Archetypal Ontology : New Directions in Analytical Psychology book cover
1st Edition

Archetypal Ontology
New Directions in Analytical Psychology

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ISBN 9781032394800
March 28, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
176 Pages

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Book Description

In this novel re-examination of the archetype construct, philosopher Jon Mills and psychiatrist Erik Goodwyn engage in spirited dialogue on the origins, nature, and scope of what archetypes actually constitute, their relation to the greater questions of psyche and worldhood, and their relevance for Jungian studies and analytical psychology today.

Arguably the most definitive feature of Jung’s metapsychology is his theory of archetypes. It is the fulcrum on which his analytical depth psychology rests. With recent trends in post-Jungian and neo-Jungian perspectives that have embraced developmental, relational, social justice, and postmodern paradigms, classical archetype theory has largely become a drowning genre. Despite the archetypal school of James Hillman and his contemporaries and the archetype debates that captured our attention over two decades ago, contemporary Jungians are preoccupied with the lived reality of the existential subject and the personal unconscious over the collective transpersonal forces derived from archaic ontology.

Archetypal Ontology will be of interest to psychoanalysts, philosophers, transpersonal psychologists, cultural theorists, anthropologists, religious scholars, and many disciplines in the arts and humanities, analytical psychology, and post-Jungian studies.

Table of Contents

Prolegomenon  1. The Essence of Archetypes  2. Archetypal Origins: Biology vs Culture is a False Dichotomy  3. On the Origins of Archetypes  4. Commentary on Mills' "The Essence of Archetypes"  5. Archetypal Metaphysics and the Psyworld  6. The Origins of Psyche: From Experience to Ontology  7. Archetype, Psyche, World: From Experience to Cosmopsychism  8. Psyche, World, Archetype: Final Thoughts  About the Authors  Index

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Jon Mills, PsyD, PhD, ABPP is a Canadian philosopher and psychoanalyst. He is Honorary Professor, Department of Psychosocial & Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex, UK and is on Faculty in the Postgraduate Programs in Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy, Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology, Adelphi University and the New School for Existential Psychoanalysis, USA. Recipient of numerous awards for his scholarship, he is the author and/or editor of over 30 books in philosophy, psychoanalysis, and cultural studies.

Erik Goodwyn, MD is Clinical Associate Professor at the Billings Clinic, part of the WWAMI University of Washington School of Medicine-Billings Montana affiliate, Department of Psychiatry. He has authored numerous publications in the field of consciousness studies, Jungian psychology, neuroscience, mythology, philosophy, anthropology, and the psychology of religion including 5 books. He is co-editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Jungian Studies.


This compelling, rich and provocative exchange between a renowned philosopher-psychoanalyst and a noted Jungian-oriented psychiatrist brings new vitality and insight to one of the most complex concepts of analytical psychology. The archetype, its origins and development in the human psyche, is explored in dynamic ways that challenge the premises of past debates and offer novel non-binary reconsiderations that transcend previous nature versus culture arguments. The authors offer an expansion of thirdness that will help shape research, as well as philosophical and theoretical considerations of archetypal realities into the foreseeable future. 

Joe Cambray, Ph.D. President-CEO, Pacifica Graduate Institute; author of Synchronicity.

This book is truly innovative in content and truly unique in style. Designed as a dialog between two authors well known as experts in analytical psychology, it reflects on C.G. Jung's key concept of archetypes and presents current progress in its proper understanding. A particularly valuable and challenging aspect of their approach is its metaphysical frame, offering important cross-fertilization between Jung's oeuvre and contemporary trends in philosophy. An inspiring book that suggests novel avenues to explore the origin of consciousness and the mind-matter problem beyond the all-too narrow boundaries of physicalist positions.

Harald Atmanspacher, Head of the Department of Theory and Data Analysis of the Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health, Freiburg; Faculty Member, C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich; and Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Mind and Matter.

A much needed and most welcome constructive debate on the centrality of archetype theory in Jungian psychology. The authors’ intellectual rigor is to be applauded. Anyone seriously interested in the future of Jungian psychology should study this book carefully. 

Murray Stein, Ph.D., author of Jung’s Map of the Soul