Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Causality: an appendix from Depth Psychology

Our principle series of essays on causality  may be consulted here:

As a follow-up, just a couple of footnotes.  Rather than work them into the essays where they might be most relevant, we publish them apart, since the philosophical and scientific interests  are cross-cutting.

Freud was deeply imbued with the principles of causality and determinism, so pronounced in the Helmholtz school that had dominated his early scientific discipline.  Instead of dismissing the wandering associations  as accidental, unconected, and meaningless … he felt intuitively that there must be some definite agency … guiding and degtermining the course of these thoughts.
-- Ernest Jones, Freud: the Formative Years (1953), p. 45

Terminology: Here we see a number of causation-related terms used rather kunterbunt:

Für die Wissenschaft  erhob sich alsbald  die Frage, ob der Anreiz zum Träumen  stets der nämliche sei, oder ein vielfacher sein könne, und damit die Erwägung, ob sie ursächliche Erklärung des Traumes  der Psychologie  oder vielmehr der Physiologie  anheimfalle.  Die meisten Autoren scheinen anzunehmen, daß die Ursachen der Schlafstörung, also die Quellen des Träumens, mannigfaltiger Art sein können, und daß Leibreize  ebenso wie seelische Erregungen  zur Rolle von Traumerregern gelangen.
-- Sigmund Freud, Die Traumdeutung (1899)

For his part, Freud’s wayward onetime-disciple Jung  is well known for his notion of “synchronicity, an acausal connecting principle”.

Brücke would have been astonished  had he known that one of his favorite pupils, [Freud], was later … to bring back into science  the ideas of “purpose”, “intention”, and “aim” , which had just been abolished from the universe. [Nevertheless, Freud] never abandoned determinism for teleology.
-- Ernest Jones, Freud: the Formative Years (1953), p. 45

Jung greatly de-emphasized determinism, both in theory and in therapy.

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