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The ethical ambivalence of holism: An exploration through the thought of Carl Jung and Gilles Deleuze

Main, Roderick (2020) 'The ethical ambivalence of holism: An exploration through the thought of Carl Jung and Gilles Deleuze.' In: Main, Roderick and McMillan, Christian and Henderson, David, (eds.) Jung, Deleuze, and the Problematic Whole. Philosophy and Psychoanalysis . Routledge. ISBN 9780367428747

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This chapter examines the disputed ethical status of holism through comparing aspects of the work of Carl Jung and Gilles Deleuze as two twentieth-century thinkers who reflected deeply on the concept of wholeness. Using Jung’s psychology as a sophisticated and influential example of holistic thought, the chapter first highlights relevant holistic features of this model, especially the concepts of the self and unus mundus (one world), and traces the cultural and social benefits that are claimed to flow from such a version of holism. It then confronts Jung’s model with Deleuze’s more constructivist way of thinking about wholes and totality in terms of difference, multiplicity, and pure immanence, which aims to ensure that his concept of the whole remains open. The Deleuzian perspective arguably exposes a number of questionable philosophical assumptions and less salubrious ethical implications in Jung’s holism. In order to assess whether this Deleuzian critique is answerable, the chapter focuses attention on the understanding of transcendence and immanence within each thinker’s model. Distinguishing between theism, pantheism, and panentheism, the author proposes that the metaphysical logic of panentheism can provide a framework that is capable of reconciling the two thinkers’ concepts of the whole.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2020 16:01
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2022 02:00

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