathy and Julian Jaynes' Theory
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 5:30 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 2:08 am
Posts: 18
Location: NYC
I think it's very broad and awakeing in the sense that it brings up further questions. For example, one question that came up the first time reading it is, 'What other creatures aside from humans lost their sense of smell or comparable ability and what can we infer from this, when
mrh wrote:
We humans, almost uniquely among the terrestial animal kingdom, lost the ability to discern and interpret pheromones, and thus developed an alternative method, which doesn't work well and is easily derailed.
?' Did this loss lead to consciousness? Did it lead to preconsciousness? Is there a discernable pattern here that shows you how our current mentality fits in an evolutionary series that we may very well share with others directly through biology?

_________________
If you look around the table and can't tell who the sucker is, it is most probably you.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Psychopathy and Julian Jaynes' Theory
PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:55 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:13 am
Posts: 10
Obdurately Conscious wrote:
'What other creatures aside from humans lost their sense of smell or comparable ability and what can we infer from this
Elaine Morgan explores this issue in her books. She is constantly looking for parallels to human features in the animal kingdom.
Obdurately Conscious wrote:
mrh wrote:
We humans, almost uniquely among the terrestial animal kingdom, lost the ability to discern and interpret pheromones, and thus developed an alternative method, which doesn't work well and is easily derailed.
Did this loss lead to consciousness?
Morgan does not use the word "consciousness" specifically in as far as I can remember. If she did, she would first have to define what she means by that. My position is that if we agree on what consciousness is and that it is an evolutionary development, then perhaps we can also agree that the loss of ability to discern and interpret pheromones is likely to have been a major factor in this development.

P.S. I wonder whether when I asked you your opinion about this review, you noticed the link. Click on the word this.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Psychopathy and Julian Jaynes' Theory
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 3:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 2:08 am
Posts: 18
Location: NYC
mrh wrote:

P.S. I wonder whether when I asked you your opinion about this review, you noticed the link. Click on the word this.

Wow, I must have not seen the link as a differentiation from normal text. Plus, somehow I've not been here in years.

About the review:

JJ widely considered a kook? That's interesting.I'm not sure how to comment on this review, especially since I've taken in a lot more knowledge and experience since reading TBOTBM, and I may have to read it again, now more as devil's advocate and see if I agree with the skeptics and so-called smarter people who think his book makes him a kook. Maybe you need some kind of academic credentials to be biased against JJ's book because I found it fascinating throughout the first time through. I may not be getting stomach ulcers from decision-making, and maybe this reviewer is missing some key point he was trying to make, but right now I am not aware of the specifics and wonder what else people consider laughable about JJ's points.

_________________
If you look around the table and can't tell who the sucker is, it is most probably you.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron


Gods, Voices and the Bicameral Mind               Julian Jaynes Collection               Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness               The Minds of the Bible               Abstracts from the 2013 Julian Jaynes Society Conference on Consciousness and Bicameral Studies



Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007~ phpBB Group