Alphabet vs Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image

Discussion of Julian Jaynes's second hypothesis - the bicameral mind, specifically the subtopics of the implications of the bicameral mind theory for religion, neurotheology, and the origin of religion.
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jpritikin
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Alphabet vs Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image

Post by jpritikin »

Leonard Shlain published the book "The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image" in 1999. This book, that examined the psychological implications of alphabetic literacy, seems highly complementary to the Bicameral Mind Theory. I'm not sure whether Shlain was aware of the work of Julian Jaynes, but he presents an incredible amount of evidence that seems generally complementary. I'm curious to learn how others here will respond to Shlain's masterpiece.
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Re: Alphabet vs Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image

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I read Shlain's book back in 2008, and my memory of it would have to be refreshed. I agree, it does contain some complementary elements, with regards to the impact of literacy on thought. (Along these lines, you may also enjoy Walter Ong's Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word.)

I also vaguely remember being put off by what I recall as a strong neo-Freudian aspect to his ideas, as well as a lot of highly speculative ideas perhaps not supported by evidence ... but unfortunately I don't recall the details. I have it in my library and I will give it a fresh look.
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