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Record Type: Review   ID: 385

Mythos and Logos in the Thought of Carl Jung: The Theory of the Collective Unconscious in Scientific Perspective

Shelbourne, Walter A.

 Philosopher Shelbourne undertakes the rational reconstruction of Jung's theory of the collective unconscious. In this book he attempts to answer the following questions: "Is there in fact a viable scientific theory reconstructable out of Jung's views? What would be the significance of such a scientifically defensible theory of the collective unconscious? Would it be intelligible? Would it really be compatible with present scientific knowledge? And is there any compelling evidence to suggest that such a theory is in fact true?" (p. 1). Although in the title and the Introduction he emphasizes the term "collective unconscious," what he actually tries to come to terms with is Jung's theory of archetypes. A chapter is included on the archetypal psychology of James Hillman. The last chapter, "The Study of Archetypes as a Scientific Discipline," is perhaps the most important. It deals with falsifiability, explanation, evidence, and archetypes and the theory of evolution. Shelburne discusses the relevance of Jung's theories for psi phenomena, but feels that to be of value a theory not only has to be able to explain the exceptional (e.g., psi), but at the same time it should be able to encompass the mundane world of sensory reality.
Publisher Information:Albany: State University of New York Press, 1988. 180p. Bibl: 163-172 (150 refs); Chap notes; Ind: 173-180
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