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Foreword to the Argentine Edition, Psychological Types.

No book that makes an essentially new contribution to knowledge enjoys the privilege of being thoroughly understood.

Perhaps it is most difficult of all for new psychological insights to make any headway.

A psychology that is grounded on experience always touches upon personal and intimate matters and thus arouses everything that is contradictory and unclarified in the human


If one is plunged, as I am for professional reasons, into the chaos of psychological opinions, prejudices, and susceptibilities, one gets a profound and indelible impression of the diversity of individual psychic dispositions, tendencies, and convictions, while on the other hand one increasingly feels the need for some kind of order among the chaotic multiplicity of points of view.

This need calls for a critical orientation and for general principles and criteria, not too specific in their formulation, which may serve as points de repere in sorting out the empirical material.

What I have attempted in this book is essentially a critical psychology.

This fundamental tendency in my work has often been overlooked, and far too many readers have succumbed to the error of thinking that Chapter X (“General Descriptions of the Types”) represents the essential content and purpose of the book, in the sense that it provides a system of classification and a practical guide to a good judgment of human character.

Indeed, even in medical circles the opinion has got about that my method of treatment

consists in fitting patients into this system and giving them corresponding “advice”.

This regrettable misunderstanding completely ignores the fact that this kind of classification is nothing but a childish parlour game, every bit as futile as the division of mankind into brachycephalics and dolichocephalics.

My typology is far rather a critical apparatus serving to sort out and organize the welter of empirical material, but not in any sense to stick labels on people at first sight.

It is not a physiognomy and not an anthropological system, but a critical psychology dealing with the organization and delimitation of psychic processes that can be shown to be typical.

For this reason I have placed the general typology and the definitions at the end of the book, after having described, in Chapters I to IX, the processes in question with the help of various examples.

I would therefore recommend the reader who really wants to understand my book to immerse himself first of all in Chapters II and V.

He will gain more from them than from any typological terminology superficially

picked up, since this serves no other purpose than a totally useless desire to stick on labels.

It is now my pleasant duty to express my sincerest thanks to Madame Victoria Ocampo for her great help in securing the publication of this book, and to Senor Ramon de la Serna for his work of translation.

Kusnacht Zurich      October 1934

  1. G. Jung ~Carl Jung, The Correspondence of Victoria Ocampo, Count Keyserling and C G Jung Page 104-105