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Abstract

Departing from two diverging lines of inquiry of testimony that characterize philosophy today, this article aims to show what a hermeneutic phenomenology of witnessing and testimony is and how this approach to testimony offers a new framework to understand witnessing and testimony, which also repositions the present-day main lines of inquiry of testimony. The first section offers a critical assessment of the state of the art in the philosophy of testimony today and the second section reinterprets the two main diverging lines of inquiry as a conflict. The major part of this article is devoted to a hermeneutic-phenomenological account of witnessing and testimony. The third and fourth sections describe several relations between subject matter, witness, acts of bearing witness, and addressee, to develop this hermeneutic-phenomenological framework and in the process also shows which place is awarded to the two main lines of the present-day inquiry within this framework.

Open Access
In: Research in Phenomenology

Abstract

Analytic formulation and contribution to treatment of psychotic disorders have little application in modern psychiatry. The medical model, largely based on psychopharmacology and biological conceptualisation of illness, particularly dominates the treatment of psychosis. While many analysts have worked with patients in psychotic states, it is rare to find analytic approaches to psychosis within the national health service (NHS) in the UK. We feel this a detriment to a sometimes difficult to treat patient group. Jung spent his early working years devoted to patients with psychosis at the Burgholzli hospital in Zurich. Later on in his career, Jung had personal experience of psychotic symptoms, interacting with visions and voices within his own mind, that are noted in his posthumous Red Book. Jung is, therefore, arguably one of the most experienced analysts and depth psychologists in the realm of psychosis. In this paper we describe Jung’s in-depth psychological approach to the genesis of psychosis. We then discuss parallels with our contemporary understanding of the aetiology of psychosis. Our aim is to highlight the importance of an analytical approach and thinking in a) understanding the aetiology and b) contribution to treatment of such a complex and intractable disorder as psychosis.

Open Access
In: International Journal of Jungian Studies
Author:

Abstract

In most literature on human cultural evolution and the emergence of large-scale cooperation, the main function of cultural conventions is described as providing group-markers. This paper argues that cultural conventions serve another purpose as well that is at least as important. Large-scale cooperation is characterized by complex division of labour and by a diversity of social roles associated with cultural institutions. This requires ubiquitous ‘role-interaction coordination’ – as it will be labelled. It is argued that without cultural conventions this type of coordination would be cognitively intractable. Thus, apart from functioning as group markers, they are first and foremost important group-makers.

Open Access
In: Journal of Cognition and Culture

Abstract

The attribution of mental states (MS) to other species typically follows a scala naturae pattern. However, “simple” mental states, including emotions, sensing, and feelings are attributed to a wider range of animals as compared to the so-called “higher” cognitive abilities. We propose that such attributions are based on the perceptual quality (i.e. imageability) of mental representations related to MS concepts. We hypothesized that the attribution of highly imaginable MS is more dependent on the familiarity of participants with animals when compared to the attribution of MS low in imageability. In addition, we also assessed how animal agreeableness, familiarity with animals, and the type of human-animal interaction related to the judged similarity of animals to humans. Sixty-one participants (19 females, 42 males) with a rural (n = 20) and urban (n = 41) background rated twenty-six wild and domestic animals for their perceived similarity with humans and ability to experience a set of MS: (1) Highly imageable MS: joy, anger, and fear, and (2) MS low in imageability: capacity to plan and deceive. Results show that more agreeable and familiar animals were considered more human-like. Primates, followed by carnivores, suines, ungulates, and rodents were rated more human-like than xenarthrans, birds, arthropods, and reptiles. Higher MS ratings were given to more similar animals and more so if the MS attributed were high in imageability. Familiarity with animals was only relevant for the attribution of the MS high in imageability.

Open Access
In: Journal of Cognition and Culture

Abstract

Symptomatic of the crisis of the current global political order are the millions of displaced that have fled their homes but are not allowed to enter the country in which they seek refuge. Instead, they are placed in camps. To understand the site of the camp and the bare life it produces, testimonies of refugees are indispensable. This essay aims to examine and listen to these testimonies by, first, introducing the notion of testimony and some of the characteristics of the testimony of refugees; second, examining what it means to listen to testimony and which role is played therein by the narrative, literary structure of testimony; and, third, by interpreting the form of life to which the testimonies of the camp attest, which several witnesses describe as a life in “limbo.” This essay concludes with some brief remarks on the relation between experience, truth, and language in testimony.

Open Access
In: Research in Phenomenology
Author:

Abstract

Two tendencies co-exist within the field of analytical psychology. The first is to locate Jung’s psychology within the established bounds of official science (by for example insisting on its implicit consistency with orthodox scientific findings). The second is to make claims that Jung’s psychology is extra- (or super-) scientific. It seems to me however that neither approach can do justice to the difficulty of the problem Jung has set us. In order to develop a third approach I place Jung’s problematic engagement with science into a creative encounter with the philosophical ideas of Deleuze & Guattari. The French philosophers distinguish two contrasting ways of doing science: “Royal” or “state” science privileges the fixed, stable and constant. “Nomad” or “minor” science emphasizes the malleable, fluid, and metamorphic nature of being. These are not alternatives but “ontologically, a single field of interaction” (Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, p. 367). When it comes to Jung’s writings on science, the irredeemable ambiguity of his psychology shows up in what appear to be two contradictory approaches. One highlights the intrinsically scientific nature of his project and insists upon his empiricism. The other takes the form of a profound and relentless critique of the materialistic, reductive and rationalistic assumptions Jung finds behind the scientific approach. My suggestion here is that the dynamic tension between these two opposing visions of science that forms the crucial condition for the on-going individuation of his psychology.

Open Access
In: International Journal of Jungian Studies
Author:

Abstract

In our dialogues over the nature of archetypes, essence, psyche, and world, I further respond to Erik Goodwyn’s recent foray into establishing an ontological position that not only answers to the mind-body problem, but further locates the source of Psyche on a cosmic plane. His impressive attempt to launch a neo-Jungian metaphysics is based on the principle of cosmic panpsychism that bridges both the internal parameters of archetypal process and their emergence in consciousness and the external world conditioned by a psychic universe. Here I explore the ontology of experience, mind, matter, metaphysical realism, and critique Goodwyn’s turn to Neoplatonism. The result is a potentially compatible theory of mind and reality that grounds archetypal theory in onto-phenomenology, metaphysics, and bioscience, hence facilitating new directions in analytical psychology.

Open Access
In: International Journal of Jungian Studies

Abstract

This essay argues that bringing Marxist and Jungian thought together can be surprisingly fruitful. While both traditions are ultimately concerned with human flourishing, they focus on different aspects of reality which would need to be combined for genuine emancipation: the social and the individual, the conscious and the unconscious, objectivity and subjectivity, modernity and ancestrality, science and spirituality. After briefly discussing divergences and convergences between the two authors, I present fragments of a Jungian-Marxian anthropology, around the depth of social struggles, the relations between ideology and archetypes, the psychic costs of capitalism, and Degrowth as the possible political project of this synthesis. If one takes human and nonhuman flourishing seriously, one can only go post-capitalist and seek to reorganize society around a slower pace, a simpler life, and more sharing and caring. The essay ends with a plea to bring back the soul to the core of radical activism.

Open Access
In: International Journal of Jungian Studies

Abstract

This article considers the remote meeting technologies that have become the unavoidable framework of (academic) work during the COVID-19 epidemic. I analyze them with the help of Jacques Derrida’s concepts, thus also illustrating the reach of the latter. The article presents four “transcendental illusions” as supporting the digital world and, according to Derrida, experience. The illusion of proximity: digitality relies on a haptocentric illusion but it also reveals the distance at the heart of touching. The illusion of presence: digitality functions under the illusion of presence, but it also reveals the spectrality of digital presence. The illusion of a complete memory: although the Internet appears to be a total memory, it is really an archive, that is, a finite set of traces. The illusion of worldwide community: teletechnologies pretend to constitute a universal place, but they only generate a finite dis-place of common alienation.

Open Access
In: Research in Phenomenology
Author:

Abstract

This paper explores the genesis and significance of Jung’s recently-published Black Books. It considers the nature of the inspiration behind them, and it suggests that the Black Books reveal the textual nature of Jung’s experience of the process of ‘ordering’ in several different ways. The paper examines the minor and more significant changes between the version of the text found in the Black Books and the Red Book, and it considers whether it is helpful to think of the Black Books in the categories of ‘science’, ‘nature’, or ‘art’. It is argued that one of the key insights into the creative process behind the Black Books can be gained from examining their textual status (reflected, for example, in Jung’s handwriting), which gives a sense of the linguistic, stylistic, conceptual, and emotional struggle out of which they emerged. Finally, the paper discusses Jung’s encounter with the Dionysos-like figure of Wotan, which is linked with Jung’s memory of an ‘unforgettable night in the desert’ when he ‘saw the Χ for the first time’ and ‘understood the Platonic myth’ (BB7, p. 227), and it explores Jung’s longstanding interest in interpreting the myth of the creation in Plato’s Timaeus.

Open Access
In: International Journal of Jungian Studies