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The Question of Psychological Types

The Question of Psychological Types: The Correspondence of C. G. Jung and Hans Schmid-Guisan, 1915-1916

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 208
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  • Book Info
    The Question of Psychological Types
    Book Description:

    In 1915, C. G. Jung and his psychiatrist colleague, Hans Schmid-Guisan, began a correspondence through which they hoped to understand and codify fundamental individual differences of attention and consciousness. Their ambitious dialogue, focused on the opposition of extraversion and introversion, demonstrated the difficulty of reaching a shared awareness of differences even as it introduced concepts that would eventually enable Jung to create his landmark 1921 statement of the theory of psychological types. That theory, the basis of the widely used Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and other similar personality assessment tools, continues to inform not only personality psychology but also such diverse fields as marriage and career counseling and human resource management.

    This correspondence, available in English for the first time, reveals Jung fielding keen theoretical challenges from one of his most sensitive and perceptive colleagues. The new introduction by Jungian analyst John Beebe and psychologist and historian Ernst Falzeder clarifies the evolution of crucial concepts, while helpful annotations shed light on the allusions and arguments in the letters. This volume will provide a useful historical grounding for all those who work with, or are interested in, Jungian psychology and psychological typology.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-4481-4
    Subjects: Psychology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. Illustration of First Page of 7 J, 4 September 1915
    (pp. viii-viii)
  5. Illustration of First Page of 12 S, 17/18 December 1915
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-32)
    John Beebe and Ernst Falzeder

    Jung’sPsychological Typesappeared in 1921 to widespread acclaim and received many laudatory reviews.¹ In a two-page spread in theNew York Times Book Review, Mark Isham concluded: “This volume is drastically serious, positive, didactic, classic, and yet more than stimulating. It is energizing, liberating and recreative. The author shows an amazingly sympathetic knowledge of the introvert of the thinking type, and hardly less for the other types. … Jung has revealed the inner kingdom of the soul marvelously well and has made the signal discovery of the value of phantasy. His book has a manifold reach and grasp, and...

  7. Translator’s Note
    (pp. 33-36)
    Ernst Falzeder
  8. Correspondence

    • 1 J (4 June 1915)
      (pp. 39-47)

      Dear Friend,

      As you know from our previous talks, for the past few years I have occupied myself with the question of psychological types,40a problem as difficult as it is interesting. What originally led me to that problem were not intellectual presuppositions, but actual difficulties in my daily analytical work with my patients, as well as experiences I have had in my personal relations with other people. You remember that our earlier discussions about certain controversial points of analytical psychology,41too, seemed to point, in our view, to the existence of two diametrically opposed types.42At the time we...

    • 2 S (24 June 1915)
      (pp. 48-54)
      Hans Schmid

      Dear Friend,

      As you have guessed, dealing further with the question of the psychological types has not given me any real headaches. I have never been fainthearted or desperate, but in finding similar opposites in the most varied fields I have tried to find the consolation that development is not possible at all without opposites. I have never viewed the problem of the types as the existence of two truths, however, but I have rather envisaged, from the genetic point of view, the existence of two poles between which psychic development occurs.

      When I read Bergson’s “Évolution créatrice” [Creative Evolution]...

    • 3 J (undated)
      (pp. 55-62)

      Dear Friend,

      Before I respond to the particular questions raised in your letter, I would like to deal with a question of terminology.

      We speak of “thinking” and “feeling,” and we name the types concerned accordingly. As you know, I have introduced these types in an earlier publication, under the names of the introverted and the extraverted type.74For the former, adaptation proceeds via abstraction from the object, for the latter, via feeling into the object.75The term “introversion” thus describes an inward turning of the psychic energy, which I called “libido,” because the introvert does not comprehend the object...

    • 4 S (6 July 1915)
      (pp. 63-73)
      Hans Schmid

      Dear Friend,

      I did not take your remarks in the first letter as an expression of your personal statement. I contrasted your hypothetical thinking with my hypothetical feeling in hypothesizing that your remarks were your personal conviction. I reacted to this hypothesis, but I was well aware of the fact that it was only a hypothesis. I find it absolutely mandatory that we should give each other the credit to assume that neither of us wants to react in a personal way against the other; but we must, in order to get spontaneous reactions, adopt the attitude that each of...

    • 5 J (undated)
      (pp. 74-86)

      Dear Friend,

      I would like to say in advance that in general I agree103with the views expressed in your letter. They are very clear and show the way that leads beyond the incongruity of the two types. Here too, as always, I have to admire the extravert’s capacity to move ahead of the difficulty, and beyond it, with his feeling. The extravert feels prospectively, the introvert retrospectively, so that the latter remains longer under the impression of the difficulty.104

      It seems to me that we are proceeding from different levels. I realized this when I read your interpretation of...

    • 6 S (29 August 1915)
      (pp. 87-99)
      Hans Schmid

      Dear Friend,

      Your letter gives me the impression of being very helpful in clarifying the situation.

      Let me begin right away by explaining my view regarding the question of the teacher in more detail. I have always agreed to call her an ideally oriented extravert insofar as she only follows her ideal type, that is, the feeling type, or, to revert to my previous image, she is ideally oriented because she only sails. But in my view she uses a still archaic sailing boat, with which she can sail only with favorable and strong wind, and when there is no...

    • 7 J (4 September 1915)
      (pp. 100-114)

      Dear Friend,

      When two opposed types discuss the type problem, the greatest part of the discussion is taken up by talking and understanding at cross-purposes. Language here reveals its incredible incapacity of reflecting the finer nuances that are indispensable for understanding. Thus, when it comes to matters of psychology, every linguistic sign can mean both one thing and its opposite. When you speak of the extravert and the feeling of an “identité mystique,”148then naturally many things I said about the extravert do not apply. What I was actually talking about was the “ideally oriented” extravert, and by “ideal” I...

    • 8 S (28 September 1915)
      (pp. 115-130)
      Hans Schmid

      Dear Friend,

      It is not in the character of the extravert to be distrustful. As long as he still considers his thinking infallible, he will be distrustful toward the thoughts of the other in his thinking. But in most cases the extravert has still to learn how to be distrustful in his feelings.

      You read a mistrust into my last letter that wasn’t there, and you speak, therefore, ofmutualmistrust. I did grant you thea prioritrust you postulated in your letter, and thus my first reaction when reading it was being greatly astounded that you took a...

    • 9 J (6 November 1915)
      (pp. 131-142)

      Dear Friend,

      Your letter strengthens my conviction that reaching an agreement on the fundamental principles is impossible, because the point seems to be precisely that we do not agree. To this end the ucs. uses every means, and be it ever so hair-raisingly stupid. For instance, I have gone to the most stupid trouble to explain my viewpoint to you, while all the time you have been under a wrong impression in that you did not notice that that sentence in my first letter, in which I talked about the purification of thinking,225was purely hypothetical and referredexclusively to...

    • 10 S (1–7 December 1915)
      (pp. 143-147)
      Hans Schmid

      Dear Friend,

      As you do not wish any further discussion, I will not deal with the first six pages of your letter, nor with some views expressed in your accompanying letter,249which seem debatable to me.

      Your explanation of the resistance against understanding is very good in my opinion. It is my impression that the first step toward appreciation of the extravert is made by no longer wanting to understand him. I believe that the most important problems of the extravert cannot be grasped intellectually at all, just as the most important problems of the introvert cannot be grasped by...

    • 11 S (11–14 December 1915)
      (pp. 148-151)
      Hans Schmid

      Dear Friend,

      In order to write you openly and honestly, I have to overcome certain intellectual resistances, for I know from experience that it is nearly impossible for the introvert to acknowledge important problems, if life does not force him to gain knowledge. So, although I do not fancy that my answer will be able to tell you anything, I want to follow your invitation as best I can.258

      I understand very well why extraverts have so far offered you only vague allusions to what you should not [sic] acknowledge. It is nearly impossible to talk about this intellectually, because...

    • 12 S (17–18 December 1915)
      (pp. 152-154)
      Hans Schmid

      Dear Friend,

      I was not surprised by your reaction to my honest letter.262As you sent it to Solothurn, despite my postscript, it arrived only this evening. I have nowthoughtit through and have come to the conclusion that it is a prime specimen of Mephistophelean wisdom. Its end provoked a laughter of relief, for which I heartily thank you.

      Too bad that these truths are nothing new to me. I have an equally sharp-tongued Mephistopheles within myself, who already showed me the same truths about God and the Devil, Eros and the Poisoner,263etc., in an even more...

    • 13 S (6 January 1916)
      (pp. 155-156)
      Hans Schmid

      Dear Friend,

      The days spent in the Ticino have had a double effect on me; they clarified my views on the relation between the two types and were confusing with regard to the solution of my own core problems. I no longer find this confusion bothersome as I used to, however, but stimulating, and I hope that we will more and more succeed in having a sort of contact, which confuses only inasmuch as it is beneficial.

      I am still occupied with the problem of matter and form, and I cannot settle for the formulation we found.269Referring to the...

  9. Appendix

    • Summary of Jung’s First Three Letters
      (pp. 159-168)
    • Jung’s Obituary of Hans Schmid-Guisan
      (pp. 169-170)
  10. Bibliography
    (pp. 171-178)
  11. Index
    (pp. 179-184)