In response to Gunga Dim's latest nonsense, Jaynes has contributed a lot to modern philosophy. Unfortunately, very little of The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind
is useful for an understanding of consciousness. His basoc thesis is that people prior to the period after the Trojan War, were not aware of themselves or others as individual, conscious entities. It's an interesting read but it reminds me of something Carl Sagan once related. He was at a faculty party when he heard some people discussing Velikovsky. Sagan said that he, of course, knew that Velikovsky's astronomy was a load of old horse manure, but that he had always been impressed by his knowledge of ancient literature. As he approached the group, he heard a man saying that he was impressed with Velikosky's knowledge of astronomy, but that he didn't know a damned thing about ancient literature. Not long after i had read Jaynes, i was working closely with a professor of philosophy for several weeks, and i once asked him what he thought of Jaynes. He said that his thesis in Origins
was unconvincing, but that he was impressed with his knowledge of ancient literature and history. I refrained from telling him that Jaysnes "knowledge" of ancient history and literature was for sh*t.