Myths vs Facts About Julian Jaynes’s Theory: Introduction

“The human mind likes a strange idea as little as the body
likes a strange protein, and resists it with a similar energy.”
− William Ian Beveridge, Ph.D. (1908–2006), author of The Art of Scientific Investigation

There are a number of common myths and misconceptions regarding Jaynes’s theory. In this set of posts I provide answers to the most common misconceptions seen on blogs, Amazon customer reviews, Wikipedia articles, or that frequently come up in conversation with those vaguely familiar with Jaynes’s theory. The problem with myths and misconceptions is they are often unquestioningly taken as fact and then repeated until they take on a life of their own. I hope this page will help clear up some of the most common misconceptions, so that the debate can focus on Jaynes’s actual theory, rather than misconceptions of it. If you feel I am mistaken on some point or would like to see another issue addressed here, please post a comment on the Discussion Forum or contact us.

For responses to more specific published critiques of Jaynes’s theory, please see Critiques & Responses.

Attention Authors! If you are writing a book or article on Jaynes’s theory, we are happy to review your draft for accuracy prior to its publication.

Marcel Kuijsten

Marcel Kuijsten is the Founder and Executive Director of the Julian Jaynes Society.

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