Lecture: “The Question of Archetypes”
George Hogenson, Ph.D., LCSW, Jungian Analyst
It is now nearly 100 years since C. G. Jung first referred to the archetypes of the collective unconscious in a public setting—a 1919 conference in London. In his subsequent writings on archetypes, however, he never provided a singular, definitive interpretation or definition of what he meant by the term. The result has often been the total rejection of the idea by Jung’s critics, and a variety of attempts by Jungian analysts and theoreticians to provide a more definitive interpretation of the nature of archetypes. This lecture will provide an overview of the controversies surrounding Jung’s theory and suggest ways of understanding Jung’s project that may resolve some of the issues involved, beginning with a discussion of what is implied by Jung’s use of the term “archetype” in the first place. The lecture will also review the recent debates within the Jungian community around attempts to understand the theory of archetypes in terms of evolutionary psychology, developmental psychology, and complex dynamic systems theory.
George Hogenson, Ph.D., LCSW, is a senior training analyst in the Chicago Society of Jungian Analysts, with a private practice in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois. He is a past president of the Chicago Society, and is currently on the Executive Committee of the International Association for Analytical Psychology. He earned his B.A. in philosophy and Asian Studies at St. Olaf College, receiving his Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale University and an M.A. in clinical social work from the University of Chicago. He trained as an analyst at the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago. Author of Jung’s Struggle with Freud, and of numerous papers on the history and theory of analytical psychology, he is also co-editor ofThe Red Book, Reflections on C. G. Jung’s Liber Novus.