Bicameralism is the practice of having a legislature divided into two separate assemblies, chambers, or houses, known as a bicameral legislature.Bicameralism is distinguished from unicameralism, in which all members deliberate and vote as a single group.
Bicameralism (the condition of being divided into "two-chambers") is a controversial hypothesis in psychology and neuroscience which argues that the human mind once operated in a state in which cognitive functions were divided between one part of the brain which appears to be "speaking", and a second part which listens and obeys—a bicameral mind, and that the evolutionary breakdown of this division gave rise to consciousness in humans.
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A Bicameral system of government is one where there are two legislative or parliamentary chambers. The word comes from the Latin "bi" (meaning two) and "camera" (meaning chamber).  In most cases they have different numbers of members.
Gods, Voices, and the Bicameral Mind (2016), which includes essays on a variety of aspects of Jaynes's theory, including ancient history, language, the development of consciousness in children, and the transition from bicamerality to consciousness in ancient Tibet.
- 512 (English edition)
- Houghton Mifflin, Mariner Books
- Julian Jaynes
- Brain Hemispheres and Bicamerality
- Jaynes' Case For Bicameralism
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Julian Jaynes saw bicamerality as primarily a metaphor. He used governmental bicameralism to describe a mental state in which the experiences and memories of the right hemisphere of the brain are transmitted to the left hemisphere via auditory hallucinations. The metaphor is based on the idea of lateralization of brain function although each half of a normal human brain is constantly communicating with the other through the corpus callosum. The metaphor is not meant to imply that the two halves of the bicameral brain were "cut off" from each other but that the bicameral mind was experienced as a different, non-conscious mental schema wherein volition in the face of novel stimuli was mediated through a linguistic control mechanism and experienced as auditory verbal hallucinations. The bicameral mentality would be non-conscious in its inability to reason and articulate about mental contents through meta-reflection, reacting without explicitly realizing and without the meta-reflective...
According to Jaynes, ancient people in the bicameral state would experience the world in a manner that has similarities to that of a modern-day schizophrenic. Rather than making conscious evaluations in novel or unexpected situations, the person would hallucinate a voice or "god" giving admonitory advice or commands, and obey these voices without question; one would not be at all conscious of one's own thought processes per se. Others have argued that this state of mind is recreated in members of cults. In his 1976 work The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, Julian Jaynes proposed that human brains existed in a bicameral state until as recently as 3000 years ago. Jaynes builds a case for this hypothesis by citing evidence from many diverse sources including historical literature. He took an interdisciplinaryapproach, drawing data from many different fields. Jaynes asserts that until roughly the times written about in Homer's Iliad, humans did not general...
Jaynes's hypothesis remains controversial and has lacked discussion by mainstream academics. The few criticisms that have been made include: 1. the idea that consciousness is a cultural construction is hard to take seriously 2. the conclusions Jaynes drew had no basis in neuropsychiatric fact at that time 3. difficulty with the idea that auditory hallucinations played a significant role in a previous human mentality Richard Dawkins discussed Jaynes's theory in his recent book The God Delusion. In his chapter on the roots of religion, Dawkins writes: "It is one of those books that is either complete rubbish or a work of consummate genius, nothing in between! Probably the former, but I'm hedging my bets."Many considered Jaynes's hypothesis worthy and offer conditional support, arguing the notion deserves further study. In a 1987 letter to the American Journal of Psychiatry, Dr. H. Steven Moffic questioned why Jaynes's theory was left out of a discussion on auditory hallucinations by D...
The Origin of Consciousness was financially successful, and has been reprinted several times. The book was originally published in 1976 (ISBN 0-395-20729-0) and was nominated for the National Book Award in 1978. It has since been reissued (ISBN 0-618-05707-2). A new edition, with an afterword that addressed some criticisms and restated the main themes, was published in the US in 1990. This version was published in the UK by Penguin Books in 1993 (ISBN 0-14-017491-5). It has been translated into Italian, Spanish, German, and French.
Julian Jaynes (February 27, 1920 – November 21, 1997) was an American researcher in psychology at Yale and Princeton for nearly 25 years and best known for his 1976 book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.
Understanding Julian Jaynes’s Theory. Learning about Julian Jaynes’s theory for the first time is an exciting intellectual journey. As Stanford professor Ernest Hilgard said, “The bold hypothesis of the bicameral mind is an intellectual shock to the reader, but whether or not he ultimately accepts it he is forced to entertain it as a possibility.
Overview. The challenge for the psychology of religion is essentially threefold: (1) to provide a thoroughgoing description of the objects of investigation, whether they be shared religious content (e.g., a tradition's ritual observances) or individual experiences, attitudes, or conduct; (2) to account in psychological terms for the rise of such phenomena, whether they be in individual lives ...
Nov 13, 2017 · Bicameralism (the philosophy of "two-chamberedness") is a hypothesis in psychology that argues that the human mind once assumed a state in which cognitive functions were divided between one part of the brain which appears to be "speaking", and a second part which listens and obeys—a bicameral mind.