Jon Mills

Abstract

The analysis of Dasein's struggle for authenticity will be the main focus of this article. By virtue of Dasein's ontological predispositions, selfhood is subjected to inauthentic existential modalities already constitutive of its Being. In the case of the false Dasein, fallenness is exacerbated in that Dasein constricts its comportment primarily to the modes of the inauthentic, thereby abdicating its potentiality-for-Being. The false Dasein results from ontical encounters within pre-existing deficient ontological conditions of Being-in-the-world that are thrust upon selfhood as its facticity. These deficient ontological structures predispose Dasein to develop intrapsychic psychological deficits that further contribute to Dasein's false existence. Through the medium of Heidegger's existential ontology, Sartrean bad faith, and psychoanalysis, I will demonstrate that the throes of selfhood encompass a dialectical course meandering through experiential modes of authenticity and falsehood, in which this very process itself is an authentic enterprise, that is, it is the necessary constitutional structure of Dasein itself as Being-toward-becoming its possibilities.

Jon Mills

In a previous essay offering an exegesis of Jung's metaphysics, I concluded that his position on the archetypes emphasizes basic constitutional patterns that manifest as imago, thought, affect, fantasy, and behavior inherent in all forms of human psychic life (bios) that are genetically transmitted yet realized on different stratifications of psychical order, including mystical properties emanating from supernatural origins. Mark Saban and Robert Segal provide thoughtful critiques of my work that challenge my basic premises. Saban represents a particular Jungian camp conforming to empirical apologetics, while Segal is more critical of Jung's philosophical ideas. The two main themes that emerge from their criticism are that I fail to show that Jung is a metaphysician, and that the archetypes are not supernatural phenomena. Here I will be concerned with recapitulating Jung's metaphysical postulations about the world and psyche and address more specifically the question of his commitment to supernaturalism.

Jon Mills

Jung’s notion of the archetype remains an equivocal concept, so much so that Jungians and post-Jungians have failed to agree on its essential nature. In this essay, I wish to argue that an archetype may be understood as an unconscious schema that is self-constitutive and emerges into consciousness from its own a priori ground, hence an autonomous self-determinative act derived from archaic ontology. After offering an analysis of the archetype debate, I set out to philosophically investigate the essence of an archetype by examining its origins and dialectical reflections as a process system arising from its own autochthonous parameters. I offer a descriptive explication of the inner constitution and birth of an archetype based on internal rupture and the desire to project its universality, form, and patternings into psychic reality as self-instantiating replicators. Archetypal content is the appearance of essence as the products of self-manifestation, for an archetype must appear in order to be made actual. Here we must seriously question that, in the beginning, if an archetype is self-constituted and self-generative, the notion and validity of a collective unconscious becomes rather dubious, if not superfluous. I conclude by sketching out an archetypal theory of alterity based on dialectical logic.

Jon Mills

ABSTRACT

C. G. Jung never offered a formalized system of ethics, but his analytical psychology is teeming with ethical pronouncements. Jung’s ethical theories are introduced and explored in relation to a book written by Dan Merkur centering on the question of morality in human nature, the individuation process, and in psychotherapeutic treatment. Jung struggled to provide a dialectical account of human valuation, yet this is implied in the very process of overcoming oppositions through the negotiation and integration of differences, and in holding balances between internal and external conflicts. The psychologicalization of ethics, particularly the compensatory function of the unconscious, ensures that moral psychology is fraught with ambivalence, uncertainty, and competing dilemmas that are unique to each person, hence no formal or rational system of deontological ethics is possible.

Edited by Jon Mills

This book advocates a return to the spirit of the Greek notion of paideia, emphasizing a pedagogy of becoming. The authors offer a holistic approach to education that aspires toward the inclusion, promotion, and nurturance of virtue and valuation. Topics range from the purely conceptual to applied methodology. Several key issues and contemporary trends in education are addressed philosophically, including the values of wisdom, morality, compassion, empathy, interdependence, authenticity, and self-understanding.

Jon Mills

Despite it being the focal point of his theoretical system, I argue that Jung's notion of the archetypes is one of his least understood concepts because it was nebulous to Jung himself. Jung vacillated between viewing archetypes as analogous to primordial images and ideas inherited from our ancestral past, formal a priori categories of mind, cosmic projections, emotional and valuational agencies, and numinous mystical experience, but the question remains whether a ‘suprapersonal’ or ‘transubjective’ psyche exists. In what follows, I will be preoccupied with tracing the theoretical development of Jung's thesis on the collective unconscious, with a special emphasis on the archetypes, and hence pointing out the metaphysical implications of his thought. It is not possible to critique his entire body of work in the context of this abbreviated article; therefore, the reader should be aware that I am limiting myself to a narrow scope of interest in explicating and analyzing the philosophical viability of his major concepts. The greater question is whether the archetypes adequately answer to the question of origins, of an omnipresent and eternal dimension to the nature and structure of psychic reality.

Jon Mills and Janusz A. Polanowski

This book offers a bold and controversial new thesis regarding the nature of prejudice. The authors' central claim is that prejudice is not simply learned, rather it is predisposed in all human beings and is thus the foundation for ethical valuation. They aim to destroy the illusion that prejudice is merely the result of learned beliefs, socially conditioned attitudes, or pathological states of development. Contrary to traditional accounts, prejudice itself is not a negative attribute of human nature, rather it is the necessary precondition for the self and civilization to emerge. Defined as the preferential self-expression of valuation, prejudice gives rise to greater existential complexities and novelties that elevate selfhood and society to higher states of ethical realization. Rather than offer another contribution that highlights the destructive nature of prejudice, Mills and Polanowski address the ontological, psychological, and dialectical origins of prejudice as it manifests itself in the process of selfhood and culture. They provide an original conceptualization of the phenomenology of prejudice and its dialectical instantiation in the ontology of the individual, worldhood, and the very structures of subjectivity. As a unique synthesis of psychoanalysis, Hegelian idealism, Heideggerian existential ontology, and Whiteheadian process philosophy, prejudice is the indispensable ground for humanity to actualize its highest potentiality-for-Being. The striking result is (1) a revolutionary theory of human nature, (2) a new ethical system, and (3) the elevation of dialectical ethics to the domain of metaphysics.

Jon Mills

Abstract

Throughout this essay I offer an adumbrated critique of recognition theory through a psychoanalytic sensibility. Contemporary recognition theory relies on an overly optimistic and intellectualized view of social relations that fails to adequately consider pathological processes inherent in human motivation, particularly those that are unconsciously mediated by collective prejudice and dysrecognition. In revisiting the Hegelian struggle for recognition, much of social reality today is mired in a collective pathos that prevents optimal mutual recognition among social collectives. Not all people are disposed, let alone capable, of recognizing the Other. We may have to contend that, in the end, recognition means tolerance of difference and not merely acceptance of one other, which could still bring about a pragmatic co-existence even if people cannot recognize each other as equals. This is largely due, I suggest, to the ontology of prejudice, attachment deficits, and the failure to adopt empathy toward alterity.