Bicameral or Pre-Bicameral Peoples Today?

Discussion of Julian Jaynes's second hypothesis - the bicameral mind, specifically the subtopic of the mentality of preliterate societies, theories of primitive religion, and vestiges of bicameral mind in preliterate societies.
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Bicameral or Pre-Bicameral Peoples Today?

Post by Erland »

Are there any peoples today that are 100% bimaeral or pre-bicameral, totally devoid of conscioussness in the Jaynesian sense?
It seems to me that there must be such peoples if Jaynes is right.
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Re: Bicameral or Pre-Bicameral Peoples Today?

Post by Moderator »

1. There are a few tribes that have still had little or no contact with the outside world. As these tribes have not been studied, we know little or nothing about their psychology.

2. There are a few tribes that have been contacted only recently (within the last decade). To my knowledge, they have not been studied by anyone familiar with Jaynes's theory. However, what I would call vestiges of bicamerality have been noted. Researchers have also published articles on differences they have noted in their conception of time, quantities, and other areas that could be related to the features of consciousness as described by Jaynes.

3. Descriptions of tribes contacted in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are rich with vestiges of bicamerality. It is unlikely they were entirely bicameral, as each tribe had varying degrees of contact with modern, literate societies as well as their own unique trajectories through history.

It is unfortunate that more research from a Jaynesian perspective is not being done in this area, as the window of opportunity is quickly closing.

For examples and further discussion, please see the other posts in this section as well as commentary in The Julian Jaynes Collection.
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Re: Bicameral or Pre-Bicameral Peoples Today?

Post by dj57627688 »

I would have thought that there are vestiges of bicamerality in various groups, especially those who exist in a tribal context, eg., those incapable of seeing the world otherwise than as directed by their priests – vis, Islam… It would be interesting to know if there have been studies in this regard.
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