Psychology as Ethics : Reading Jung with Kant, Nietzsche and Aristotle book cover
1st Edition

Psychology as Ethics
Reading Jung with Kant, Nietzsche and Aristotle

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after September 29, 2020
ISBN 9780367529239
September 28, 2020 Forthcoming by Routledge
148 Pages

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Book Description

Through his clinical work and extensive engagement with major figures of the philosophical tradition, Jung developed an original and pluralistic psycho-ethical model based on the cooperation of consciousness with the unconscious mind.

By drawing on direct quotes from all of Jung’s collected works, The Red Book, and his interviews and seminars – as well as from seminal texts by Kant, Nietzsche, Aristotle and Augustine – Giovanni Colacicchi provides a philosophically grounded analysis of the ethical relevance of Jung’s analytical psychology and of the concept of individuation which is at its core. The author argues that in Jung’s depth-psychological paradigm, Kant's deontology, Nietzsche's ethics, Aristotle's virtue ethics and Christian morality all take part in shaping a moral and ethical character. Jung's psychology is thus capable of integrating a variety of ethical traditions which are often read as mutually exclusive.

Psychology as Ethics will be essential reading for researchers with an interest in the history of ideas and the philosophy of the unconscious, as well as for therapists and counsellors who wish to ground their psychodynamic work in its philosophical context. It will also be a key reference for undergraduate and postgraduate courses and seminars in Jungian and post-Jungian studies, philosophy, psychoanalytic studies, psychology, religious studies and the social sciences.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements. About the Author. Notes on Text References. Introduction. Chapter 1: Morality, freedom and the ego: the Kantian legacy. Chapter 2: Ethics, health and the Self: the Nietzschean legacy. Chapter 3: Character, virtue and psycho-ethical types: Aristotle and Jung. Chapter 4: Humility, evil and the shadow: the Christian legacy. Chapter 5: Post-Jungians on Jung’s ethics. Conclusion. Reference list.

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Giovanni Colacicchi, PhD, is an Anglo-Italian philosopher, independent researcher, writer and teacher in the humanities. He lives and works in Ferrara, Italy.


'This is an immensely important book for understanding Jung’s thought and its connections to broader culture.  Colacicchi argues compellingly that psychotherapy was for Jung inherently ethical, concerned with how we should live.  Lucid and perceptive, the book will facilitate philosophical engagement with Jung’s thought as well as provide a fertile ground for studying analytical psychology comparatively with other traditions of psychotherapy.' - Roderick Main, Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex

'…Colacicchi’s volume will be the definitive discussion of Jung’s moral theory for some time to come. Deeply knowledgeable about both Jung and moral philosophy, it is a rich and ambitious synthesis that illuminates timeless questions concerning the place of morality in our lives and Jung’s unique understanding of them.' - Michael Lacewing, University College London, Co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychoanalysis

'Giovanni Colacicchi offers a fresh and in-depth analysis that shows how Jung reshapes Kantian and Nietzschean themes, recasting them in the language of analytical psychology… essential reading for academic critics and clinical practitioners alike.' - Paul Bishop, William Jacks Chair of Modern Languages, University of Glasgow

'This book…sets out from the assumption that psychoanalytic writing – in this case, Jung’s – and the Western canon in moral philosophy, which includes Aristotle, Kant and Nietzsche, are all part of the same conversation. In so doing, it helps to make the assumption compelling.' - Edward Harcourt, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford and Keble College, Oxford