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Teaching Jung$
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Kelly Bulkeley and Clodagh Weldon

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199735426

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735426.001.0001

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Can There Be a Science of the Symbolic?

Can There Be a Science of the Symbolic?

Chapter:
(p.255) 16 Can There Be a Science of the Symbolic?
Source:
Teaching Jung
Author(s):

John Beebe

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735426.003.0017

The final chapter of the book, addresses the question of whether it is possible to practice a “science of the symbolic.” the chapter acknowledges that many people question the status of Jung's ideas and psychology theory as science, given the highly subjective, irrational, unrepeatable phenomena it studies. But as the chapter shows the scientific integrity of Jung's approach derives from its self-reflective method of analyzing people's worldviews, enlarging their horizons, and healing them when they are broken. The chapter draws on the hermeneutic philosophy of Hans-Georg Gadamer, particularly his notion of truth as the unfolding product of open-ended dialogue, to argue that good teaching is like good analysis: they both affirm the reality, autonomy, creativity, and purposefulness of the psyche. The spirit of scientific inquiry—that is, the discipline of observing reality, analyzing it, theorizing about it, and investigating its properties and processes—characterizes both endeavors.

Keywords:   Jung, psychological theory, science of the symbolic, Gadamer

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