General Introduction

  • Derrick de Kerckhove
  • Charles J. Lumsden


The Greeks were not unaware of the importance of the role that writing played in their civilization. Æschylus, the presumed author of Prometheus Bound, put the writing of numbers and letters at the source of all human inventions. The story of Prometheus, who was the object of a special cult in Athens as the god of intelligence and technical skill, can be viewed as a founding myth for the western world. It appears that Æschylus may even have had a fair idea of the implications of literacy upon cognitive styles. His interpretation of the myth suggests that Prometheus rescued humankind from the wrath of Zeus by giving them a mind to defend themselves against the hardships of nature:

... they were witless erst and I made them to have sense and be endowed with reason. [... Previously,] though they had eyes to see, they saw to no avail; they had ears, but understood not; but, like to shapes in dreams, throughout their length of days, without purpose they wrought all things in confusion.

Prometheus Bound (1, 443–4/447–450, trans. H. Weir Smith)


Cognitive Style General Introduction Writing System Hemispheric Specialization Latin Alphabet 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derrick de Kerckhove
  • Charles J. Lumsden

There are no affiliations available

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