Major Works
Julian Jaynes

About this title:
In this determined attempt to accurately define human consciousness, a Professor of Psychology introduces his revolutionary theory that argues that consciousness is a learned process, rather than something that began back in animal evolution. As he contemplates the complexities of defining consciousness, he remarks: "Even if we had a complete writing diagram of the nervous system, we would not be able to answer our basic question."
"When Julian Jaynes . . . speculates that until late in the twentieth millennium b.c. men had no consciousness but were automatically obeying the voices of the gods, we are astounded but compelled to follow this remarkable thesis." -- John Updike

Book Description
At the heart of this classic, seminal book is Julian Jaynes's still-controversial thesis that human consciousness did not begin far back in animal evolution but instead is a learned process that came about only three thousand years ago and is still developing. The implications of this revolutionary scientific paradigm extend into virtually every aspect of our psychology, our history and culture, our religion -- and indeed our future.

About the Author
Julian Jaynes (1923-1997) achieved an almost cult-like reputation for this controversial book, which was his only published work.


Dr. Elwell's Home Page

©Frank Elwell
Send comments to