Archetype Revisited: An Updated Natural History of the Self by Anthony Stevens

By Anthony Stevens

Archetype: A common historical past of the Self, first released in 1982 used to be a ground-breaking ebook; the 1st to discover the connections among Jung's archetypes and evolutionary disciplines similar to ethology and sociobiology, and a very good creation to the archetypes in thought and functional software as well.C.G. Jung's 'archetypes of the collective subconscious' have generally remained the valuables of analytical psychology, and feature ordinarily been brushed aside as 'mystical' via scientists. yet Jung himself defined them as organic entities, which, in the event that they exist in any respect, has to be amenable to empirical examine. within the paintings of Bowlby and Lorenz, and in contemporary stories of the bilateral mind, Dr Anthony Stevens has found the foremost to commencing up this long-ignored medical method of the archetypes, initially envisaged by way of Jung himself. finally, in an inventive jump made attainable through the cross-fertilisation of a number of professional disciplines, psychiatry could be built-in with psychology, with ethology and biology. the result's an immensely enriched technology of human behaviour.In this revised, up to date variation, Anthony Stevens considers the large cultural, social and highbrow adjustments that experience taken position some time past two decades, and includes:* An up-to-date bankruptcy at the Archetypal Masculine and female, reflecting fresh examine findings and advancements within the considering feminists* statement at the intrusion of neo-Darwinian pondering into psychology and psychiatry* research of what has occurred to the archetype long ago twenty years by way of our realizing of it and our responses to it

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For Jung, a science of psychology could not be founded on the study of a seemingly infinite variety of individual differences: it was necessary, first of all, to establish the ways in which human beings are all psychologically similar. The question which seems to have been perennially at the back of his mind was, what are the archetypal features of human nature? What are the behavioural and psychological characteristics that are specific to us as a species? To him, there were no fundamental incompatibilities between man’s spiritual attainments and his lowly biological origins, and pondering such matters induced in him no such feelings of existential nausea as seemed to afflict the academics.

CW 8, para. 730) The same can be said of Darwinian biology, or any other science: ‘A science can never be a Weltanschauung but merely the tool with which to make one’ (CW 8, para. 731). Archetypes and meaning 37 The limitations of scientific materialism as a cultural dominant should not drive us to a wholesale rejection of scientific thought or deductive reasoning. Rather it should cause us to re-examine the age-old metaphysical questions which are prompted by the tangible phenomena of our universe, and which concern the nature and cosmic position of our species.

Darwin’s contribution is a case in point. He entered a world of infinite biological complexity, where scientists were so overwhelmed by the staggering variety of living forms that they could do little more than describe, draw, classify and annotate. ) But in his lifetime Darwin changed all that—through one tremendous insight, namely, that the guiding principle governing the structure and function of all living organisms is, quite simply, the survival of the species. Similarly, Jung, contemplating the apparently infinite multiformity of symbolisms created by mankind, so richly complicated, so ingeniously diverse, came to realize that they were in fact variations on a number of universally recurrent themes.

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