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A Library Guide to Jung's Collected Works

Explore Jungian psychology resources available from the Pacifica Graduate Library

Reference publications on Archetypes

Jung on Archetypes

Jung's essays on Archetypes from the Collected Works:

Additional resources on Archetypes

Book Chapters:

Goodwyn, E. (2019). Comments on the 2018 IAAP Conference on Archetype Theory: Defending a non‐reductive biological approach. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 64(5), 720-737.
Abstract: Comments on the 2018 IAAP Conference on Archetype Theory. During the course of the 2018 IAAP conference, a criticism of Jung’s idea of the archetype as inherited predisposition was raised that involved examining a number of dreams and visions and assessing them through developments in genetics and neuroscience. From this comparison it was argued that archetypes cannot be inherited and could more reasonably be argued to derive from early experiences. In this essay, the author responds by showing how this conclusion is flawed due to being based on reductive errors. An alternative, non‐reductive but inherited and biological position on the archetype is defended.

Hogenson, G. B. (2019). The controversy around the concept of archetypes. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 64(5), 682–700.
Related video: George Hogenson on archetypes
Abstract: The paper reviews the course of the controversy surrounding Jung's theory of archetypes beginning in the mid 1990s and continuing to the present. Much of this controversy was concerned with the debate between the essentialism of the evolutionary position of Anthony Stevens as found in his 1983 book Archetypes: A Natural History of the Self, and the emergence model of the archetypes proposed in various publications by Hogenson, Knox and Merchant, among others. The paper then moves on to a consideration of more recent developments in theory, particularly as derived from an examination of the philosopher Gilles Deleuze, who introduces Bergson's somnambulistic unconscious into the discussion of Jung's theories. It is suggested that this largely unexamined influence on Jung may provide answers to some of the unanswered questions surrounding his theorizing. The paper concludes by suggesting that the notion of the somnambulistic unconscious may resemble Atmanspacher's argument for a dual‐aspect monism interpretation of Jung.

Lewis, R. C. (1989). The historical development of the concept of the archetype. Quadrant, 22(1), 41–53.
Abstract: Traces the development of Jung's concept of the archetype from its earliest antecedents in his early writings to its final form. A discussion of Jung's early notions of complexes and the intellectual influences on these notions is followed by a description of Freud's major influences on Jung, along with the development of the concept of the imago. The most mature view of the archetype expressed was that of a durable pattern that manifests itself through the image, idea, or physical event; a dynamic organizer of psyche and matter; a structure associated with strong affects; and an entity associated with synchronistic occurrences that meaningfully connect particular psychic and physical events.

Mills, J. (2020). On the origins of archetypes. International Journal of Jungian Studies, 12(2), 201–206.
Abstract: The question of archetypes and their origins remains an ongoing debate in analytical psychology and post-Jungian studies. The contemporary discussion has historically focused on privileging one causal factor over another, namely, whether archetypes are attributed more to biology than culture and vice versa. Erik Goodwyn offers a mesotheory of archetypal origins that displaces the radical bifurcation as a false dichotomy. I offer my own reflections on the origins of archetypes and argue that this discussion can be further advanced by addressing the question of unconscious agency.

Rossi, E. L. (1989). Archetypes as strange attractors. Psychological Perspectives: A Semiannual Journal of Jungian Thought, 20(1), 4–15.

Merchant, J. (2019). The controversy around the concept of archetypes and the place for an emergent/developmental model. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 64(5), 701-719.
Abstract: This paper addresses two key controversial questions to do with the concept of archetypes—do they operate autonomously without connection to an individual's personal life experience? Does their biological base mean they are genetically determined, innate and thus a priori inherited psychic structures? These questions are addressed through the case of a person who began life as an unwanted pregnancy, was adopted at birth and as an adult, experienced profound waking visions. An emergent/developmental model of archetype is outlined which stresses developmental start‐points through this infant's engagement via response and reaction to the affective and material world of the infant/birth mother matrix and from which emergence later occurs by way of participation in a socio‐cultural and material context. The emergentism aspect of this model rescues it from being reductionist since it allows for cultural and socialisation inputs. The model's explanatory power is vastly enlarged by combining this with the developmental component. Critically, once developmentally produced mind/brain (image schema) structures are in place, they have the capacity to generate psychological life. Imagery can then appear as if it is innately derived when that is not the case. The contemporary neuroscience which supports this model is both outlined and related back to the case example.