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Working Paper 129: The ordering of Relations: Jaynesian psycho-History, Bicameralism and Post-Individual Digital Subjectivity

Housley, W

During the course of this paper I explore the Jaynesian notion of bicameral consciousness (1976, 1990) in relation to notions of relational ordering and the re-constitution of persons within post-individual technological practices of s(elf). The paper considers notions of bi-cameralism as expressed through the interpretation of ancient artefacts and texts and their connection to ancient forms of mutually constitutive social and psychological organisation that were expressed through the co-ordinating mechanism of visual and auditory hallucinations commonly referred to as the ‘gods’. The paper mobilises this explanatory trope in the exploration of contemporary technological artefacts and associated reconfigurations of self, consciousness and social organisation. These developments can be understood to create space where mobile digital technology and applications represent a re-emergence of visual and auditory externalisations that represent a similar directional and narrated form of moral guidance. As a consequence notions of self, social relations and social organization are critically reconsidered.

Key Words: Self, Subjectivity, Bicameralism, Technology, Social Relations

Cardiff School of Social Sciences, March(2010), ISBN 978-1-90481-92-1