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Julian Jaynes Society March 2021 Newsletter


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Julian Jaynes Society March 2021 Newsletter
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Julian Jaynes Society

March 2021

Dear Members and Friends of the Julian Jaynes Society,

We have a lot of new material to tell you about, including the latest blog post from Brian McVeigh, a JJS Member Event coming up this Saturday, a new interview with Julian Jaynes, the first interview from our Julian Jaynes Society Interview Series, a lecture on Julian Jaynes’s theory from Rabbi James Cohn premiering this Thursday, and much more…

Also stay tuned for our first Julian Jaynes Society online “hang out,” an informal get together where participants can ask questions about the theory, share experiences and book recommendations, and more. We’ll be announcing a date and time soon.


Marcel Kuijsten,
Executive Director

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When we hear the word “consciousness” many of us, in a knee-jerk manner, associate it with neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, or something physically inborn. We also link it to perceptual or cognitive processes that are non-historical and non-cultural. However, according to Jaynesian psychology, these are all misleading assumptions since consciousness is not necessary for perception, learning, and reasoning. It is extra-genetic and a product of sociocultural forces and it entered the historical scene relatively recently, about three millennia ago. Indeed, as a culturally-configured form of knowledge, consciousness is closer to mathematics or other domains of learning. Consciousness is a very special form of knowledge, of course, but an array of socially-acquired ideas nevertheless. Let’s consider how mathematics is similar to consciousness.

First, like mathematics, consciousness is acquired culturally; it is not a direct consequence of evolutionary forces. There is nothing innate about it. The capabilities that constitute consciousness are transmitted via socialization, not genetically, and therefore they must be re-enculturated anew for each generation. Consciousness is a constellation of culturally-acquired skills. …

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The Julian Jaynes Society interview series continues on Saturday, March 20th. Geared toward those already familiar with Jaynes’s theory, we’ll be going beyond the basics and exploring a wide-range of topics related to Julian Jaynes’s theory with experts from a variety of different backgrounds. RSVP for this event:

March 20, 2021, 12pm Pacific Time
Boban Dedovic – The Evolution of Mind Words in the Iliad and the Odyssey
An interview with Boban Dedovic, who is currently studying ancient languages at the University of Chicago. We’ll be taking a deep dive into Jaynes’s ancient Greek preconscious hypostases and looking at the new evidence for the evolution of mind words in the Iliad and Odyssey. The interview will be followed by Q&A with the event participants.

Read Boban Dedovic’s article: ‘Minds’ in ‘Homer’: A quantitative psycholinguistic comparison of the Iliad and Odyssey

JJS Events

Members, be sure to log in and check out the latest Member Area updates:

Julian Jaynes
Julian Jaynes
“Princeton University Radio Interview”

A must-listen for Jaynes enthusiasts!

…plus much more!

Not a member or did your membership lapse? Gain access to exclusive content on Julian Jaynes’s theory while helping to support our work by joining the Julian Jaynes Society. All memberships are tax-deductible contributions.

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Rabbi James Cohn - A Jaynesian Philology
Rabbi James Cohn
“A Jaynesian Philology: The Bible as a Written Record of the Dawn of Consciousness”

Julian Jaynes Society Conference on Consciousness and Bicameral Studies

Premieres on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 2:00 pm Pacific Time. Set a reminder and join us for live chat on YouTube during the premiere!

Watch more lectures from the conference in the Member Area. Log in or Sign up.

Watch the Video
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