Tagmethodology

Matter, spirit, and phenomenalism

I have left off last week with a sketch (more detailed than earlier) of the ontological layout implicit in Jungian thought; and I have noted that there are several passages in Jung’s work where he outlines those same ontological categories. Let’s examine one of those more closely. 1. In his 1913 lecture on “Das Grundproblem der gegenwärtigen Psychologie” (GW VIII, §§ 649-688) Jung describes an...

Refining the ontological layout at the basis of Jung-Hillman metaphysics

I ended an earlier post deriving a (very rough) sketch of an ontological layout that would be consistent with Jungian thought. It would be consistent in the sense that it takes seriously both its methodological fundamental — starting with subjective experience — and its central idea — that our subjective experience is not fully transparent to our conscious personalities. Taking them seriously...

Methodological fundamentals and the distinction between extraversion and introversion

When I left my big-picture sketch of Jungian thought, I noted that the methodological fundamental (with subjectivity rather than objectivity as point of departure) was itself a theoretical choice; a choice that contrasts with the dominant preference for intersubjectively verifiable observation taken, paradigmatically, in a scientific approach. There is a certain temptation to assign this...

Fundamental methodological choice, central theoretical idea, and ontological categorization

In contrast to objective science, which relies on intersubjectively verifiable observation, the Jungian tradition is based on a different methodological fundamental. It starts with subjective experience, which we know from our own personal introspection and from the reports and narration which others give us. Whereas scientific observation is stated in the third person, subjective experience as a...

Future directions for a Jungian way of thinking

To expand once more on the question of classifying, as psychological or otherwise, the considerations on this blog: there is an important difference in method. While our contemporary psychology adheres to the scientific method, the Jungian tradition is focused on understanding “the unconscious”; we might say that contemporary psychology is empirical, focuses on intersubjectively observable and...

Positionings: with (and away from) the tradition

Much of the thinking on this blog starts from within a tradition in 20th century thought which we might call broadly “Jungian” or “archetypal”. This tradition is generally characterized as a psychology, originating from Freudian psychoanalysis, but distancing itself from the reductionism and scientism of the latter by bringing in more mystical, hermeneutical, and existential elements. Calling it...

A little more on the timelessness of archaic images

In my last post, I left it at the observation that archaic images (urtümliche Bilder) as Jung defines them already have a certain assumption of “timelessness” built into them — since they are specified as those which have “mythological qualities” and can be be found across times and cultures. From a methodological point of view, there are plenty of difficulties with that definition. First, it’s...

The whole is indefinite

When I summarized the view that emerges from the individuation essay, I listed a number of respects in which the notion of “personality” on which it is based is different from our everyday notion of a person. One of these was that a psychological individual (according to Jung, in the individuation essay) partly consists of unconscious, collective structures which are diffused throughout the...

The relative theoretical status of subjective fields vs. person-like character

There is an interesting corollary to the argument of the individuation essay, as I have reconstructed it in my recent postings. That argument was, roughly, that a psychological individual had to be (by presupposition) a “whole”, expressed and held together by some structural principle; that this whole could not coincide with the conscious subject, and this structural principle could not be the...

The whole of a psychological individual as person-like in character

A psychological individual is a whole, and what makes it a whole (and keeps it together) is that it has personality character. That personality is like a sleeping (and dreaming) person, rather than a waking person. A waking person would be structured by consciousness, whereas a psychological individual, as a whole, is not characterized by that. This Jungian view is both weirder and more radical...

Leif Frenzel is a writer and independent researcher. He has a background in philosophy, literature, music, and information technology. His recent interest is Jungian psychology, especially synchronicities and the relationship between consciousness and the unconscious.

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