The origin of consciousness
Evolutionary psychologist Julian Jaynes (1920-1997) views consciousness as an acquired set of conceptual skills, rather than an innate quality of humankind. It is a 'mental tool box' largely based on metaphor. According to Jaynes, the 'invention' of subjective consciousness took shape in the course of centuries, thereby replacing the former mentality. This old mental make-up was what Jaynes calls the bicameral mind: a mind that was occupied by so-called gods, who directly spoke to man. Jaynes insists that these 'gods' were in no sense 'a way of speaking', but instead powerful experiences with hallucinatory quality.