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Julian Jaynes Society

Dear Members and Friends of the Julian Jaynes Society,

We're kicking off 2021 with a lot of new Julian Jaynes related material that we hope you will enjoy, including:

  • The softcover edition of Julian Jaynes's The Origin of Consciousness is now available in French, German, and Spanish;
  • new interviews on Julian Jaynes's theory;
  • the latest updates to the Julian Jaynes Society Member Area, including new Member Events;
  • the latest from the JJS Blog.
If you haven't visited the Julian Jaynes Society recently, be sure to check out our redesigned website and Member Area.

Sincerely,

Marcel Kuijsten,
Executive Director

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La Naissance de la Conscience Der Ursprung des Bewußtseins El Origen de la Conciencia

Now available in softcover from the Julian Jaynes Society, the French, German, and Spanish editions of Julian Jaynes's The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind:

La Naissance de la Conscience dans L’Effondrement de L’Esprit Bicaméral
Der Ursprung des Bewußtseins durch den Zusammenbruch der bikameralen Psyche
El Origen de la Conciencia en la Ruptura de la Mente Bicameral

Available on all Amazon sites worldwide (e-book version also available through Amazon and Google Books) and for order wherever books are sold. Julian Jaynes's book is now available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, and Spanish.

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Watch the latest interviews on Julian Jaynes's theory:

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New! Monthly Online Member Events, including interviews with special guests, Q&A, and open discussion. Log in or Join for details or to RSVP.

We're continually adding new content to the Julian Jaynes Society Member Area, including a new audio presentation by a psychiatrist who works with voice-hearers and several new videos from the Julian Jaynes Society Conference on Consciousness and Bicameral Studies:


If you haven't logged in recently, be sure to check out these and other recent updates. If you'd like to join or if your membership has lapsed, sign up here to gain instant access to the Member Area:

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Julian Jaynes

Jaynesian psychology can be distilled down to two major claims. First, until about three millennia ago individual behavior was governed by a different neurocultural arrangement called bicamerality: the right hemisphere generated audiovisual hallucinations interpreted as supernatural visitations (ancestors, chiefs, gods) that governed the left hemisphere (the “mortal” side). But bicamerality was no match for social transformations—expanding demographics, more complex political economic systems, mass migration, and technological innovations such as writing and bronze and ironworking. This brings us to Jaynes’s second claim. What he called consciousness, or subjective introspectable self-awareness, replaced bicamerality. This cognitive upgrade was a cultural invention, not a bioevolutionary development.

Like crowning towers built upon lower tiers and structures, Jaynes’s two claims rest on a number of interlocking theories that deserve attention. This is because unfortunately, reviewers commentators, and critics often fail to see the subtlety of Jaynes’s arguments. Even critiques that are sympathetic to Jaynes’s claims often miss the nuances and richness of his theorizing, so it is worth exploring some of the chambers making up Jaynes’s intellectual edifice. ...

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