[Carl Jung and Classifying typologically is a pretty sterile undertaking and people miss the gravamen portion of “Psychological Types.”]
To G. A. Farner
Dear Dr. Farner, 18 February 1935
With regard to Psychological Types, I must say that I always use typology in the stricter sense as a critical apparatus, just as the idea of a psychological typology is really an attempt at a critical psychology.
But I regard this as only one side of my book.
The other side deals with the problem of opposites arising out of such criticism.
I have discussed this chiefly in Chapters 2 and 5 on Schiller and Spitteler.
There lies the gravamen of the book, though most readers have not noticed this because they are first of all led into the temptation of classifying everything typologically, which in itself is a pretty sterile undertaking.
I have therefore stressed in the preface to the Spanish edition1 that my typology is essentially a critical apparatus for sifting the empirical material collected by analysis.
So it is not the case at all that I begin by classifying my patients into types and then give them the corresponding advice, as a colleague of mine whom God has endowed
with a peculiar wit once asserted.
In general I use these technical terms in my practical work only when I have to explain to certain patients the one-sidedness of their behaviour, their remarkable relations with other people, and such things.
I hope these hints will suffice.
Please do not upset yourself on account of possible criticism.
In our Club we are in the habit of treating our speakers very civily.
With best regards and wishes for a thorough recovery,
C.G. Jung; [Letters Volume 1; Pages 186-187]