1st Edition

Carl Jung and the Evolutionary Sciences A New Vision for Analytical Psychology

By Gary Clark Copyright 2025
    236 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    236 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book revaluates Carl Jung’s ideas in the context of contemporary research in the evolutionary sciences.

    Recent work in developmental biology, as well as experimental and psychedelic neuroscience, have provided empirical evidence that supports some of Jung’s central claims about the nature and evolution of consciousness. Beginning with a historical contextualisation of the genesis of Jung’s evolutionary thought and its roots in the work of the 19th century Naturphilosophen, the book then outlines a model of analytical psychology grounded in modern theories of brain development and life history theory. The book also explores research on evolved sex based differences and their relevance to Jung’s concept of the anima and animus.

    Seeking to build bridges between analytical psychology and contemporary evolutionary studies and associated fields, this book will appeal to scholars of analytical and depth psychology, as well as researchers in the evolutionary and brain sciences.

    Introduction  1. Jung and the Condition of Modernity: Evolution, the Naturphilosophen and Evo Devo  2. Fossils, Anthropology and Hominin Brain Phylogeny  3. Analytical Psychology and the Evolution of Sexual Dimorphism  4. Evolutionary Theory and Analytical Psychology  5. Analytical Psychology and the Adaptationist Paradigm: Jung and Altered States of Consciousness  6. Anthropology and Analytical Psychology

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Biography

    Gary Clark is currently a Visiting Research Fellow in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Adelaide in Australia. Since 2012, he has been a member of School’s Biological Anthropology and Comparative Anatomy Unit. His research focus includes the evolution of music, palaeoanthropology and evolutionary approaches to analytical psychology.

    ‘Clark strengthens the biological view of analytical psychology with this outstanding, scholarly, and rigorous exploration. Integrating neuroscience, contemporary evolutionary theory, anthropology, and many other disciplines, he shows how a conceptually precise and balanced multi-disciplinary analysis can inform and enlighten analytical psychology. In so doing, he avoids a number of common pitfalls and conceptual tangles that sometimes plague such work, showing a mastery of the literature that is most welcome. Overall a fantastic addition to the growing body of scholarship that blends clinical insight with empirical research and critical social science insights.’

    Erik Goodwyn, MD, Co-editor-in-chief, International Journal of Jungian Studies, author of The Neurobiology of the Gods (Routledge, 2012) and A Jungian Analysis of Toxic Modern Society: Fighting the Culture of Loneliness (Routledge, 2024).

    ‘This inspiring and erudite book focusses on C.G. Jung as a pioneer explorer of human consciousness. Dr Clark argues that Jung’s insights into the human psyche were far ahead of his time and are only now being appreciated through recent developments and interest in experimental and evolutionary neuroscience. Jung stressed that humans possess a unique impulse to alter consciousness as a primitive form of psychotherapy through ritual, dance and music. One derivative is an increased interest in research into psychedelic neuroscience that delineates unconscious processes and argues the existence of homo sapiens as the Dionysian Primate. Brimming with rich, well researched and widely applied socio-anthropological insights, Dr Clark’s important contribution infuses the reader with renewed enthusiasm to explore depth psychology within the concept of neuroscientific findings.’

    Dr Elizabeth Brodersen, Jungian Training analyst and Supervisor, CGJIZ and editor of Jungian Dimensions of the Mourning Process, Burial Rituals and Access to the Land of the Dead; Intimations of Immorality, Routledge, 2024.

    ‘It is difficult to overstate the range and depth of Gary Clark’s erudition, or the importance of his message for students and practitioners of analytical psychology. Rooting himself in the tradition of Naturphilosophie, he weaves perspectives from evolutionary theory, primatology, neurology, psychology, comparative religion, anthropology and philosophy in a compelling synthesis, arguing that much contemporary post-Jungian theory represents an abandonment, indeed, a betrayal of Jung’s original project and vision for the study of the collective unconscious. In the process, he gives new meaning and relevance to Jung’s concepts of anima and animus, eros and logos and much else besides. An inspired and inspiring tour de force.

    Daniel Burston, author of Anti-Semitism and Analytical Psychology: Jung, Politics and Culture.