Along with Freud and Adler, Jung was one of the founders of psychoanalysis. The son of a Protestant clergyman, he considered archaeology before deciding to qualify as a doctor. He travelled widely in Africa, America and India. Notoriously, when the Nazi party came to power he replaced Ernst Kretschmer as the President of the German Society for Psychotherapy. Jung was impressed by Freud's early writings and the two became friends and collaborators in the opening years of the psychoanalytic movement. By 1914, however, after a series of increasingly bitter (mostly on Freud's side) disputes, Jung had broken away to found his own school of psychoanalysis, Analytical Psychology. Like Freud, Jung was concerned with the significance of the unconscious mind: that is, mental contents to which we do not have direct access by ordinary introspection, yet which may profoundly influence conscious experience and behaviour. However, Jung sought to extend the possible content of the unconscious well beyond the limits set by what was already becoming the Freudian orthodoxy. In his early work Freud restricted unconscious material to repressed experiences, arising especially from infantile sexuality. In Jung's analytical psychology on the other hand, unconscious material could take many different forms and arise both from individual experiences and from racial or collective memories.
The notion of a collective unconscious enabled Jung to combine his interests in anthropology and religion with his clinical work. He noted that his patients often spoke in terms of images and symbols which echoed those he had already found to be common in widely different cultures. It seemed to him wholly implausible that these represented experiences which each of his patients had individually repressed. Rather they had to be a reflection of 'archetypes' which had become built into our collective unconscious through evolutionary processes. Individual experiences are also significant in Jungian theory, but they are to be understood as interacting with inherited archetypes. In child development, for example, the way parents actually behave towards their children is important. But the child's perception of this behaviour is in part determined also by inherited archetypal structures. In this instance these include the 'animus' (the girl's archetypal image
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Publication information: Book title: Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Philosophers. Contributors: Stuart Brown - Editor, Diané Collinson - Editor, Robert Wilkinson - Editor. Publisher: Routledge. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1996. Page number: 385.
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