[If I speak of the collective unconscious I don’t assume it as a principle, I only give a name to the totality of observable facts, i.e., archetypes.]

To E. A. Bennet

Dear Bennet, 23 June 1960

I can entirely subscribe to your statement in “Methodology in Psychological Medicine,” p. 3:”

Its (the scientific method’s) tool is the objective observation of phenomena.

Then comes the classification of the phenomena and lastly the deriving of mutual relations and sequences between the observed data, thereby making it possible to predict future occurrences, which, in turn, must be tested by observation and experiment,” if, I must add, the experiment is possible. (You cannot experiment with geological strata for example!)

What you state is exactly what I do and always have done.

Psychic events are observable facts and can be dealt with in a “scientific”

Nobody has even shown me in how far my method has not been scientific.

One was satisfied with shouting “unscientific.”

Under these circumstances I do make the claim of being “scientific” because I do exactly what you describe as the “scientific method.”

I observe, I classify, I establish relations and sequences between the observed data, and I even show the possibility of prediction.

If I speak of the collective unconscious I don’t assume it as a principle, I only give a name to the totality of observable facts, i.e., archetypes.

I derive nothing from it as it is merely a nomen.

The crux is the term “scientific,” which in the Anglo-Saxon realm means, it seems, physical, chemical, and mathematical evidence only.

On the continent, however, any kind of adequate logical and systematic approach is called “scientific”; thus historical and comparative methods are scientific.

History, mythology, anthropology, ethnology, are “sciences” as are geology, zoology, botany, etc.

It is evident that psychology has the claim of being “scientific” even when it is not concerned only with (most inadequate physical or physiological methods.

Psyche is the mother of all our attempts to understand Nature, but in contradistinction to all others it tries to understand itself by itself, a great disadvantage in one way and an equally great prerogative in the other!

Thanking you again for all the trouble I have caused and you took,

I remain,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 567

Carl Jung across the web:

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