Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Jung and Plotinus: The Shadow of Metaphysics, the Metaphysics of Shadow
by Hoffman, Dylan Kirk, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2016, 203; 10242189
Abstract (Summary)

This study provides a comparative analysis, using dialectical hermeneutics, of the philosophy of Plotinus and the depth psychology of C. G. Jung. While coming from different historical contexts, they each address the nature of unconsciousness, or the unconscious. This study concentrates in particular on one archetypal aspect of the unconscious that Jung calls the shadow. According to Jung, the shadow is a psychological dynamic that both hides from our awareness certain aspects or depths of our own inner reality, and also, when recognized, mediates our initial confrontation with those fuller realities. The first aim of this study is to analyze Jung’s view of the psyche, through the lens of shadow, to reveal the shadow in Jung’s work, examining how he denies or disavows metaphysical reality as a legitimate domain of depth psychological inquiry. Secondly, the biographical and historical backgrounds to this shadow are explored, and the potential consequences of it are discussed. Finally, Plotinus’ ancient perspective on unconsciousness and what he understands as the metaphysics of shadow are brought into dialogue with Jung. The goal is to address the shadow in Jung’s work—what his view of depth psychology denies to depth psychology, offering another way of understanding the psyche, and the shadow in particular, that includes metaphysical reality as a legitimate domain of depth psychological experience and analysis.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Le Grice, Keiron
Commitee: Easter, Sandra, Robertson, Robin
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychology with Emphasis in Jungian and Archetypal Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Philosophy, Psychology
Keywords: Depth psychology, Jung, Carl, Late antiquity, Metaphysics, Plotinus, Shadow
Publication Number: 10242189
ISBN: 978-1-369-36183-4
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