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 Post subject: My Letter from Julian Jaynes
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:36 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Utah
As noted elsewhere, my copy of the new Jaynes book arrived yesterday. and this gave me the energy to go looking for the letter Jaynes sent me many years ago.

I read "The Origin of Consciousness" repeatedly in 1979-80, and it was electrifying for me. My father, Stanley B. Kimball, was a professor of Slavic history, and so I grew up with a strong history background. My father was also deeply religious, so I learned my Bible lessons as well. Reading Jaynes revolutionized my views of history and religion and mankind, but when I was done I was mildly dissatisfied with some of his biblical scholarship. It was many years ago, but I do recall I felt that his discussion of Ecclesiastes overlooked the fact that many people feel it was written by Solomon.

In any event, I wrote Jaynes a letter of (no doubt) fulsome praise, asking about his next book and noting my biblical scholarship concerns. He wrote me back some time later:

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY

September 9, 1980

Chase Kimball
(address)

Dear Mr. Kimball:

Thanks for your encouraging letter, and your comments on the Old Testament are well taken.

My next book, I'm afraid, will not appear for at least two years.

Sincerely,

Julian Jaynes

*********
It's too bad the letter is not more revealing, but still, it's addressed to me and signed by Jaynes. I can scan a copy for anyone who is interested, but I am not sure what anyone would hope to learn from it.

Chase


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 Post subject: Re: My Letter from Julian Jaynes
PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2007 2:10 am 
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Posts: 17
Hannibal wrote:
It was many years ago, but I do recall I felt that his discussion of Ecclesiastes overlooked the fact that many people feel it was written by Solomon.


If you still think that the Solomon authorship P.O.V. is significant you might want to check the wikipedia article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecclesiastes

In particluar, check the sections labelled "author" and "language."

Some "conservatives" still think that Moses was the author of the first 5 books of the Bible, but, outside of conservative religious universities no academic scholar would support such a view, and it seems like a similar situation holds true with Solomon as the author of Ecclesiastes.

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Mark Zima

My blog (essays+forum) site is godmemes.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2007 11:07 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:36 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Utah
Quote:
It was many years ago, but I do recall I felt that his discussion of Ecclesiastes overlooked the fact that many people feel it was written by Solomon.


If you will review this quote carefully, you will note that *I* personally do not claim that Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes, nor that I think that *everyone* believes it. I merely reference well-known conservative Biblical scholarship which suggests it is so. There is certainly an argument to be made that the Jaynesian analysis of Ecclesiastes might reasonably have made reference to Shelomo the Wise. I have some understanding of the difficulties of overall Biblical study in general, and Ecclesiastes in particular, even though I do not claim expertise thereof. I enjoyed the Wikipedia article, thanks for bringing it to my attention.


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 Post subject: Julian Jaynes's New book?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:01 am 
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Chase:

After a long time I recently re-read "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicaneral Mind" (OCBM) and once again wondered if Julian Jaynes had ever published his follow up book IV (as mentioned in the PREFACE to OCBM). Does your letter to him, and his response to you, and your original post, which states "... my copy of the new Jaynes book arrived ...", refer to this book IV?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:29 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2005 2:03 pm
Posts: 314
In case Chase doesn't get back to you, I thought I'd chime in.

As for "the new book," he was referring to "Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness."

I will be writing on the status of Jaynes's unpublished writings in the next newsletter (due out in March). But in a nutshell, unfortunately a complete 2nd book does not exist. What does exist are a few chapters that were to be included in the first book but were cut due to the length of the book. They are currently being held by an individual who hasn't been willing to share them. For the rest of the story, check out the Spring 2008 newsletter.


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