Some ‘did-you-know’s

1. Apparently Jung gave seminars on Kundalini yoga (presumably signifying some knowledge of Indian philosophy)
2. Some people (not myself) consider Idealism to have links with Vedic and Buddhist philosophy
3. Some x-phi philosophers (or x-phiers) have noted a significant difference in epistemic intuitions between undergraduates from China and UGs from the USA


5 thoughts on “Some ‘did-you-know’s

  1. Jung and Kundalini yoga: I’d believe this much more readily than if you told me Freud relaxed enough to practice yogic sex! 🙂

    Idealism and vedic beliefs: there’s clear parallels here. But I think Idealism and maya et al are worlds apart – one posits the primacy of thought, but the other almost dismisses it.

    X-phi: really? Experimental philosophy is to be dubbed “the X-philes” by geeks is it? I shudder. And I must say, wouldn’t you expect epistemic assumptions to vary by culture? Or do you believe that there is a culturally independent solution to the problems of epistemology?


    • 1. I think the connection between Jung and eastern philosophy is a potentially interesting one. Note how Jung talks about the individual, who on the one hand can aspire to be a suis generis unique personality on the one hand (individuation), but also taps into a more general human nature that apparently is either endemic of all human beings, or some kind of shared realm that all other human beings have access to (collective unconscious, use of symbols etc). Apparently it’s in his infamous collected works. I’m not a Jung or Freud expert I must admit (proudly)

      2. Regarding x-phi: firstly, I’m surprised that many people outside of philosophy know about it; it could be a potentially interesting research avenue; however I don’t like the general trend in which it leads. The cultural differences seem so significant that it might lead us to rethink a particular way of making theories of knowledge. It is notoriously known that the chinese way of learning in universities involves a great deal more learning and a great deal less ‘critical’ thinking (e.g. questioning studies/results/methodologies): that has its own benefits (economic, a powerful industrial and research workforce) and setbacks (social/political).

      Is there a culturally independent solution to the problems of epistemology? That’s a loaded question, although I suppose the first answer is an obvious yes. The second thought we may have concerns whether x-phi studies should actually worry us.


  2. Michael: Why are you proud *not* to be an expert on Freud or Jung? It saddens me that these two highly significant figures are now slammed just because the specifics of their theories were off-base in many places. (Although Jung’s work actually tracks quite well in the light of modern neurobiological research, ironically!) They still founded modern psychology – that’s worth something, isn’t it?

    Or are you just keen to distance yourself from psychology in general? 🙂

    As for experimental philosophy, I’ve never been worried by straw polls and I’m not going to start now. >:)

    Best wishes!

    • It was a tongue in cheek remark about Freud, like “Beware: freethought!” (I noted that ‘freethinker’ was used by a contemporary of Hume in the most disdainful way, like say, neocon, or hippie).

      I have to admit a mistake that I bet lots of people make: psychoanalysis (or the term I prefer: analytic psychology) shouldn’t be defined solely by two practitioners. It’s like saying philosophy today is like a bunch of people who make no money and are being argumentative (oh, and being Greeks in drapery – I often miss that point in an apt analogy). It’s a genetic fallacy to deride psychoanalysis genera. I’m learning a little about people after Freud and Jung. Those who I’ve come across have some things to say about development in children. I shall leave this point moot and remain open minded and charitable on this one.

      One point to make which I must admit is that experimental psychology from any point of view has come a long way. The success of psychology, I think, is how it is connected well with other natural sciences, such as Zoology (the taxonomical issues concerning brain), biology (obviously) and particularly the neurosciences.

      The point about experimental philosophy I suppose is that a lot of our commonplace assumptions are wrong, or look likely to be wrong. There are no longer 5 senses or 9 planets, but depends very much on the construal of those terms “senses” and “planets”.

  3. How refreshing to see you bringing some ancient Eastern philosophy into the mix.

    Can I recommend to read ‘The Gnostic Jung and the Seven Sermons to the Dead”. Most thought provoking, and one of my especial favorites.

    Jung was also a friend and contemporary of Gurdieff and Rudolph Steiner – I would love to hear your thoughts on their ideologies!

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