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The possibility of psychology as a science

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Part 1.
    1. The Principles of Psychology by William James.
    2. Psychologists's error of talking as if they are being objective.
    3. The physical doctor.
    4. Conclusion to part 1.
  3. Part 2.
    1. General theory of complex psychology.
    2. Jung's early work.
    3. Neurosis.
    4. The more powerful the complex is the more physical symptoms.
    5. Fear of the complex.
  4. Conclusion.

In this essay we will continue to discuss the possibility of a science of psychology. In part 1 we will discuss William James (1842-1910) ideas on this subject. A key theme in part 1 will be the subjective factor in psychology and will ask the question of how can psychology be a science if the subjective factor is always present? Part 2 will be an ambitious attempt to answer that. It will be argued that when the physical body is healthy it is only ?relatively so' hence there is still something wrong with it. Yet we label it ?healthy'. The point is that for objective clarity we need to distinguish between health and real suffering. Psychology can obtain objective scientific status and part 2 will explain how. Sonu Shamdasani's Jung and the making of Modern Psychology: The Dream of a Science will be the main source used in part 1 of this work. In part 2 we will use Jung's own work (CW Vol 3: The psychogenesis of Mental Disease) as the key source of that part of the essay, as our focus will be on mental disease (e.g. complexes, schizophrenia) ? as we try and establish an objective scientific basis for psychology.

[...] Virtually any mother would not be able to withdraw the feeling-tone and attention of losing their child in a tragic accident. Afterall if she had lost her child then the withdrawal of feeling tone would equate to withdrawal of importance and value of her own child. She would not be able to do this and the social and cultural world is not bigger to her then her child is. However, the extremely difficult and serious area of post-traumatic-stress is not being tackled in this essay. [...]


[...] Likewise the psychologist, although often dealing with neurotic exaggerations can (at least as far as the establishment of a psychological science is concerned) focus on real disease here I mean the type of schizophrenia that results in the person not being able to distinguish between reality and non-reality and relegate neurosis largely to a lack of common sense that can be cured with persuasion and a little education.7 It is true that Jung doesn't like people to say ?nothing-but?8. However some neurosis is ?nothing-but? silliness. [...]


[...] A neurosis, it is true, is characterized by the relative autonomy of its complexes, but in schizophrenia the complexes have become disconnected and autonomous fragments, which either do not reintegrate back to the psychic totality, or, in the case of a remission, are unexpectedly joined together again as if nothing had happened. The disturbance in schizophrenia is not only far more serious, but very often it is irreversible. The dissociation is no longer fluid and changeable as it is in a neurosis; it is more like a mirror broken up into splinters. [...]

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