Freedom and the psychoanalytic ontology of quantum physics

Gullatz, Stefan and Gildersleeve, Matthew (2018) Freedom and the psychoanalytic ontology of quantum physics. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 63 (1). pp. 85-105. ISSN 0021-8774


Jung’s paper ‘Synchronicity – an acausal connecting principle’, defining the phenomenon as a ‘meaningful’ coincidence depending on archetypal activation, was published in 1952, together with a conceptually related piece by physicist and Nobel Laureate Wolfgang Pauli entitled, ‘The influence of archetypal ideas on the scientific theories of Kepler’. Slavoj Žižek, in The Indivisible Remainder: On Schelling and Related Matters, suggests that, in contrast to any notion of a ‘pre-modern Jungian harmony’, the main lesson of quantum physics was that not only was the psychoanalytic, empty subject of the signifier constitutively out-of-joint with respect to the world, but that the Real in itself was already incomplete, out-of-joint, ‘not-all’. Yet while Žižek frequently tries to separate Jung from his own ontology, this paper shows that his ontology is not as different as he suggests. Consistent with our earlier publications on Jung and Zizek, a closer investigation reveals an underlying congruence of both of their approaches. In this paper we show that this affinity lies in the rejection by both Jung and Žižek of the ideology of reductive materialism, a rejection that demonstrably draws on quantum physics in similar ways. While Jung posits an inherently meaningful universe, Žižek attempts to salvage the freedom of human subjectivity by opposing his Lacanian ‘dialectical materialism’ to reductive materialism.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2018 05:40
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2018 05:15
Uncontrolled Keywords: Jung, Lacan, Pauli, Žižek, quantum physics, freedom, dual-aspect monism
Fields of Research (2008): 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220318 Psychoanalytic Philosophy
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220309 Metaphysics
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