Study Guide

Carl Jung

Carl Jung Biography

Biography (Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

ph_0111200259-Jung.jpgCarl Jung Published by Salem Press, Inc.

The work of Carl Gustav Jung (yoong) defies exact classification. A psychologist by training and profession, Jung conceded that medicine was for him a detour from his primary preoccupations, religion and philosophy. Jung always insisted that he was an empirical scientist, dedicated to the objective study of all psychic manifestations, but his psychological theories and therapeutic methods—called analytical psychology—ultimately led him back to his first loves. Jung’s erudition encompassed an astonishingly vast collection of subjects: world mythologies, history of religion, theology, mysticism, the occult, Eastern thought, philosophy, physical science, history of science, and art. Although he claimed to be scientific, his writings overflow with speculations, supernatural accounts (often personal), and mysticism; this is especially true of his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Jung is probably best known for his theory of the collective unconscious and its contents, the archetypes. He also originated the much debated concept of synchronicity, a noncausal but meaningful connective principle that has application all the way from parapsychology to the physics of the atom. In short, Jung developed a psychology of human culture—a universal psychology.

Jung’s father, Johann Paul Achilles Jung, was a Protestant minister who had studied Oriental languages but whose intellectual development, as his son later judged, had been stunted by Christian dogma. This kind of dogmatic sterility, which no longer provides the living mythological symbols necessary to mediate the archetypes of the collective unconscious, later became Carl Jung’s chief concern. From about the age of eleven, Jung found himself drawn to philosophy, especially questions concerning metaphysics and the existence of God. Reading Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (1781) convinced him that any pure reality that lay beyond conscious psychic categorization was in principle inaccessible to human reason (although in later life he sometimes expressed doubts about this theory). What mattered was God’s existence as psychic reality. Jung chose medicine as his occupation because it seemed to him that only scientific psychology permits meaningful and factual statements to be made on such matters.

After receiving his medical degree in 1902, Jung joined the staff at the Berghölzli psychiatric clinic at...

(The entire section is 988 words.)

Carl Jung Bibliography (Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Barnaby, Karin, and Pellegino D’Acierno, eds. C. G. Jung and the Humanities: Toward a Hermeneutics of Culture. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1990.

Brome, Vincent. Jung. 1978. Reprint. New York: Granada, 1980. A popular biography.

Hall, Calvin S., and Vernon J. Nordby. A Primer of Jungian Psychology. New York: New American Library, 1973. A standard and thorough introduction to the basic Jungian concepts of the structure, dynamics, and development of the normal personality.

Hayman, Ronald. A Life of Jung. New York: W. W. Norton, 2001. A comprehensive and thorough study that was originally published in England in 1999. Includes a bibliography and index.

Hopcke, Robert H. A Guided Tour of the Collected Works of C. G. Jung. 2d ed. New York: Random House, 1999. A very useful source for understanding Jung’s works. Includes a bibliography.

Jacobi, Jolande. The Psychology of C. G. Jung. Translated by Ralph Manheim. 8th ed. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1973. In this introductory work, consisting of a profile of Jung’s major theories, Jacobi gives an overview of Jung’s contributions to the field of analytic psychology.

Jaffé, Aniela. From the Life and Work of C. G. Jung....

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Carl Jung Biography (History of the World: The 20th Century)

Article abstract: Jung, the founder of analytic psychology, is probably best known for his descriptions of the orientations of the personality, “extroversion” and “introversion.” His theories of universal symbolic representations have had a far-reaching impact on such diverse disciplines as art, literature, filmmaking, religion, anthropology, and history.

Early Life

Carl Gustav Jung was descended from a long line of physicians and theologians. His father, Johann Paul Achilles Jung, was a pastor of the Swiss Reformed church, as were eight of his uncles. His mother, Emilie Preiswerk, suffered from a nervous disorder which often made her remote and uncommunicative; his father was reportedly irritable and argumentative. Since his parents were of little comfort or support to him as a child, and since his sister, Johanna Gertrud, was born nine years after he was, Jung spent much of his childhood alone. Jung’s adolescence was a time of confusion and probing, especially about religious matters. His religious conflicts, however, were eventually supplanted by other intellectual interests. Before concentrating on the study of medicine at the University of Basel in 1895, he explored biology, archaeology, philosophy, mythology, and mysticism, subjects which laid the foundation for the wide-ranging inquiries he undertook throughout his life.

After receiving his degree in medicine, Jung decided to specialize in psychiatry. Consequently, in 1900 he went to the Burghölzli, the mental hospital and university psychiatry clinic in Zurich, where he studied under the famous psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler. While working at the Burghölzli, Jung published his first papers on clinical topics, as well as several papers on his first experimental project—the use of word-association tests (free association). This was a project which he pioneered and which later gained for him worldwide recognition. Jung concluded that the word-association process could uncover groups of emotionally charged ideas that often generated morbid symptoms. The test evaluated the patient’s delay time between introduction of the stimulus and the response, the appropriateness of the response word, and the patient’s behavior. A significant deviation from normal denoted the presence of unconscious affect-laden ideas. Jung coined the term “complex” to describe this combination of the idea with the strong emotion it aroused.

In 1906, Jung published a study on dementia praecox which was to influence Bleulet when the latter designated the term “schizophrenia” for the illness five years later. In this work, Jung hypothesized that a complex produced a toxin which impaired mental functioning and caused the contents of the complex to be released into consciousness. Thus, the delusional ideas, hallucinatory experiences, and affective changes of the psychosis were to be viewed as more or less distorted manifestations of the originally repressed complex. Jung, in essence, was venturing the first psychosomatic theory of schizophrenia; although he subsequently abandoned the toxin hypothesis in favor of disturbed neurochemical processes, he never relinquished his belief in the primacy of psychogenic factors in the origin of schizophrenia.

Life’s Work

By the time that Jung first met Sigmund Freud in Vienna (1907), he was well acquainted with Freud’s writings. As a result of their meeting, the two men formed a close association which lasted until 1912. In the early years of their collaboration, Jung defended Freudian theories and Freud responded to this support with enthusiasm and encouragement.

In 1910, Jung left his position at the Burghölzli to focus on his growing private practice. It was during this time that he began his investigations into myths, legends, and fairy tales. His first writings on this subject, published in 1911, manifested both an area of interest which was to be sustained for the rest of his life and a declaration of independence from Freud in their criticism of the latter’s classification of instincts as either self-preservative or sexual. Although Jung’s objections to conceiving the libido in primarily sexual terms was already apparent at this early stage, the significance of these objections became clear only much later in his studies of the individuation process. It was not only intellectual disagreements, however, that led to the rupture between Freud and Jung. Jung objected to Freud’s dogmatic attitude toward psychoanalysis, his treating its tenets as articles of faith, immune from attack. This attitude diminished Jung’s respect for Freud (although Jung’s writings reveal that he, too, was prone to dogmatic assertions). Thus, while Freud worked to establish causal links extending back to childhood, and in so doing posited a mechanistic...

(The entire section is 1976 words.)

Carl Jung Biography (Survey of World Philosophers)

0111200259-Jung.jpgCarl Jung (Library of Congress) Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Article abstract: Jung, the founder of analytic psychology, is probably best known for his descriptions of the orientations of the personality, “extroversion” and “introversion.” His theories of universal symbolic representations have had a far-reaching impact on such diverse disciplines as art, literature, filmmaking, religion, anthropology, and history.

Early Life

Carl Gustav Jung was descended from a long line of physicians and theologians. His father, Johann Paul Achilles Jung, was a pastor of the Swiss Reformed Church, as were eight of his uncles. His mother, Emilie Preiswerk, suffered from a nervous disorder that often made her remote and uncommunicative; his father was...

(The entire section is 2076 words.)

Carl Jung Biography (Society and Self, Critical Representations in Literature)

ph_0111200259-Jung.jpgCarl Jung Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Carl Gustav Jung’s influence on literature transcends brief summary. Even before a 1913 break from Sigmund Freud (who had chosen Jung as the next leader of the psychoanalytical movement), Jung began publishing original theories in his The Psychology of the Unconscious. In English translation, the work influenced Jack London’s The Red One (1918) and On the Makaloa Mat (1919) as well as Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones (1920) and The Great God Brown (1926).

Jung’s theories have joined the modern intellectual milieu, and numerous writers have undergone Jungian therapy (including Doris Lessing) or had a family member analyzed (such as James Joyce’s daughter) or...

(The entire section is 313 words.)

Carl Jung Biography (Critical Survey of Ethics and Literature)

0111200259-Jung.jpgCarl Jung (Library of Congress) Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Author Profile

Jung studied medicine in Basel and psychiatry in Zurich. He collaborated for a time with Sigmund Freud but founded his own school of analytical psychology in 1914.

Jung’s theory of the conscious personality, or ego, differentiates between the extroverted, or outgoing, personality, and the introverted, or inward-turning type. Both types of conscious personality are influenced by the unconscious self, which has two levels: the personal and the collective.

The personal unconscious includes knowledge that is too obvious to become conscious, together with repressed ideas and emotions that are too painful...

(The entire section is 668 words.)