[percy-l] consciousness, Julian Jaynes, and Percy

Robert Eckert rgeckert at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 12 14:37:08 EDT 2006

Jaynes should have entitled his book "The Origin of Selfconsciousness....". Jaynes does not deal with the origin of language, but its development--specifically with the origin of the concept of "I". -- [eye]                            
  [A related interesting book is "The Alphabet Effect".] 
  Consciousness is the naming of all. Selfconsciousness is the naming of "I".
  Reread the "Primer" section in LC. The joy of naming of the two-year-old child is replaced by the pain of selfconsciousness of seven-year-old.
  Consciousness is the flashlight that lights the world. Selfconsciousness is the utterly futile attempt by that flashlight to shine on itself.
  [Adam Smith, of all people, also wrote an interesting essay on language origins.]
  How'd the dissertation go?

Karey Perkins <karey at kareyperkins.com> wrote:
                I am reading Julian Jaynes’s  The Origin of Consciousness and the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, © 1976, 1990.  He discusses the evolution of language.
  1)  Did Percy read Jaynes?  If so, his opinion?
  2)  How might he have responded, in your opinion, if he had read him?
  3)  Did Jaynes know of Percy?  He does cite Peirce, ever so briefly, but not Percy, Langer, or Cassirer.
  4)  What is the general consensus of the mind-body and/or semiotic community on Jaynes?
  5)  Has anyone on the list read Jaynes?
  6)  How does Jaynes’ thoughts stand up today? (16 years after last printing)
  7)  What do you think of Jaynes?  What is the value of his book/thoughts?
  8)  Any other thoughts?
  I do remember Mike Frentz differentiating between the more scientific approaches to semiotics/consciousness and the more humanistic approaches, with Jaynes in the former camp and Percy in the latter
. I’ve heard this book is an important one – 

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