Marcel Kuijsten

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Marcel Kuijsten

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Julian Jaynes, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker

Member Since
June 2008


Marcel Kuijsten is editor of the books The Julian Jaynes Collection and Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness: Julian Jaynes's Bicameral Mind Theory Revisited , and co-editor (with Prof. Brian J. McVeigh) of The Jaynesian, the newsletter of the Julian Jaynes Society. He is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Julian Jaynes Society.

Please sign up for the JJS mailing list at
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Average rating: 4.09 · 168 ratings · 25 reviews · 6 distinct works · Similar authors
Reflections on the Dawn of ...

4.07 avg rating — 138 ratings — published 2006 — 3 editions
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The Julian Jaynes Collection

4.39 avg rating — 23 ratings — published 2012
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The Jaynesian: Newsletter o...

3.50 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 2009
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The Jaynesian: Newsletter o...

3.50 avg rating — 2 ratings
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The Jaynesian: Newsletter o...

3.50 avg rating — 2 ratings — published 2007
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Abstracts from the 2013 Jul...

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 2013
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More books by Marcel Kuijsten…

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The Jaynesian (Vol. 3, Issue 1) (Science)
1 chapters   —   updated Feb 16, 2012 02:11PM
Description: from The Jaynesian newsletter (Vol. 3, Issue 1)
Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness (Science)
1 chapters   —   updated Oct 05, 2009 11:12PM
Description: chapter excerpt
Eating Animals
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Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
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How Not to Die by Michael Greger
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This is the most comprehensive book on health and nutrition that I've read. Written in a way that's easy to understand for those new to the subject, but also substantive enough that those very familiar with health and nutrition will learn a great dea ...more
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“A Jaynesian understanding of consciousness and its implications for rhetoric also helps explain the deep distrust of rhetoric that emerges at the same time rhetoric itself does. From the first writings overtly discussing persuasion as a civic art, we also see attacks on rhetoric as a practice that disregards the truth, can make what is bad seem good, and has an uncanny power to enrapture an audience. One of the best examples of this sort of skepticism is in Plato's dialog The Menexenus, in which Socrates describes the effects of hearing a speech praising the virtues of Athens. Although he knows that much of what the speaker says is exaggeration and distortion, Socrates says he felt himself transported to another realm — an "out of body" experience that affects his very perception of the world around him. The usual understanding of this sort of allegation about rhetoric's spellbinding power over an audience is that it is simply a poetic description of the sensation that we all experience today: the ability of powerful words to move us in unexpected ways, ways that often go beyond the logical or didactic. But I suggest that if Jaynes is right about the time frame for the development of consciousness, such descriptions by rhetoric's critics may be less poetic than usually thought, and much closer to the actual experience of early audiences of the relatively new art of rhetoric. If full consciousness in Greece emerged only after the Homeric era, would we not expect that for several generations after its advent, the power of language would indeed seem mysterious, almost mystical? Wouldn’t there continue to be a collective social memory of language as something that came from the gods? I suggest that the early apprehension about rhetoric’s near magical powers are not simply metaphorical amplifications, but descriptions of how audiences, only lately emerging from a bicameral world, would have experienced hearing an orator with the ability to artfully use language to move them.”
Marcel Kuijsten, The Jaynesian: Newsletter of the Julian Jaynes Society

“Completely unrecognized is the whole presumption of this saying according to which individual body parts could possess independent volition and as such can inform (sway/direct) the acting of the whole body. Even more seriously — the presumption that self-mutilation can stop or somehow influence higher mental processes. Even the person who is not a trained psychologist or psychiatrist can recognize that we are dealing with a seriously pathological state of mind. I am inclined to believe that gospel sayings represent atavism — a regression to older stages of development. It is one of the vestiges of development of modern consciousness. This is an example of physiological metaphor which never made it through the whole process to unification of consciousness. On the contrary it remained stuck somewhere in stage III. In this stage physiological hypostases represent internal stimuli and are starting to create internal spaces where metaphored action can occur. In this position they hypertrophied unable to move into the next stage of unification into one consciousness. Already at the time of recording in the gospels this saying was perceived as anomalous. Luke, the most educated and refined of synoptical authors, preserved the immediate context, but edited out most of the peculiar parts concerning disseminated volition and self-mutilations. Further and broader contexts which may be mentioned and discussed: other Greek and Hebrew physiological and anatomical metaphors; the popularity of a metaphor of the body for structuring and functioning of society in Hellenism; the ancient practice of religious self-mutilation; the potential for facilitating our understanding of brutish penal codes or modern self-mutilations.”
Marcel Kuijsten, The Jaynesian: Newsletter of the Julian Jaynes Society (Vol. 3, Issue 1)

“Less than a decade later there was experimental support for the right hemispheric involvement of “intrusive” experiences into awareness. Although imaging technology has shown us that the cerebral volume in which “mind space” exists is configurational and complex, the results strongly support Jaynes’s essential thesis. But perhaps the most compelling congruence with Jaynes’s insights is genetics. Within the last five years science has found that single point mutations on genes can produce permanent changes in speech production. There is now evidence that point mutations, whose mechanisms must still be discerned, can diffuse within decades throughout entire populations. There have been approximately 15 million changes in our species’ genome since our common ancestor with the chimpanzee. There are human accelerated regions in the genome with genes known to be involved in transcriptional regulation and neurodevelopment. They are expressed within brain structures that would have allowed precisely the types of phenomena that Jaynes predicted had occurred around 3,500 years ago. Related genes, attributed to religious beliefs, are found on the same chromosome (for example, chromosome 10) as propensities for specific forms of epilepsy (partial, with auditory features) and schizophrenia. From what we now know about antibody titres and viral infections, the concept of a relatively swift and pervasive change in the microstructure and function of all human brains is no longer that improbable.”
Marcel Kuijsten, Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness: Julian Jaynes's Bicameral Mind Theory Revisited

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message 33: by Brooke

Brooke Evans Oh, you seem to add many people.

Mohammad Hanafy thank you for the add

Underurskin81 Thanks for the friend request, you have an intriguing list of books which makes it clear that you have a beautiful mind...

message 30: by Jan

Jan Rice At some point I mean to write a little review of The Origin of Consciousness..., which I read so long ago. I also have Incognito, which another friend mentioned earlier, but haven't read it.

Ana-Marija Hi, Marcel.
Thank you for the friend's request, I look forward to following your updates.

Leviathan Thank You very much for the friend request

message 27: by George

George Thank you very much for adding me, Marcel. You've got a rather breathtaking list!

message 26: by Mike

Mike Thanks for adding me, Marcel. I look forward to reading your stuff.

message 25: by Diana

Diana Hey M.~ Thanks for adding me to your astounding list. Looks like I have some new things to look up... :) D.

Alexandra thank you for adding me.

Cristian Thanks for adding me as a friend. I'm currently reading "The Origin of Consciousness...", which I see you're an expert on, and I'm quite fascinated.

message 22: by Deepa

Deepa Thanks for your friendship :-)

message 21: by Marcel




Thanks for the recommendation!

message 20: by BLACK




message 19: by Martha

Martha Dinh Hello Marcel, thank you for your invitation!

message 18: by Natalie

Natalie Hi Marcel, thank you for adding me as friends, I look forward to chatting with you. :)

message 17: by Maureen

Maureen Rue Thanks for the friend invitation. Your book looks really interesting!

message 16: by Marcel

Marcel Amanda wrote: "I think you're my book soulmate! lol... I want to read everything you've read!"

Hi Amanda...I just saw your post... I recommend starting with Julian Jaynes.. Let me know what you think! : )

message 15: by Amanda

Amanda Soto I think you're my book soulmate! lol... I want to read everything you've read!

message 14: by Goran989 (last edited Dec 29, 2010 04:52PM)

Goran989 Thanks for the friend request, you got some interesting books there :)

message 13: by Jesse

Jesse Hanson I do appreciate very much, your including me here, Marcel. Best wishes in all. jesse

message 12: by Louis

Louis Great to be added as a friend. I'm curious about sharing my reading interests.

message 11: by Abben

Abben Thanks for adding me as a friend. I think I've finally discovered the little corner of goodreads I had always hoped existed.

 ♥♥Mari♥♥ Hey, there! Thanks for addng me as a friend!

Your shelves are full of highly interesting books!! And you're the editor of a second book on the bicameral mind! Fascinating! (As Mr. Spock would say. Lol.) : )

message 9: by Bryan

Bryan Strangethings Moss Wow! I need the revisit on JJ: Bicameral Mind! So cool.

Cayden Hello, nice to (virtually) meet you!

message 7: by Laura

Laura Watts-Ruth sexy mind, sexy face. ooh la la. :)

message 6: by Cassandra Kay (last edited May 13, 2009 04:32PM)

Cassandra Kay Silva I see you have a number of books regarding the subject of "consciousness". I would be interested in reading something about this subject from a more philosophical and/or scientific view. I noticed your rating for both the user illusion and the breakdown of the bicameral mind. Which of these two or is there another you would suggest on this topic for someone just getting into this subject? And yes I did see that you are the editor of one of these but I would still like to know if that is a good place to start, or if another book would be a better background to begin with.

message 5: by Saleh

Saleh Hi.What We Talk About When We Talk About Love?PLZ Answer The Question In My Profile.

message 4: by Noran

Noran Miss Pumkin Just wanted to stop in and wish you the best of the holiday season! Merry Christmas!-Noran
Hammond,IN :)

message 3: by Ilyn

Ilyn Ross Hello Marcel,

Thank you for joining the Happy & Brainy Group. I included "Reflections on the Dawn of Consciousness: Julian Jaynes's Bicameral Mind Theory Revisited" in the group's bookshelves. I wish you good fortune on your endeavors, especially this book.

When you have the time, please check out the author giveaways (Reason Reigns is listed).

Warmest regards,


message 2: by Ilyn

Ilyn Ross Good morning, Marcel. Thank you for being my friend.

When you have the time, please check out the Happy & Brainy group.

Have a great day!


Tajsha Thank you for adding me as your friend :-)

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