Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Sawyer to present keynote at Julian Jaynes conference

by Rob - December 23rd, 2009.
Filed under: Keynotes, Wake.

Those of you who have read my novel Wake, about the World Wide Web gaining consciousness, know how prominently Julian Jaynes’s famous book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind figures in the book.

In fact, my main character, Caitlin Decter, even posts a review of the book (under her online name of Calculass) on, as part of the story:

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful:
***** A fascinating theory
By Calculass (Waterloo, ON Canada) – See all my reviews

Jaynes makes an intriguing case that our sense of self emerged only after the left and right sides of the brain became integrated into a single thinking machine. Me, I think being self-aware emerges when you realize that there’s someone other than you. For most of us, that happens at birth (but for an exception, see The World I Live In by one H. Keller, also a five-star read). Anyway, Jaynes’s theory is fascinating, but I can’t think of a way to test it empirically, so I guess we’ll never know if he was right …

So, I am absolutely thrilled to announce that I will be giving the keynote address at the 2010 Julian Jaynes Conference on Consciousness.

The conference, held every two years by the Department of Psychology at the University of Prince Edward Island, attracts scholars of Jaynes and consciousness from all over the world. It will take place July 29-31, 2010, in Charlottetown.

More information about the conference

More about me as a keynote speaker

Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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