C.G. Jung and the Psychology of Symbolic Forms

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This work offers a detailed analysis of the intellectual and historical context of C.G. Jung’s (1875 – 1961) psychology. The main thesis of the author is that Jung’s Analytical Psychology is both a psychology of symbolic forms in its preoccupation with man and his cultural symbols and a certain symbolic form of psychology itself, namely a therapeutic myth. The term “symbolic form” is a derivative of Ernst Cassirer’s philosophy, where Cassirer studies different modalities of symbolic formation, such as symbolic language, myth, and scientific knowledge. The author illustrates, first of all, the way Jung founded his “psychology of symbolic forms” on his own idiosyncratic reading of history, mythology, philosophy, morality, and “primitive mentality”. Early twentieth-century biologistic-metaphysical (especially vitalist and Lamarckian-evolutionary) doctrines established the early foundation of his “cultural psychology”, only to be followed by an orientation to the idealistic approach, especially to the Hegelian conception of the development of consciousness.

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