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< Articles by Julian Jaynes

In the Shadow of the Enlightenment I: Reimarus Against the Epicureans

Julian Jaynes and William Woodward
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 1974, 10, 1.


Reviews the work of Reimarus, an 18th-century German intellectual who was a forceful proponent of the religion of reason (Vernunftreligion). His treatises on logic focused upon the distinctions between the reasoning powers of man and the instincts of animals. He protested against the revitalized Epicurean doctrine that man originated by chance progression from more primitive animal forms. The Vornehmsten Wahrheiten, one of his important defenses of the traditional creation doctrine in terms of the "Principal Truths of Natural Religion," is discussed in detail.