Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Interesting crackpot book

with 2 comments

Julian Jaynes, of Princeton University, wrote a fascinating book titled The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, finding scattered bits of evidence that indicated that we became conscious as our bicameral mind melded—until then, we heard (in what more or less corresponds to our left-brain mind) “voices” (from our right-brain mind), which we obeyed. There’s much more to it than that, and though it’s crackpot (IMHO), it’s interesting crackpot. Some of it is based on the kind of misreading that (and the Classical Daughter will correct me if I’m wrong) led some to speculate that, in Homer’s time, people’s vision responded to different wavelengths of light, hence the ubiquitous “wine-dark sea,” the sea being, as we know, not wine-dark at all. But them someone noticed that the flanks of working oxen were also “wine-dark,” as was the forearm of a fighting man, and realized that perhaps the word meant something like “sparkling from drops of water” or the like.

Written by LeisureGuy

30 August 2006 at 11:35 am

Posted in Books

2 Responses

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  1. The ancient Greeks described colors in qualitatively different ways but long has it been dismissed that this was caused by evolutionary biological differences. Indeed, more recent studies (sorry, don’t have references off hand) have shown how sociologically/culturally defined color perceptions are.


    30 August 2006 at 12:35 pm

  2. There’s also a new book out on Jaynes’s ideas, which is quite good..

    Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness: Julian Jaynes’s Bicameral Mind Theory Revisited


    3 March 2007 at 7:57 pm

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