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The Julian Jaynes Collection Hardcover – January 18, 2012

4.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Julian Jaynes's Theory

"Julian Jaynes's theories for the nature of self-awareness, introspection, and consciousness have replaced the assumption of their almost ethereal uniqueness with explanations that could initiate the next change in paradigm for human thought." -- Michael Persinger, in Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness

"... A theory that could alter our view of consciousness, revise our conception of the history of mankind, and lay bare the human dilemma in all its existential wonder." -- James E. Morriss, in ETC: A Review of General Semantics

"Some of Jaynes's original ideas may be the most important of our generation." -- Ernest Rossi, in Psychological Perspectives

"Neuroimaging techniques of today have illuminated and confirmed the importance of Jaynes's hypothesis." -- Robert Olin in Lancet

"... One of the clearest and most perspicuous defenses of the top-down approach [to consciousness] that I have ever come across." -- Daniel Dennett, in Brainchildren

"Julian Jaynes is a scholar in the broad original sense of that term. A man of huge creative vitality, Julian Jaynes is my academic man for all seasons." --Hubert Dolezal, in The MacLeod Symposium

"... A theory that could alter our view of consciousness, revise our conception of the history of mankind, and lay bare the human dilemma in all its existential wonder."
James E. Morriss, in ETC: A Review of General Semantics

"Some of Jaynes's original ideas may be the most important of our generation." --Ernest Rossi, in Psychological Perspectives

"Neuroimaging techniques of today have illuminated and confirmed the importance of Jaynes's hypothesis."
Robert Olin in Lancet

"... One of the clearest and most perspicuous defenses of the top-down approach [to consciousness] that I have ever come across."
Daniel Dennett, in Brainchildren

"... I sympathize with Julian Jaynes's claim that something of great import may have happened to the human mind during the relatively brief interval of time between the events narrated in the Iliad and those that make up the Odyssey."
Antonio Damasio, in Self Comes to Mind

"Julian Jaynes is a scholar in the broad original sense of that term. A man of huge creative vitality, Julian Jaynes is my academic man for all seasons." --Hubert Dolezal, in The MacLeod Symposium

About the Author

Marcel Kuijsten is Founder and Executive Director of the Julian Jaynes Society (julianjaynes.org). His other books are Gods, Voices, and the Bicameral Mind and Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness: Julian Jaynes's Bicameral Mind Theory Revisited.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Julian Jaynes Society; 1st edition (January 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979074428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979074424
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Here is one of those books that take you a long time to read, not because it's turgid or even long, but because there are so many implications in every statement this thinker made. It was the first book for ages that I have read with a pencil for notations always at hand. I had long ago read "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind", (that is almost a pre-requisite)but this volume admirably rounds that work out with peripheral and even reconsidered central themes.
Basically the first part is a recap of Jaynes' life and work in three papers by various authors.
Part II is a generous helping of articles and lectures by Jaynes, many of the former previously available only in the original (and sometimes obscure) journals they were written for.
From Chapter 8 on in this part of the book, there are musings that leave one breathless. I am a linguist and have heard most of the discussions on the origins of language, but it was while reading Chapter 9 "The Evolution of Language in the Late Pleistocene" that I realized that Jaynes' theories are the most insightful in that area. Not to go too deeply into it, I would mention that he relates language to the ways that birds use sound to set spacing and the way speaking requires and engenders attention. He lays out a very convincing plan on what evolved in language and in what order and why, and it is an evolution that would surprise traditional linguists, but which, if you ponder the reasoning carefully, makes perfect sense.
Parts III and IV really give you an idea of what a first-class mind this man had since they consist of interviews and discussions. It's so good to "hear" his actual voice. And the questions that he was asked were equally astute.
I wouldn't hesitate to buy such a worthwhile volume as this. I think I personally will be reading it again and again, because it is so rich in, well, consciousness.
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Format: Hardcover
A Must Read for Jaynes Enthusiasts

I have been interested in the theories of Julian Jaynes for some time now. This beautiful collection of his important works added greatly to my understanding of his ideas. I especially enjoyed the previously unpublished chapters on dreams and the nature of the self. In the in-depth interviews and question and answer sessions, Jaynes covers many of the nagging questions I had about his theory and delves into topics not covered in his original book.
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Format: Hardcover
This book explains and expands upon Jaynes' fascinating theory that consciousness (meticulously defined) is a learned process based on language and a recent development historically. The introduction provides a good discussion of new areas of evidence for the theory (ranging from child psychology, psychopathology, and studies of indigenous tribes to the latest neuroscience) as well as its modern day implications. Also contained are interviews and discussions that clarify and build on Jaynes' wide-ranging ideas. It amazes me that Jaynes' ground breaking theory is not more widely known, but it appears that is beginning to change. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
If you've read Julian Jaynes' "Origin of Consciousness," you must read "The Julian Jaynes Collection." It compiles interviews and essays in which Jaynes expands on concepts and hypotheses that are mentioned only briefly in his book. It also addresses common misconceptions and possible implications of his thoughts on consciousness.

If you haven't read Julian Jaynes' "Origin of Consciousness," you should buy that book and this one. This book contains most of the historical information and conceptual definitions one needs to understand the premises of "Origin of Consciousness," but there's simply no replacing the original. That book sweeps you along and is a joy to read. This book revisits problematic aspects of the original. It concerns itself with the consequences of consciousness, as well as its origins.

Perhaps the best thing about this volume is the way in which it demonstrates that Jaynes' importance is not limited to his thoughts on consciousness. The full breadth of his interests is on display. Included are fascinating articles on the history of science and one of the most touching eulogies I have ever seen. Jaynes writes with an erudition and sense of humor that are unmatched and inimitable. His style of argument shatters habitual modes of thinking and dwarfs petty concerns. If you've ever read anything by Freud, Foucault, Heidegger, or Lakoff, you should read Jaynes. He covers much of the same ground in a much more thorough fashion. In fact, if you are at all interested in psychology, philosophy, history, or linguistics, you should read Jaynes. His is a mind for the ages.
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Format: Hardcover
I was thrilled to finally read new material by Julian Jaynes. In this book, Jaynes extends his ideas into many of the areas he might have discussed in his much anticipated "Consequences of Consciousness," as well as other areas related to the theory. There is much here for anyone interested in Jaynes' fascinating ideas. This could also be read as a first introduction to his theory.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tremendously helpful and opened up many of what had been mysteries to me about Jaynes and his later years. Many papers included from Jaynes conferences, as well as other Jaynes publications. I'd put off buying this when it was first published, and am now thrilled that I finally did so. 5 stars for this one.
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