A Test of Ontological Relativity

In: International Journal of Jungian Studies
Author: Steve Myers1
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  • 1 University of EssexDepartment for Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic StudiesUKColchester
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Jung saw a role for the methods of natural science in analytical psychology alongside other ways of developing of knowledge. This paper puts a cryptic and undeveloped idea in Psychological Types to the test using the principles of Karl Popper’s philosophy of science. The idea is a combination of Jung’s philosophy, esse in anima, and his theory of opposites applied to politics. It is explained using a term coined by the philosopher W.V.O Quine—ontological relativity. There are key similarities between the two philosophical concepts, due to Jung and Quine having a common influence in William James’ radical empiricism. The ontological relativity of political opposites is subjected to three tests that attempt to falsify it. All three attempts at falsification fail, which therefore provides some support for the idea. However, there are a number of anomalous results that raise significant questions requiring further research. This paper should therefore be viewed as the first step in a programme of research to examine the ontological relativity of political opposites that is inherent within esse in anima.

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