Conversations on Consciousness and the Bicameral Mind: Interviews with Leading Thinkers on Julian Jaynes’s Theory

Read the most comprehensive, up-to-date, and highly readable discussion of Julian Jaynes’s ideas, from Julian Jaynes Society Executive Director Marcel Kuijsten.

How old is consciousness? What is the relationship of consciousness and language? What is the origin of gods in the ancient world? Did the brain hemispheres once operate more independently than they do today? Why do some people hear voices that command their behavior?

These are just a few of the fascinating questions posed by Princeton University psychologist Julian Jaynes’s influential and controversial theory and discussed in this book. A treasure trove of provocative ideas, Conversations on Consciousness and the Bicameral Mind explains, extends, clarifies, and presents the latest evidence for Julian Jaynes’s theory in a series of highly engaging interviews with both voice-hearers and leading thinkers on the theory.

Conversations on Consciousness and the Bicameral Mind: Interviews with Leading Thinkers on Julian Jaynes’s Theory

Praise for Conversations on Consciousness and the Bicameral Mind

“… A marvel of collective scholarship across multiple disciplines. … In this book, you will hear the voices of the most open-minded scholars of our generation.”
— William R. Woodward, Professor of Psychology, University of New Hampshire, and author of Hermann Lotze: An Intellectual Biography

“Rich with ideas and fertile speculations, this outstanding collection of expert interviews advances the revolutionary work of the psychologist Julian Jaynes.”
— Richard Rhodes, Historian and Pulitzer Prize Laureate for The Making of the Atomic Bomb

“Julian Jaynes was my teacher [at Princeton]. … Much psychological science since then points to the possibility that he was right. Right about consciousness, right about ancient history, right about evolution, right about language, even right about Homer. This volume begins to close the gap, bringing Jaynes’s brilliance to the attention and appreciation of the contemporary public.”
— Martin Seligman, Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, and author of The Hope Circuit and Learned Optimism

“I read Conversations on Consciousness and the Bicameral Mind … with great delight. … The material in Conversations is rich in detail and a great way to assist people to understand better each of [Jaynes’] core elements of theorising. The interviewers show great patience and a depth of understanding of the issues in play, and the interviewees demonstrate the abundance of research that has taken place over the last four decades that corroborate and refine Jaynes’ early insights. … We are greatly indebted to Julian Jaynes’ insights … and to Marcel Kuijsten for these interviews that demonstrate so well how alive, rich, and extensive is the field opened up by Jaynes.”
— Dr. Louis Arnoux, Managing Director, Fourth Transition Ltd.

“… It is time for a new generation of … deep thinkers at the heart of every discipline to rediscover Julian Jaynes’s tantalizing hypotheses concerning the origin and nature of human consciousness. This collection of interviews … will enable contemporary readers to understand why Jaynes’s style of inquiry remains as captivating and compelling as ever — and as provocative and controversial. Reader: take the plunge, and join the conversation!”
— Christian Y. Dupont, Ph.D., Associate University Librarian for Collections and Burns Librarian, Boston College, and author of Phenomenology in French Philosophy: Early Encounters

“… Conversations on Consciousness and the Bicameral Mind helps us understand humanity’s development of consciousness over millennia, as well as how we learn it in our first years of life.”
— Loretta Graziano Breuning, Ph.D., author of Habits of a Happy BrainThe Science of Positivity, and Status Games

Conversations on Consciousness and the Bicameral Mind – Product Flyer with Table of Contents

Conversations on Consciousness and the Bicameral Mind – Notes & Citations