Abstract: In The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (1976) Julian Jaynes presents a number of startling and controversial claims about the nature of psyche, specifically consciousness. His conclusions may ultimately be proven incorrect, partially correct, or entirely correct. However, before we can even begin to assess his assertions, we must reach a clear consensus on what Julian Jaynes was attempting to say and accomplish in his work. In order to do this, we must navigate our way through a maze of misguided assumptions, mistaken suppositions, and misleading habits of thought. I have noticed that when discussing the ideas of Jaynes, there is a maze of misconceptions built up by the disciplinary premises of academic fields and the stubborn ideas embedded in confusing terminology. Academic fields typically have their own language; therefore, it behooves us to carefully pay attention to the universe of meanings each idiom generates. In addition, recognizing the power of words is crucial, since they implicitly shape our everyday thinking. In this article I explore six intellectual barriers to understanding Jaynes's theory.
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