This thesis shows how the metaphysical features of the Jungian collective unconscious can be demystified by viewing the collective unconscious through the lens of functionalism. The features of the collective unconscious that will be investigated in this thesis are the possibility of the collective unconscious being present in every person, the archetypes as being the formal feature of some of our modes of perception, psychic energy, and synchronicity. By admitting functionalism, Jung doesn’t need to posit synchronicity to explain how it is possible for the archetypes to interact with the body. This is because functionalism can view mental states as being material without needing another connecting principle, i.e., synchronicity, which goes beyond scientific explanation. If mental states are material and the body is a material thing, there is no need for Jung to explain how the archetypes interact with the body through synchronicity. In viewing the collective unconscious as a functional system, synchronicity can be dismissed while still leaving the rest of Jung’s psychological theory of the mind in place.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Jablon, Oscar B., "The Metaphysics of the Collective Unconscious" (2019). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 640.