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Re: "Believing in" Jung, astrology, etc.

Aug 26, 2004 06:45 AM
by kpauljohnson

Hey Steve,

I've only read The Portable Jung and Memories, Dreams and Reflections,
either of which serves as a readable introduction. You wrote:
> If you are talking about the argument that used to rage between 
> clinical and experimental psychologists when I was in college ages 
> ago, yes. The experimentalists maintained then (and I assume now) 
> that anything you can plainly see with your own eyes is 
> not "scientific" unless proved via experiment. My problem with that 
> was always that most of their experiments were crap and probably
less worthy of the scientific palm than ordinary observation.

As a fellow baby boomer I remember well the silly experimental vs.
clinical, behaviorist vs. common sense, etc. atmosphere of those
times. But the rise of cognitive psychology and understanding of the
brain has tended to resolve some of the old polarization, and no one
now would deny that cognition and emotion are demonstrated by many
species. Behaviorism is as dead as phlogiston theory, from what I gather.

> problem was Eysenk's idiotic statement that parapsychology. uniquely 
> among pursuits pschological, must be tested according to the 
> standards of the HARD sciences, whereas all other psychological 
> phenomena can be considered soft science. That and other 
> experimentalist arguments struck this observer as bogus. 

And yet Eysenck was cautiously favorable about experimental evidence
for astrology, so wasn't a complete naysayer about matters paranormal.

To modify my earlier statement somewhat, I would acknowledge that
cognition and emotion are accepted as scientific terms but they don't
quite equate to Jung's thinking and feeling polarity. Same with
perception and intuition. But his scheme of four functions in two
pairs of oppositions, with one dominant one inferior etc. has no
standing scientifically, nor does the collective unconscious as he
defines it. Cognitive psychology has established the reality of
unconscious processes in the individual, however.


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