Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Brain, psyche, and self: A dialectic between analytical psychology and neuroscience
by Blandin, Kesstan C., Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2011, 265; 3519792
Abstract (Summary)

Although much of C. G. Jung's work is not compatible with neuroscientific methods or perspectives, his ideas on the structure of the psyche and self overlap with attempts to understand the phenomenon of a self in consciousness through mapping correlates with brain functions and processes. They are therefore appropriate to engage in dialogue with neuroscience. Through these dialogues we can further understand the construction of the self and identity in light of current findings in neuroscience and the theories of C. G. Jung, particularly the collective unconscious and archetypes. In this exploration we discover how the boundaries of the self in the imagination of the psyche are revealed as the horizon of the self in the brain emerges.

This dissertation employs a dialectic methodology with a dual-aspect monism and complex systems theory perspective. Dual-aspect monism understands brain and mind as different aspects of the same phenomenon, whereas complex systems theory holds that the emergence of the psyche is of unique integrity and relative autonomy.

Research on implicit consciousness and the right brain hemisphere indicates that the subjective experience of the collective unconscious is autonomous and thus outside the boundaries of the ego. Temperamental predispositions manifested through neurobiological profiles are analyzed through Jung's theory of typology, which is found to be the first subjective manifestations of physiological predisposition. A discussion of the role of experience and the external world is provided for balance and clarity in light of the self's construction through the interchange of brain, psyche, and experience.

The theory of archetypes is analyzed through a current dialogue within analytical psychology in light of an emergent perspective in neuroscience. Further exploration considers the role of memory as the bridge between neuronal functions of the brain and imaginative functions of the self. Primary conclusions are that identity is the mythic skin of the self, whereas archetypes are emergent symbols of the potential becoming of the self.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Slattery, Dennis P.
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 73/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Neurosciences, Psychobiology, Psychology, Personality psychology
Keywords: Analytical psychology, Archetypes, Collective unconscious, Consciousness, Jung, Carl G., Neuroscience, Temperament, Typology
Publication Number: 3519792
ISBN: 978-1-267-50692-4
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