C.G. Jung Letters, Vol. 1: 1906-1950

To Alexander Willwoll, S. J.

Dear Professor Willwoll, 14 January 1946

Many thanks for kindly sending me your interesting essay.

I admire the thoroughness of your documentation and the objectivity of your argument in a field that assuredly contains much that is irritating to philosophers and theologians.

Personally it makes me sad to see how the spokesmen for the humanities often toil and moil over my writings only to reduce all my conceptual variants to a common denominator.

The philosopher should always bear in mind that our point de depart is different, since I approach the problems from the scientific, empirical side: what he calls “ideas” I observe and describe as entia, just like a botanist his plants, a zoologist his animals, and a chemist his substances.

I am not out to build a conceptual system, but use concepts to describe psychic facts and their peculiar modes of behaviour.

For a zoologist a bear, regardless of its Himalayan, Siberian, European, or American genus, is always a bear, and the empirical psychologist proceeds in the same way with psychic entia.

What he would call the accidentia of ideas is for the philosopher and even more for the theologian just the essential thing.

This can hardly be anything but irritating. It is therefore very much to your credit that you have succeeded in treating my concepts with so much goodwill and objectivity.

Yours sincerely,

C . G. J UN G ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 406.