Sunday, May 10, 2009

67 Carl Jung

When we were discussing Freud, Hope tried to start a discussion on consciousness. Fortunately (sorry Hope) that discussion didnt take place. We all were already happy enough with the unconscious, and unconscious of the need to discuss consciousness.

But he had a big point there. Today Carl Jung is our subject. While Freud believed that there would be a physical explanation for psychic phenomena eventually, Jung departed from that materialistic view and came up with what he called a collective unconscious.

What is the situation? On the one hand we have around 1900 the development of sciences using an expicit empiristic methodology to obtain knowledge about the physical world. As long it is about molecules or electicity for example that works fine.

On the other hand we have the human being and his behavior. Marx and Engels believed to have revealed real laws of history. Darwin applied the scientific method to biology and discovered laws of nature regarding the evolution of nature, including the human being.

In 1875 Wundt established the first Institute of Experimental Psychology in Leipzig. The scientific method applied to the human himself. Dewey derived his outlook on man from physiciological research and based his philosophy on change, process and dynamic, organic interaction.

And in all these developments is a strong demand for empirical testability, verification, experiment. And of course the inner deeper layers of the person couldnt be ignored in this search for knowledge.

And there emerges a science of the individual, his psychology, where theories are developed that elude any scientific testing. Introspection and interpretation are its main methods. Nevertheless these theories of Freud, Jung and Adler had a great impact on how we began to look at ourselves.

Even so great that we all are convinced that we have an unconscious: isnt it easlily said "Oh, I didnt do it consciously" and hasnt become every high tower a phallus symbol. many relate their present day problems to traumas in their childhood.

So now we live in a situation, where scientific method is deeply embedded in our culture and the observation that the approach by Freud an Jung dont fit in.

Well, Jung offered some issues that could be tested empirically: who doesnt know the difference between extravert and introvert?. Jung developed a classification of personalities and these are still used in personality tests nowadays. But for understanding the results you need statistics and you may forget all rather mystical theories of Jung. You only need to observe behavior.

We also inherited the notion that we have the dichotomy: feeling and thinking. Even so strongly that some (like Jung) even believe that these two are eachothers enimies. A disatreous way of thinking in polarities.

And as you may notice, I talk a lot, but not a word on consciousness yet. The reason is that explaining the nature of consciousness is one of the most perplexing areas of the philosphy of mind today.

The simple theory of Freud and Jung , that we have a consciousness and a subconsciousness is a simplification of reality, but in a pragmatic sense the model might work in helping people with psychological problems. So let it be.

I did some research the past few days: Daniel Dennett, Jeff Hawkins, physicalism, Richard Dawkins, memetics. A lot is going on in the philosophy of mind and psychoanlytic interpretations of the mind dont play any role in it.

Starting here a discussion on the concept of consciousness is out of the question. First go to or

Read the article and then return, flabbergasted or with a few questions.....or maby one of you has the ultimate answer by then.....(^_^)

Let's end with a few words on with what it all started. In late 1689 in "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding" John Locke defined consciousness as "the perception of what passes in a man's own mind". Consciousness or reflection is a person's observing or noticing the "internal operations" of his mind.

The Discussion

[13:23] Gemma Cleanslate: lol all of it?????????????????????????
[13:23] Gemma Cleanslate: see you in a while
[13:24] Herman Bergson: ok Gemma....:-)
[13:24] Herman Bergson: So much on psycho-analysis and Jung
[13:25] Gudrun Odriscoll: Hi Herman, have a look into Roger Penrose, he has got some surprise ideas about consciousness
[13:25] Herman Bergson: I saw that name somewhere in my readings..
[13:26] Sage Hartmann: Well they're wrong hehe but they're interesting :P
[13:26] Herman Bergson: is that so Sage?
[13:26] hope63 Shepherd: gudrun.. shall we all look up this guy now? in discussion express yourself..
[13:26] Stanley Aviatik: He's a physicist
[13:26] Gudrun Odriscoll: Sage, is Christopher Koch right then, he is the latest on the round of consciousness. a really interesting guy
[13:27] Sage Hartmann: Penrose has interesting ideas, but I at least don't think it holds water :)
[13:27] Sage Hartmann: Not familiar with Koch sorry - looking him up
[13:27] Herman Bergson: Ok..dropping names makes no sense...
[13:27] hope63 Shepherd: how about goebbels.. great psychologist of the masses..
[13:27] Gudrun Odriscoll: Neuroscientists, Oxford is hot on him
[13:27] Stanley Aviatik: Well said Herman
[13:28] Gudrun Odriscoll: hope, you are kidding, aren't you?
[13:28] hope63 Shepherd: be yourself when we discuss
[13:28] Cailleach Shan: Herman, you said for us to forget the mystical theories of Jung. Why is that?
[13:28] Herman Bergson: what we see at the moment...and the names mentioned are involved in this debate that there is a strong materialist wave in the philosophy of mind
[13:29] Wyeth Bailey: I'v read a few interesting things lately also under "neuropsychology" as it relates to philosophy, and increasing academic collaboration with philosophers . . . trying to use instruments to map neural activity associates with feelings as well as *ideas* as I (barely) understand it
[13:29] Gudrun Odriscoll: Herman, was not about dropping, Koch is really top in research
[13:29] Herman Bergson: because, Cailleach...they arent scientific nor epistemological relavant
[13:29] Herman Bergson: but they are interesting and creative
[13:29] AristotleVon Doobie: yet he bases his theories on spiritual experience
[13:30] Herman Bergson: Yes the philosophy of mind they try to make a link between what we see on a scanner and what we experience mentally
[13:31] AristotleVon Doobie: I wonder how they will scan for a 'feeling'
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: oh but they do
[13:31] Gudrun Odriscoll: What I like about Jung is the archetypes, and anima and animus, and all the mythology, the fairy tales, great metaphors
[13:32] Herman Bergson: they call it NCC: neural correlates of consciousness
[13:32] Cailleach Shan: Me too...:)
[13:32] Sage Hartmann: So what do you see as Jung's great contribution then, Herman?
[13:32] Gemma Cleanslate: hi rod
[13:32] Rodney Handrick: Hi Gemma
[13:32] Herman Bergson: That is a question, Sage...
[13:32] hope63 Shepherd: yes gudrun.. its a great entry to start to think ...
[13:32] Wyeth Bailey: I think the basic hypothesis as that thoughts and feelings all can be reduced to electrical loops, some more complex than others, but all ultimately measurable . . . I don't know yet how I feel about this or what that loop looks like :)
[13:33] Herman Bergson: Ok...just a moment...
[13:33] Herman Bergson: two things..
[13:33] Herman Bergson: Sage's question...
[13:33] Herman Bergson: and the NCC thing...
[13:34] Herman Bergson: Jung's contribution....
[13:34] hope63 Shepherd: jungs contribution? may be to formulate new answers for new questions:)?
[13:34] Stanley Aviatik: The fact that during brain surgery thoughts and feelings change, surely indicates proof towards the material side of thought proceeses
[13:34] Herman Bergson: I think introducing personality types is one
[13:34] Herman Bergson: the way of looking at symbolism is two
[13:35] Gudrun Odriscoll: feedback loops, computional models, neural computing and ideas of electrical loops are part of the idea of computional consciousness
[13:35] Gudrun Odriscoll: dennet, etc.
[13:35] Herman Bergson: The Neural correlates of consciousness...
[13:36] Herman Bergson: What the neurophysiologists do is see a correlation...
[13:36] Herman Bergson: not an identity
[13:36] Gudrun Odriscoll: 1948 norbert wiener, cybernetics, feedback loops - and then the application of computional models to our mind --- might have some truth
[13:36] Sage Hartmann: Herman, if the focus in philosophy is seen as asking better questions instead of finding answers to those questions, might the mystical side of jung's work facilitate that, despite its lack of a rigid methodology for *answering* questions?
[13:36] Laila Schuman: Freud was so dominant in psychology... i think it is important that Jung was a contemporary and had such a different approach/answer to the questions... it opens things up for more discusion and research
[13:37] Cailleach Shan: Do you want a copy of the 'chat'
[13:37] Cailleach Shan: oops. sorry... wrong window.
[13:37] Herman Bergson: Yes Sage..I agree with that..
[13:37] hope63 Shepherd: answer is no cal:)
[13:37] Herman Bergson: me neither,Cailleach..:-)
[13:38] AristotleVon Doobie: LOL
[13:38] Cailleach Shan: Hahahaha.... sorry... not concentrating.
[13:38] Gemma Cleanslate: ;-)))
[13:38] Cailleach Shan blushes with embarrassment.
[13:38] AristotleVon Doobie: a good samaritan should not be embarrassed
[13:38] Wyeth Bailey: I do too, I think Jung freed us to think more broadly, and as a side note provided a set of filters through which to analysze art and literature, and learn and question more about the world from there as well
[13:38] Gudrun Odriscoll: am I missing something
[13:39] Laila Schuman: i like that you brought up art and literature...because a great deal of it is very related to jungian approaches
[13:39] Gudrun Odriscoll: I agree, Laila
[13:39] Herman Bergson: I think that there are two ways of approaching reality...
[13:40] Wyeth Bailey: whether you believe all great stories come from the archetypes, or the archetypes are extracted from the great stories . . . it is all fertile ground for thinking and questioning what yields
[13:40] Rodney Handrick: yes, but how does he relate to science?
[13:40] Laila Schuman: yes Wyeth
[13:40] Herman Bergson: one way is the scientific way and the other is the creative way, the way of the arts
[13:40] Laila Schuman: very Joseph Campbell
[13:40] Laila Schuman: women who run with the wolves
[13:41] Gudrun Odriscoll: live in the UK and you are currently told to do arts research like science research (at least at unis)
[13:41] Herman Bergson: As soon as science tries to get a grip on arts it doesnt work....
[13:41] Laila Schuman: nods
[13:41] Herman Bergson: I think that human creativity is much more than just rigid scientific methodology
[13:41] Rodney Handrick: Really Gudrun...that's interesting
[13:41] Gudrun Odriscoll: tell this the UK government, unis and funding bodies.
[13:41] AristotleVon Doobie: I think that art and music are spiritual experiences
[13:42] hope63 Shepherd: well. there have never been great efforts of science to deal with arts..
[13:42] Herman Bergson: You also can see it as two ways to comment on our existence...
[13:42] hope63 Shepherd: psychology was about the first try:)
[13:42] Herman Bergson: science does it with facts and does it with provoking thoughts and creative questions
[13:43] hope63 Shepherd: ari..mental..not spiritual:)
[13:43] AristotleVon Doobie: nope
[13:43] Gudrun Odriscoll: there are some interesting projects there arts and science got together, funded by Wellcome for example, the idea is that artists can learn from science, and science from art, etc. etc.
[13:43] Cailleach Shan: Doesn't science need an element of creativity to move forward?
[13:43] Rodney Handrick: Sure
[13:43] Alarice Beaumont: yes i would agree to that Cail
[13:44] Laila Schuman: difference between researchers and technicians
[13:44] Gudrun Odriscoll: yes Cail
[13:44] Herman Bergson: A lot of science is creativity Cailleach...
[13:44] Wyeth Bailey: I think Western Culture sometimes misuses science to try to reduce complexity versus open us to exploring deeper levels of complexity, science could be used to expand rather than reduce the arts, but the limtiations in academia are cultural, which is another discusssion I fear
[13:44] Herman Bergson: All socalled methodological correctness is brought in afterwards..
[13:44] Rodney Handrick: I think it needs to be redefined
[13:45] Rodney Handrick: I agree Wyeth
[13:45] AristotleVon Doobie: How can science be creative when it deals with materialistic things
[13:45] Herman Bergson: You have a point Weyth
[13:45] AristotleVon Doobie: man can not create materials
[13:45] Herman Bergson: simple...Aristotle...
[13:45] Stanley Aviatik: It's the goals that are creative
[13:45] Cailleach Shan: The scientists can be creative not the science.
[13:45] Wyeth Bailey: I think it can Doobie, because discovery is creative, and the act of discovering, observing, changes things and creates
[13:45] Gudrun Odriscoll: methodological correctness is already there, if you want to do a PhD in an artistic subject, a certain methodology is already required, I fear,
[13:46] Herman Bergson: the stories are numerous that fundamental discoveries were just discovered by accident or just playing around with some stuff
[13:46] Rodney Handrick: Well Ari, to fashion a material object for work requires a certain level of creativity
[13:46] Cailleach Shan: Champagne!!
[13:46] AristotleVon Doobie: I advocate that you can only create feelings
[13:46] Laila Schuman: i see scientists thinking creatively quite is not just math
[13:46] Gudrun Odriscoll: some of it really anecdotal, sells better, a good PR stunt
[13:46] Samuel Okelly: I view the dichotomy of consciousness thought set against introverted observation as posing interesting questions for the scientific method as a whole.
[13:46] Samuel Okelly: Just as utilitarianism asks us to compare and contrast notions of a greater “goodness”, might we be asking too much of science to “explain” or reproduce human creativity?
[13:46] hope63 Shepherd: what is creativity in the mind:)?
[13:46] Wyeth Bailey toasts Cailla with a 1996 Veuve Cliquot La Grande Dame and contemplates the economics of chamapgne :)
[13:46] hope63 Shepherd: god's finger?
[13:47] Gemma Cleanslate: :-)
[13:47] Cailleach Shan: Yay!!
[13:47] AristotleVon Doobie: God?
[13:47] Laila Schuman: for example... in mapping the universe... what is "the wall"... it takes creativity to even approach finding a way to think about it
[13:47] Laila Schuman: let alone solve it
[13:48] Gudrun Odriscoll: science and creativity are not enemies
[13:48] Herman Bergson: Ok...let's get back to the issue here
[13:48] AristotleVon Doobie: maybe it is semantics but creativity means to create something
[13:48] Herman Bergson: Right Gudrun..on the contrary
[13:48] AristotleVon Doobie: not think about it
[13:48] Laila Schuman: creativity is a thought process.... the object is the hubris
[13:49] Gudrun Odriscoll: create does not have to do with manual activity
[13:49] Sage Hartmann: science and creativity are not enemies - but it would seem as though postmodernists and scientific realists sometimes consider each other such, no?
[13:49] Herman Bergson: The issue is that on the one hand we have scientific method and on the other hand a creative approach of being by Jung
[13:49] Wyeth Bailey: I am curious what this group thinks about the "collective" part of Jung . . . are we a hive mind, just more complex than bees somehow (to simplify)?
[13:49] AristotleVon Doobie: LOL
[13:50] Laila Schuman: that is an EXCELLENT question Wyeth
[13:50] Alarice Beaumont: hihi i hope so
[13:50] Gudrun Odriscoll: sage, this is right to a certain extent, dualism, black and white, good and bad, blabla,
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: no such thing as collective consciousness
[13:50] Herman Bergson: It is an impossiblew question Wyeth
[13:50] Alarice Beaumont: i agree Ari
[13:51] Laila Schuman: why Herman
[13:51] hope63 Shepherd: no one answered his question:)
[13:51] AristotleVon Doobie: dont make me bring up the udder in the sky LOL
[13:51] Herman Bergson: first of all what evidence is there that we have an unconscious..and if we have what is it
[13:51] Stanley Aviatik: Is the term not a metaphore?
[13:51] Gudrun Odriscoll: I would say that a collective consciousness would have to be bound to a certain cultural experience, there should be many collective consciousness(es)
[13:51] Herman Bergson: so postulating a collective subconscious leads to a platonist epistemology
[13:51] Laila Schuman: is it the same as instinct?
[13:51] Herman Bergson: in fact the old discussion on Universals returns here then
[13:51] AristotleVon Doobie: yes laila I think it is
[13:52] Stanley Aviatik: Very much so Laila
[13:52] Laila Schuman: or related to instinct
[13:52] Gudrun Odriscoll: instinct is more rudimentary, more animalistic
[13:52] Herman Bergson: No..not instinct....for Jung it was much more..
[13:52] hope63 Shepherd: technically speaking ,herman.. the unconcious is what is at orded in the mind.. but not used directly in everyday work of the mind..
[13:52] Stanley Aviatik: So where does instinct end and thought begin
[13:52] Herman Bergson: a consciousnes of Archetypes for instance
[13:52] Herman Bergson: kind of platonic ideas
[13:53] AristotleVon Doobie: our insticnts are rudimentary, survival
[13:53] Wyeth Bailey: perhaps thought is just more complex or abstracted than instinct
[13:53] Herman Bergson: It makes no sense to discuss instinct as we not even know what it is
[13:54] Stanley Aviatik: Exactly Wyeth
[13:54] Gemma Cleanslate: will we understand more after we read all about it??
[13:54] AristotleVon Doobie: thoughts are the proof of civilization
[13:54] Gudrun Odriscoll: well said ari
[13:54] Samuel Okelly: instinct is ROM and consciousness is RAM
[13:54] Herman Bergson: Well least you will understand more of the problems we have to face in the philosophy of mind
[13:54] Wyeth Bailey: an instinct is hunger to search for food, a thought is, mmm Indian food would be lovely tonight :)
[13:54] Stanley Aviatik: So vultures are civilised?
[13:55] Laila Schuman: could motherhood be categorized as a collective unconcious in that there are instinctual things but they are also not just base... they are diverse and complex
[13:55] AristotleVon Doobie: indeed Sam
[13:55] Cailleach Shan: My brain is hurting!!
[13:55] Sage Hartmann: Herman, why does the unconscious have to be something mystical/metaphysical - can it not be approached as part of our environment as much as the chair or a cultural habit? Would it not then be severed from philosophy and simply become a perfectly legitimate field of empirical inquiry and neuroscience?
[13:55] Gemma Cleanslate: and what was it before the invention of the computer
[13:55] Gudrun Odriscoll: how do vultures think, in terms of a nice Chinese takaway?
[13:55] Stanley Aviatik: yum yum
[13:56] Ap4ch3 Xingjian: sage it seems mystical because no one has made it yet (other then having babies :)
[13:56] Herman Bergson: Sage, if you do that you first have to accept the model consciousness/ subconsciousness as an empircal discrimination of man's mind
[13:56] Gudrun Odriscoll: ap4, what do you mean with babies, ...
[13:57] Ap4ch3 Xingjian: oh yeah, i forgot dennet said babies are not conscious
[13:57] : Vladimir Apparatchik raises hand
[13:57] : Vladimir Apparatchik raises hand
[13:57] : Vladimir Apparatchik raises hand
[13:57] : Vladimir Apparatchik raises hand
[13:57] Herman Bergson: Vladimir!
[13:57] : Vladimir Apparatchik raises hand
[13:57] : Vladimir Apparatchik raises hand
[13:57] : Vladimir Apparatchik raises hand
[13:58] Herman Bergson: Go ahead, Vladimir
[13:58] hope63 Shepherd: question about conciousness.. lol
[13:58] Herman Bergson: an unconscious response to our debate?
[13:58] Gemma Cleanslate: lololol
[13:58] AristotleVon Doobie: LOL
[13:58] hope63 Shepherd: nothing to accept.. its like it
[13:58] Alarice Beaumont: haha
[13:58] Cailleach Shan: Involuntary hand raising..
[13:58] herman Bergson smiles
[13:58] AristotleVon Doobie: motor skill violation
[13:58] Gudrun Odriscoll: a subconscious act
[13:59] Cailleach Shan: Automatic reflexes
[13:59] Herman Bergson: something from his early childhood?
[13:59] Gemma Cleanslate: instinctive
[13:59] AristotleVon Doobie: ROFL
[13:59] Gudrun Odriscoll: compulsive behaviour
[13:59] Cailleach Shan: Give the man a couch.
[13:59] hope63 Shepherd: talking half of my chat page..
[13:59] AristotleVon Doobie: Ok OK OK
[13:59] Vladimir Apparatchik: Sorry - I usually have something to say -but my hand shot up for no reason like Dr. Stangelove !
[13:59] Herman Bergson: LOL
[13:59] Cailleach Shan: Hahahahaaaa... good one Vlad.
[13:59] AristotleVon Doobie: LMAO
[14:00] Gemma Cleanslate: sait it was instinct
[14:00] Herman Bergson: Ok....I think this is a good moment to conclude our discussion...:-)
[14:00] Alarice Beaumont: :-)
[14:00] AristotleVon Doobie: Thank you Herman
[14:00] Herman Bergson: I am following my instinct here..:-)
[14:00] hope63 Shepherd: vlad.. what a nice name in the historical context.. let the bomb fall down on us lol
[14:00] Herman Bergson: But there is a lot to read on this subject...
[14:00] Gemma Cleanslate: hope I will make it on time on sunday
[14:00] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[14:01] Sage Hartmann: dr. strangelove - ahh the great classics :)
[14:01] Gemma Cleanslate: lots of homework
[14:01] Ap4ch3 Xingjian: damn i always miss it :/ ... bloody time zone!!
[14:01] Gudrun Odriscoll: Peter Sellers, it was such great fun
[14:01] Herman Bergson: yes..Gemma..
[14:01] Wyeth Bailey: here's a good short one about if a rock has consciousness, I loved this: l?_r=1&ex=1353042000&en=b65c28295f8d0f28&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&oref=slogin
[14:01] Stanley Aviatik: Will you be covering Adler in this series Herman?
[14:01] Alarice Beaumont: oh yes... the internet links are full of information LOL
[14:01] Cailleach Shan: Ta Wyeth..
[14:01] Ap4ch3 Xingjian: flies away :)
[14:01] Herman Bergson: Ok Wyeth..thnx
[14:02] Gemma Cleanslate: added it to the list of reading
[14:02] Wyeth Bailey: ty herman, I've missed being here lately
[14:02] Wyeth Bailey: alwyas good for a brain ache :)
[14:02] Gudrun Odriscoll: who is next?
[14:02] Herman Bergson: but not forgotten..:-)
[14:02] Herman Bergson:
[14:02] Gemma Cleanslate: ah
[14:02] Wyeth Bailey: oooh
[14:02] Gudrun Odriscoll: oh money, I have to learn to make some
[14:03] Herman Bergson: in stead of mind
[14:03] Gemma Cleanslate: :-)
[14:03] Gudrun Odriscoll: like the alchemists did
[14:03] Stanley Aviatik: or tried to
[14:03] Alarice Beaumont: if you know a fast ways.. please tell me Gudrun ;-)

Posted by herman_bergson on 2008-05-09 10:32:14

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