From the Vault: Bicameralism, Part 1


Abraham obeys God's command in sacrificing his son Isaac, only for the angel of God to stay his hand. What would bicameralism suggest about this scene? Painting by Caravaggio (1571-1610) Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty

In 1976, psychologist Julian Jaynes presented the world with a stunning new take on the history of human consciousness. His book “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind” hypothesized that ancient humans heard hallucinated voices in place of conscious thought, and presented archaeological, literary, historical and religious evidence to support this highly controversial view. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they dissect bicameralism and discuss the evidence, the criticisms and more in this two-parter. (originally published Sep 26, 2017)