Jonah Lehrer

  • The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World

    In 1976, the Princeton psychologist Julian Jaynes published the provocative Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, which argued that human self-awareness was invented in ancient Greece. His evidence consisted mainly of the Iliad, which describes its heroes as listening to the voices of the gods as they come down from Mount Olympus. Jaynes argued that these voices were emanations from inside the mind, triggered by the “breakdown” of the wall between the brain hemispheres. When the articulate left hemisphere first gains access to the dreamlike impressions of the right,