Pre-Bicameral Mind?

Discussion of Julian Jaynes's first hypothesis - that consciousness (as he carefully defines it) is based on language, and related topics.
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Pre-Bicameral Mind?

Post by Erland »

As I understand Jaynes, he means that the bicameral mind originated about simultaneously with language, and that it wasn't fully developed until just before agriculture was invented.

Then, the discussion of whether contemporary hunter-gatherer groups are bicameral or not doesn't go far enough. If Jaynes is right, these people shouldn't even be bicameral, but pre-bicameral. And what constitutes a pre-bicameral mind? Can such a person even communicate with a modern (conscious) human being?

As far as I know, no tribal group has ever been found that has no fully developed language and is non-conscious (in the Jaynesian sense).
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Re: Pre-Bicameral Mind?

Post by Moderator »

Jaynes believed these groups are in some cases remnants of fallen bicameral civilizations (and were not necessarily always tribal throughout history), or developed consciousness on their own over the millennia. Most (but not all) have had too much contact with Western civilization to remain bicameral, although vestiges of bicamerality have been noted.
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