Julian Jaynes

Julian
Jaynes
1920
1997

American Psychologist, best known for book, "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind"

Author Quotes

It is now well known that women are biologically somewhat less lateralized in brain function than men. This means simply that psychological functions in women are not localized into one or the other hemisphere of the brain to the same degree as in men. Mental abilities in women are more spread over both hemispheres. Even by age six, for example, a boy can recognize objects in his left hand by feel alone better than in his right hand. In girls both hands are equal. This shows that haptic recognition (as it is called) has already been primarily localized in the right hemisphere in boys but not in girls. And it is common knowledge that elderly men with a stroke or hemorrhage in the left hemisphere are more speechless than elderly women with a similar diagnosis.

The terms theory and model, incidentally, are sometimes used interchangeably. But really they should not be. A theory is a relationship of the model to the things the model is supposed to represent... A theory is thus a metaphor between a model and data. And understanding in science is the feeling of similarity between complicated data and a familiar model.

Civilization is the art of living in towns of such size the everyone does not know everyone else.

Behavior now must be changed from within the new consciousness rather than from Mosaic laws carving behavior from without. Sin and desire are now within conscious desire and conscious contrition, rather than in the external behaviors of the decalogue and the penances of temple sacrifice and community punishment. The divine kingdom to be regained is psychological not physical. It is metaphorical not literal. It is "within" not in extenso.

The mind is still haunted with its old unconscious ways; it broods on lost authorities; and the yearning, the deep and hollowing yearning for divine volition and service is with us still.

Conscious mind is a spatial analog of the world and mental acts are analogs of bodily acts. Consciousness operates only on objectively observable things. Or, to say it another way with echoes of John Locke, there is nothing in consciousness that is not an analog of something that was in behavior first.

We have said that consciousness is an operation rather than a thing, a repository, or a function. It operates by way of analogy, by way of constructing an analog space with an analog ‘I’, that can observe that space, and move metaphorically in it. It operates on any reactivity, excerpts relevant aspects, narratizes and conciliates them together in a metaphorical space where such meanings can be manipulated like things in space.

Subjective conscious mind is an analog of what is called the real world. It is built up with a vocabulary or lexical field whose terms are all metaphors or analogs of behavior in the physical world.

Consciousness is a much smaller part of mental life than we are conscious of, since we cannot be conscious of what we aren’t conscious of.

"What is the meaning of life?" This question has no answer except in the history of how it came to be asked. There is no answer because words have meaning, not life or persons or the universe itself. Our search for certainty rests in our attempts at understanding the history of all individual selves and all civilizations. Beyond that, there is only awe.

No one is moral among the god-controlled puppets of the Iliad. Good and evil do not exist.

Our sense of justice depends on our sense of time. Justice is a phenomenon only of consciousness, because time spread out in a spatial succession is its very essence. And this is possible only in a spatial metaphor of time.

O what a world of unseen visions and heard silences, this insubstantial country of the mind! What ineffable essences, these touchless rememberings and unshowable reveries! And the privacy of it all! A secret theater of speechless monologue and prevenient counsel, an invisible mansion of all moods, musings and mysteries, an infinite resort of disappointments and discoveries. A whole kingdom where each of us reigns reclusively alone, questioning what we will, commanding what we can. A hidden hermitage where we may study out the troubled book of what we have done and yet may do. An introcosm that is more myself than anything I can find in a mirror. This consciousness that is myself of selves, that is everything, and yet nothing at all - what is it?

The very notion of truth is a culturally given direction, a part of the pervasive nostalgia for an earlier certainty.

Author Picture
First Name
Julian
Last Name
Jaynes
Birth Date
1920
Death Date
1997
Bio

American Psychologist, best known for book, "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind"