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Carl Jung on “Empiricism” “Empiricist” – Anthology.

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“Facts first and theories later is the keynote of Jung’s work. He is an empiricist first and last.” British Medical Journal (9 February 1952)

I am essentially an empiricist and have discovered to my cost that when people do not understand me they think I have seen visions. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 121-122

I was particularly satisfied with the fact that you clearly understand that I am not a mystic but an empiricist. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 237.

You seem to forget that I am first and foremost an empiricist, who was led to the question of Western and Eastern mysticism only for empirical reasons. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 195.

I am not a philosopher who might be able to achieve something as ambitious as that, but an empiricist who describes the progress of his experiences; thus my work has no absolute beginning and no all-encompassing end. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 179-180

individuation is an empirical process and not a way of initiation at all. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 304.

Psychology is an empirical science and deals with realities. ~Carl Jung, Aion, Para . 98

I cannot define for you what God is. I can only say that my work has proved empirically that the pattern of God exists in every man and that this pattern has at its disposal the greatest of all his energies for transformation and transfiguration of his natural being. Carl Jung, “Jung” Van der Post, Page 216.

If the psyche must be granted an overriding empirical importance, so also must the individual, who is the only immediate manifestation of the Psyche. ~Carl Jung, The Undiscovered Self, Page 34.

My conceptions are empirical and not at all speculative. If you understand them from a philosophical standpoint you go completely astray, since they are not rational but mere names of groups of irrational phenomena. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 302.

The quaternity is an empirical fact, not a doctrine. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 13.

Since the incarnatio Dei conveys nothing intelligible to modern man, “became flesh” has to be translated for better of worse, e.g., “has assumed definite empirical form.” ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 13.

It is your theological standpoint that is a gnosis, not my empiricism, of which you obviously haven’t the faintest inkling. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 244-245.

What we can experience empirically as underlying this image is the individuation process, which gives us clear intimations of a greater “Man” than our ego. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 341-343.

I am a psychologist and empiricist, and for me the meaning of life does not lie in annulling it for the sake of an alleged “possibility of transcendental existence” which nobody knows how to envisage. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 381.

Your argument and the beautiful quotations make it very clear that Rilke drew from the same deep springs as I did-the collective unconscious. He as a poet or visionary, I as a psychologist and empiricist. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 381-382.

I can also say, therefore, that in itself the archetype is an irrepresentable configuration whose existence can be established empirically in a multitude of forms. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 445-449

The empiricist only speaks of data that can be determined with sufficient certainty, and from these data he tries to crystallize out characteristics of the as yet unknown. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 445-449

For about 1900 years we have been admonished and taught to project the self into Christ, and in this very simple way it was removed from empirical man, much to the relief of the latter, since he was thus spared the experience of the self, namely the unio oppositorum. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 453-454.

For him [Freud] conscience is a human acquisition. I, on the contrary, maintain that even animals have a conscience-dogs, for instance-and empirically there is much to be said for this, since instinctual conflicts are not altogether unknown on the animal level. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 457-458

There is no psychological exposition of astrology yet, on account of the fact that the empirical foundation in the sense of a science has not yet been laid. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 463-464

Owing to His human nature, Christ is the accessible part of the Godhead, and His empirical essence expresses the aforesaid experience. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 471-473

For more than a hundred years the world has been confronted with the concept of an unconscious, and for more than fifty years with the empirical investigation of it, but only a very few people have drawn the necessary conclusions. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 482-488

Another common misunderstanding is that I derive my idea of “archetypes” from Philo or Dionysius Areopagita, or St. Augustine. It is based solely upon empirical data, viz . upon the astonishing fact that products of the unconscious in modern individuals can almost literally coincide with symbols occurring in all peoples and all times, beyond the possibility of tradition or migration, for which I have given numerous proofs. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 500-502

When one considers that for over 50 years there has been a definite conception of the unconscious which is supported by empirically demonstrable facts, it is little short of amazing that philosophers still haven’t found the time to do anything but pooh-pooh it. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 559-560

I am afraid it is sheer prejudice against science which hinders theologians from understanding my empirical standpoint. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 570-573

I drew all my empirical material from my patients, but the solution of the problem I drew from the inside, from my observations of the unconscious processes. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 35

And those efforts of the self to manifest in the empirical world result in man: he is the result of the attempt. So much of the self remains outside, it doesn’t enter this three-dimensional empirical world. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Page 977.

Since the object of this endeavor [Alchemy] was seen outside as well as inside, as both physical and psychic, the work extended as it were through the whole of nature, and its goal consisted in a symbol which had an empirical and at the same time a transcendental aspect. ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 700.

In the first place, I have no system, no doctrine, nothing of that kind. I am an empiricist, with no metaphysical views at all. ~Carl Jung, C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters, Pages 410-423

Empirically considered, however, the archetype did not ever come into existence as a phenomenon of organic life, but entered into the picture with life itself. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 222.

Whatever man’s wholeness, or the self, may mean per se, empirically it is an image of the goal of life spontaneously produced by the unconscious, irrespective of the wishes and fears of the conscious mind. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 745.

This derivation gives religio the right empirical basis, namely, the religious conduct of life, as distinct from mere credulity and imitation, which are either religion at second hand or substitutes for religion. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 517

Although the divine incarnation is a cosmic and absolute event, it only manifests empirically in those relatively few individuals capable of enough consciousness to make ethical decisions, that is, to decide for the Good. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 314.

We rather might say: the empirical existence of an ego is a condition through which continuous consciousness becomes possible. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 254-255

Like all archetypal symbols, the symbol of the tree has undergone a development of meaning in the course of the centuries. It is far removed from the original meaning of the shamanistic tree, even though certain basic features prove to be unalterable. The psychoid form underlying any archetypal image retains its character at all stages of development, though empirically it is capable of endless variations. The outward form of the tree may change in the course of time, but the richness and vitality of a symbol are expressed more in its change of meaning. ~Carl Jung, CW13, ¶ 350

Empirical psychology loved, until recently, to explain the “unconscious” as mere absence of consciousness—the term itself indicates as much—just as shadow is an absence of light. Today accurate observation of unconscious processes has recognized, with all other ages before us, that the unconscious possesses a creative autonomy such as a mere shadow could never be endowed with. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 141

Not only in the psychic man is there something unknown, but also in the physical. We should be able to include this unknown quantity in a total picture of man, but we cannot. Man himself is partly empirical, partly transcendental . . . Also, we do not know whether what we on the empirical plane regard as physical may not, in the Unknown beyond our experience, be identical with what on this side of the border we distinguish from the physical or psychic. ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 765

I am an empiricist, not a philosopher; I cannot let myself presuppose that my peculiar temperament, my own attitude to intellectual problems, is universally valid. Apparently this is an assumption in which only the philosopher may indulge, who always takes it for granted that his own disposition and attitude are universal, and will not recognize the fact, if he can avoid it, that his personal equation” conditions his philosophy. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i Para 49

Nor was it ever my intention to characterize personalities, for which reason I did not put my description of the types at the beginning of the book; rather I tried to produce a clear conceptual scheme based on empirically demonstrable factors. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 129-130

Hence my typology aims, not at characterizing personalities, but at classifying the empirical material in relatively simple and clear categories, just as it is presented to a practising psychologist and therapist. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 129-130

Man himself is partly empirical, partly transcendental . . . Also, we do not know whether what we on the empirical plane regard as physical may not, in the Unknown beyond our experience, be identical with what on this side of the border we distinguish from the physical or psychic. ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 765

The carrier of this consciousness is the individual, who does not produce the psyche of his own volition but is, on the contrary, preformed by it and nourished by the gradual awakening of consciousness during childhood. If therefore the psyche is of overriding empirical importance, so also is the individual, who is the only immediate manifestation of the psyche. Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 528

Just as a lapis Philosophorum, with its miraculous powers, was never produced, so psychic wholeness will never be attained empirically, as consciousness is too narrow and too one-sided to comprehend the full inventory of the psyche. ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 759

The idea of an unconscious psyche has not yet gained undisputed currency, despite the existence of an overwhelming mass of empirical material which proves beyond all doubt that there can be no psychology of consciousness without a recognition of the unconscious. ~Carl Jung, CW 18, Para ix

My views are not contrivances of a roving fancy, but thoughts which matured in almost daily conversation with my respected chief, Professor Bleuler. I owe special thanks to my friend Dr. Riklin, of Rheinau, for adding considerably to the empirical material. Carl Jung, CW 3, Page 3

Civilized humanity would consist solely of empiricists, and the sciences solely of empirical sciences. There is no doubt that causalism and empiricism are the two ruling forces in the intellectual life of today, though things may yet turn out otherwise.  Carl Jung, CW 3, Para 420

It is in the nature of things that such work should go far beyond the fundamental concepts of empiricism, for the human mind has never yet rested content with experience alone. All mental development comes by way of speculation and not by confining ourselves to mere experience. Experience without speculation leads nowhere.  Carl Jung, CW 3, 423

Freud has not examined all the hysterias there are. His proposition is therefore subject to the general limitation which applies to empirical axioms. He has simply found his view confirmed in the cases observed by him, which constitute an infinitely small fraction of all cases of hysteria.  ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 7

Since it has grown entirely out of empirical practice, the theoretical foundations of the psychanalytic method are still very obscure.  ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 42

His supposition is not founded on a dogma, nor on an a priori idea, but on empiricism alone—namely, the common experience that no psychic (or physical) fact is accidental.  ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 66

In investigating the realm of free creative fantasy we have to rely,

more almost than anywhere else, on a broad empiricism; and though this enjoins on us a high degree of modesty with regard to the accuracy of individual results, it by no means obliges us to pass over in silence what has happened and been observed, simply from fear of being execrated as unscientific. ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 145

It would be interesting to know just what kind of empirical proof our critics expect, if not proof on the evidence of the empirical facts. Do these facts exist? We point to our observations. Our critics, however, simply say No.  ~Carl Jung, CW 4, 194

Our critics, unlike earlier ones, have progressed inasmuch as they try to be more serious and to strike a more moderate note. But they commit the mistake of criticizing the psychoanalytic method as though it rested on a priori principles, whereas in reality it is purely empirical and totally lacking in any final theoretical framework.  ~Carl Jung, CW 4, 195

It should be obvious to every thinking person that what matters is simply and solely the empirical facts.  ~Carl Jung, CW 4, 195

As you see, then, the concept of repression rests on a firm empirical basis.  ~Carl Jung, CW 4, 212

For the empirical material on this subject, I must refer you to the literature, but should just like to remind you that one of my pupils, Dr. Emma First, has adduced valuable experimental proofs in regard to this problem. ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 309

Freud is anything rather than a theorist. He is an empiricist, as anyone must admit who is willing to go at all deeply into Freud’s writings and to try to see his cases as he sees them.  ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 343

The weak spots of psychoanalysis are not to be found here—for psychoanalysis is essentially empirical—though here, undoubtedly, is a large and insufficiently cultivated field where the critics can romp to their heart’s content.  ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 323

The investigation of the unconscious, continued over a period of ten years with the help of an increasing number of workers, gradually brought to light a mass of empirical material which showed that the incest complex was a highly important and never-failing element in pathological fantasy.  ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 353

I know very well that Freud, being an empiricist, always publishes only provisional formulations to which he certainly does not attribute any eternal value. But it is equally certain that the scientific public is inclined to make a creed out of them, a system which is asserted as blindly on the one hand as it is attacked on the other.  ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 375

The empirical and practical rule which I have adopted is that the patient, if he does not dream, still has sufficient conscious material which he is keeping back for certain reasons.  ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 535

It is therefore necessary to demand proof of the reality of this infantile fixation. Freud, an absolutely sincere and painstaking empiricist, would never have evolved this hypothesis had he not had sufficient grounds for it.  ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 562

Finality is also a point of view, and it is empirically justified by the existence of series of events in which the causal connection is indeed evident but the meaning of which only becomes intelligible in terms of end-products (final effects).  ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 687

Even when I deal with empirical data I am necessarily speaking about myself. But it is only by accepting this as inevitable that I can serve the cause of man’s knowledge of man—the cause which Freud also wished to serve and which, in spite of everything, he has served. Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also.  ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 774

My attitude to biology is equally positive, and to the empiricism of natural science in general, in which I see a herculean attempt to understand the psyche by approaching it from the outside world, just as religious gnosis is a prodigious attempt of the human mind to derive knowledge of the cosmos from within.  ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 777

For it is history above all that today enables us to bring the huge mass of empirical material into ordered relationships and to recognize the functional significance of the collective contents of the unconscious.  ~Carl Jung, CW 5, Para xxviii