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Philosophy 302: Ethics
Jung's Psychological Types


Abstract:  Jung's theory of psychological types is sketched as a prelude to developing a naturalistic ethics.

I.. The unique nature of what it is to be a human being is directly relevant to the question of what is possible for human beings to do. An ethics, then, could be derived from the psychological aspects of personality of human beings. We could consider any psychology here and trace the implications for naturalistic ethics. For simplicity, we will consider Jung’s psychology of the conscious mind as described in his Psychological Types as a case study.


A. Jung states that there are two differing attitudes toward life--two different modes of reacting to circumstances. No one lives completely as one type or the other; your type might be innate, at least your type begins very early in life.


1. Quote Fordham, 29:


2. Extroverted attitude: a standpoint characterized by an outward flowing of personal energy (libido)—an interest in events, in people and things, a relationship with them, and a dependence on them. The extrovert is usually ...


a. motivated by outside factors and greatly influenced by the environment,


b. sociable and confident in unfamiliar surroundings, less cautious, less fearful, and


c. likes organizations, parties, and tends to be optimistic and enthusiastic.


d. Weaknesses of the extroverted attitude include:


(1) a dependence on making a good impression,


(2) easily making and breaking relationships,


(3) regarding reflection as being morbid and avoiding being alone,


(4) lacking self-criticism, and


(5) accepting the morals and conventions of the day--conventional.


3. Introverted Attitude: characterized by an inward flowing of personal energy—a withdrawal concentrating on subjective factors. The introvert is usually ...


a. happy alone with a rich imagination, and


b. prefers reflection to activity.


c. Weakness of the introverted attitude includes ...


(1) a lack confidence in relation to people and things and


(2) a tendency to be unsociable, shy, and hesitant.


4. Each type misjudges the other; they tend to notice the negative aspects of the other.


a. The introvert is seen as egotistical, dull, and self-centered; the extrovert is seen as superficial and insincere.


b. Our Western attitude is extroverted; value is put on being outgoing which we consider being well adjusted. The East is seen as inscrutable.


c. Jung says that there is a marked tendency for either type to marry its opposite (each secretly hopes that the other will take care of the side of the life each lacks).


(1) All goes well as long as both persons adapt themselves to the needs of life.


(2) But each person speaks a different language--there is a lack of real understanding and a lack of full companionship.


B. Each of these types in the struggle for existence uses their most developed function to orient themselves to their inner and outer worlds. The functions are as follows.


1. Thinking (mostly men): gives meaning and understanding; actions are a result of an intellectually considered motive; life is based on principles. {Thinking has an underdeveloped valuation of feeling function.}


a. Extroverted


(1) They use thought in making decisions; they are tied to facts, and do not pursue abstract ideas.


(2) They tend to suppress facts that do not fit into their schemes.


(3) E.g., an empirical scientist or a trivia buff.


b. Introverted:


(1) They are not interested in facts per se but are interested in abstract ideas. Facts are not collected for their own value.


(2) Introverted thinkers give little attention to their relationship with the world.


(3) E.g., mathematicians, philosophers.


2. Feeling (mostly women): a rational function that weighs, values, and attaches a proper value to things. Truth is seen as inter-subjectivity. (The "feeling" is not the result of something it's more like practical wisdom, knowing the appropriate thing to do under the circumstances — phronesis). {The feeling type has an underdeveloped thinking function.}


a. Extroverted:


(1) Personal relationships are important; the extraverted feeling type is well adjusted to environment.


(2) The tact or charm of this type makes social and family life possible.


(3) E.g., hostesses, diplomats, ministers.


b. Introverted


(1) This type can appear to be too genuine; sometimes they are unadaptable; but can become constant, reliable friends.


(2) They may appear cold; but "still waters run deep;" they have much sympathy and understanding for intimate friends


(3) Other characteristics include being religious, musical, and occasionally capable of fantastic self-sacrifice.


(4) E.g., writer, physician, nurse, psychologist, dramatist.


3. Sensation (mostly men): emphasis on perception through the senses (The American way of life.) {Sensation types usually have an underdeveloped intuition function.}


a. Extroverted: emphasis is placed on the object.


(1) This type is sometimes said to be"lost" in the world; they take everything as it comes and experience everything as it is, no more, no less.


(2) They tend to be calm, easy, jolly, not rational, or


(3) they seek action, efficiency, power and prestige


(4) E.g., politicians, leaders, military, pleasure seekers.


b. Introverted: emphasis on the sensation.


(1) They are sensitive and imaginative.


(2) The introverted sensation types are sometimes difficult to understand; because they are overwhelmed by impressions—they see things that are not there, e.g., fiery dragons as faces in automobile grills.


(3) E.g., engineer, artists, musicians.


(4) Intuition: (intuition via the unconscious) tells of future possibilities and gives information of the atmosphere which surrounds experience. The definition of this function: a perception of realities which are not known to consciousness and which go on via the unconscious. {The intuitive type usually has an undeveloped function of sensation.}


a. Extroverted


(1) They dislike safe, familiar, or well-established things.


(2) They often have the capacity to inspire in hopelessly blocked situations.


(3) They use judgment or diagnosis without an objective basis. They are often effective in new situations where there is no established way to deal with those situations.


(4) When mistaken, the extroverted intuitive type can lead many people to ruin.


(5) E.g., traveler, temporary leader.


b. Introverted:


(1) This type often sees visions and is creative.


(2) They squander resources and tend to be creative, artistic, or poetic.

(3). E.g., mystics, poets.
II.  If we concur that Jung's theory is useful, then a naturalistic theory can be developed in accordance with nature of our personalities.  A naturalistic theory along these lines is also one of the development of our peculiar capacities.

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