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Articles Related to Jaynes's Bicameral Mind Theory

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Dual Brain/Double Brain Theory

Julian Jaynes describes an earlier mentality prior to the development of subjective consciousness called the bicameral mind, in which the brain's hemispheres operated in a less integrated manner than they do today. Jaynes argues that the brain used language to convey experience in the right hemisphere to the left hemisphere in the form of what we would today call an auditory hallucination. Studies from both split-brain and hemispherectomy patients have confirmed that the brain hemispheres can operate both independently and in isolation. Below is a small sample of research supporting this aspect of Jaynes's theory:

Mental Duality in the Anatomically Intact Cerebrum
Bogen, Joseph E. Presented in part as the outgoing Presidential Address to the Los Angeles Society of Neurology and Psychiatry on 19 January 1983. Portions of this essay have appeared in the following: Benson DF and Zaidel E, eds. The Dual Brain, Guilford, NY, 1985. Also, Lepore F, Ptito M, Jasper HH, eds. Two Hemispheres, One Brain? Alan Liss, NY, 1986; and Trevarthen C, ed. Brain Circuits and Functions of Mind Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
Does an individual having two cerebral hemispheres have, in some important sense, two brains rather than only one? This "important sense" deserves to be made more explicit at the outset. It includes, I believe, the following: that whatever may be for neurologists the meaning of the psychological term "mind," the number of brains in an individual is the same as the number of minds. If this equivalence of numerosity were not agreed upon, we might well spend the rest of our time arguing that question as well as others, such as: What meanings are possible for the word "mind"? Without demeaning such perennial questions, I will take it for granted, at least for this paper, that what we can learn about mind also tells us about brain and vice versa. In other words, the mentalistic and physiologic are two different descriptions of the same underlying reality.

Conscience and Commissurotomy
Leiber, Justin. Psycoloquy, Dec. 1993, 4 (52).
Puccetti confounds more or less countable brain parts with the functions they more or less subserve. Neonates whose left hemisphere is removed develop language and consciousness in the right hemisphere. Elderly people who suffer the same procedure generally do not. Despite Puccetti's claims, our moral intuitions about the latter are better served by Dennett's theory than by the alternative.

Counting the Minds of Split-Brain Patients Counting the Minds of Split-Brain Patients
Lokhorst, Gert-Jan C. Logic & Analysis, Sept.–Dec. 1996, pp. 315–324.
Using Fagin's and Halpern's local reasoning models and an epistemic variant of Jennings's and Schotch's semantics of weakly aggregative modal logic, we argue that the hypothesis that split-brain patients have two coherent minds is preferable to the hypothesis that they have one incoherent mind.

One Mind Too Many?
Pessin, Andrew. Psycoloquy, Dec. 1993, 4 (52).
In this commentary I note that Dennett's Multiple Drafts theory is not incompatible with the "potential duality of mind" in normal subjects or split-brain patients. I then argue that if we acknowledge the slippery slope of selfhood that Multiple Drafts encourages, we can see how Puccetti's criticisms of Dennett's "three arguments" miss the mark.

Brain Bisection and Personal Identity
Puccetti, Roland. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Dec. 1973, 24 (4): 339-355.
It is customary to think of a human being as having a single brain, possessing a unitary mind, constituting a unique individual person. However recent studies of patients whose cerebral commissures have been sectioned to prevent interhemispheric spread of epileptic seizures suggest a very different state of affairs.

Two Brains, Two Minds? Two Brains, Two Minds? Wigan's Theory of Mental Duality
Puccetti, Roland. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, June 1989, 40 (2): 137-144.
The occasion for writing this essay is the republication of A. L. Wigan's long-neglected classic study, The Duality of Mind (1844, 1985), edited by Joseph E. Bogen and Joseph Simon. As Dr. Bogen makes clear in his Foreword to the volume, award of a Nobel Prize in physiology in 1981 to Roger Sperry for his work with split-brain patients has brought widespread attention to the duality of the brain; whether this also signals the presence of a dual mind in normal humans, as Wigan argued, is of course highly controversial.

Mind with a Double Brain
Puccetti, Roland. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Dec. 1993, 44 (4): 675-691.
Using Fagin’s and Halpern’s local reasoning models and an epistemic variant of Jennings’s and Schotch’s semantics of weakly aggregative modal logic, we argue that the hypothesis that split-brain patients have two coherent minds is preferable to the hypothesis that they have one incoherent mind.

Dennett on the Split Brain
Puccetti, Roland. Psycoloquy, 1993, 4 (52).
In Consciousness Explained, Dennett (1991) denies that split-brain humans have double consciousness: he describes the experiments as "anecdotal." In attempting to replace the Cartesian Theatre of the Mind" with his own "Multiple Drafts" view of consciousness, Dennett rejects the notion of the mind as a countable thing in favour of its being a mere "abstraction." His criticisms of the standard interpretation of the split-brain data are analyzed here and each is found to be open to objections. There exist people who have survived left ["dominant"] cerebral hemispherectomy; by Dennett's criteria, they would not have minds.

Application of Dual Brain Theory to Cross-Cultural Studies of Cognitive Development and Education
Tenhouten, Warren D. Sociological Perspectives, Summer, 1989, 32 (2): 153-167.
The cognitive structures of children from minority group, poor, rural, aboriginal, or otherwise socially disadvantaged backgrounds are hypothesized to be gestalt-synthetic in mode of thought and field-dependent in cognitive style; cognitive structures of children from dominant, majority, urban, nonaboriginal, or otherwise advantaged backgrounds, to be relatively logical-analytic and field-independent. These cognitive structures are shown by cerebral lateralization theory to have neurophysiological substrates. Individual hemisphericity, the tendency to rely on the resources of the right or left cerebral hemisphere, is interpreted on four distinct levels: performance hemisphericity, hemispheric activation, hemispheric preference (as personality structure), and cognitive style (lateral flexibility). An illustrative comparison of thinking processes of Australian Aborigines and Australian-born whites is developed using primary and secondary data.

Double Brain, Double Person?
Thorton, M. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 1994, 45: 761–763.
Using Fagin's and Halpern’s local reasoning models and an epistemic variant of Jennings's and Schotch’s semantics of weakly aggregative modal logic, we argue that the hypothesis that split-brain patients have two coherent minds is preferable to the hypothesis that they have one incoherent mind.