Jung’s typings to Sabina Spielrein (and Jung on Schiller’s Type)

In 1919, just prior to the publication of Psychological Types, Jung sent a letter to Sabina Spielrein detailing the psychological types of the following people:

Eugen Bleuler: E-TJ type
Freud: Extrovert
Nietzsche: Introvert
Jung: Introvert
Goethe: EN-P
Schiller: IN-J
Sabina Spielrein: Extrovert

Jung on Schiller: Both IN-J and INTP?

Update Februrary 2013: As suggested by the excellent comments of the user ‘Jungster’ below, it seems that Jung identifies Schiller as an INTP in Psychological Types and not as an INJ with introverted thinking (i.e. an INFJ) as we had first understood. This then makes the case for Jung identifying Schiller as INJ in 1919 and INTP in 1921. Of course, there is nothing wrong with revising one’s views, but since Jung is a figure of such seminal historical importance, we feel obliged to chronicle it to the best of our ability. See the comments for more.

In 1919, Jung writes: “Bleuler and Freud are extravert. Nietzsche and Jung introvert. Goethe is intuitive and extravert. Schiller is intuitive and introvert.” published in Sabina Spielrein: Forgotten Pioneer of Psychoanalysis p. 58 Of course, the case can be made that Jung is simply saying that Schiller is some blend of introvert with strong intuition, but it seems unlikely, given the primitive state of typology at this point.

In 1921, Jung writes in Psychological Types §104:

“I consider that Schiller … corresponds to the introverted type, the question next arises as to which subdivision he belongs. This is hard to answer. Without doubt intuition plays a great role with him; we might on this account, or if we regard him exclusively as a poet, reckon him an intuitive. But in the letters on the aesthetic education of man it is unquestionably Schiller the thinker who confronts us. Not only from these, but from his own repeated admissions, we know how strong the reflective element was in Schiller. Consequently we must shift his intuitiveness very much towards the side of thinking, thus approaching him also from the angle of the psychology of the introverted thinking type.”

Thus seeming to identify Schiller as an INTP.

Type Diagrams

Jung also left Sabina Spielrein three diagrams on type, as included below:

jung-diagram1

jung-diagram2

jung-diagram3

18 Comments

  1. Yikes. Schiller an INFJ? Not in Jung’s view — at least at the time he wrote [U]Psychological Types[/U]. You really need to reread Chapter 2. Jung characterizes Schiller as a [I]Ti-dom[/I] and spends quite a bit of time discussing his inferior feeling function (fused with sensation in his unconscious).

    I wonder if you haven’t also misinterpreted Jung’s letter to Spielrein, but I haven’t seen it. What exactly did Jung say about Schiller’s type in that letter?

  2. Thanks for commenting. We appreciated your last comment on Luther.

    PT:

    If, then, I consider that Schiller, in his nature and particularly
    in his characteristic opposition to Goethe, corresponds to
    the introverted type, the question next arises as to which subdivision
    he belongs. This is hard to answer. Without doubt
    intuition plays a great role with him; we might on this account,
    or if we regard him exclusively as a poet, reckon him an intuitive.
    But in the letters on the aesthetic education of man it
    is unquestionably Schiller the thinker who confronts us.

    So is Jung not here saying that Schiller is an Introvert Intuitive outside of the letters?

    To Spielrein he says:

    “Bleuler and Freud are extravert. Nietzsche and Jung introvert. Goethe is intuitive and extrovert. Schiller is intuitive and introvert.” p. 58

    We are very glad if you can present us with a better reading, and will happily correct things both here and on the blog.

    However, we are slightly irritated at Jung for failing to write more clearly. In this we join van der Hoop and Henry A. Murray.

  3. Although I agree with you that there’s a lot of stuff in Psychological Types that’s ambiguous, I think Jung’s categorization of Schiller as a Ti-dom is reasonably clear. Why did you cut off that paragraph 104 quote where you did? Here’s a more complete version:

    “If, then, I consider that Schiller … corresponds to the introverted type, the question next arises as to which subdivision he belongs. This is hard to answer. Without doubt intuition plays a great role with him; we might on this account, or if we regard him exclusively as a poet, reckon him an intuitive. But in the letters on the aesthetic education of man it is unquestionably Schiller the thinker who confronts us. Not only from these, but from his own repeated admissions, we know how strong the reflective element was in Schiller. Consequently we must shift his intuitiveness very much towards the side of thinking, thus approaching him also from the angle of the psychology of the introverted thinking type.”

    In the same paragraph, Jung also notes that Chapter 2 “is concerned much less with the general question of introversion and extraversion — which exclusively engaged our attention in Chapter 1 — than with the typical conflict of the introverted thinking type.”

    Later, in a footnote, Jung says, “I would like to emphasize that everything I say in this chapter about the extravert and introvert applies only to the types we are discussing: the intuitive, extraverted feeling type represented by Goethe, and the intuitive, introverted thinking type represented by Schiller.”

    And Jung goes on and on about Schiller’s inferior feeling function (fused with sensation), and about the fact that that’s characteristic of Ti-doms. Jung says (117-18): “In [Schiller] we have to reckon with a predominance of intellect, not at the expense of his poetic intuition but at the cost of feeling. To Schiller himself it seemed as though there were a perpetual conflict in him between imagination and abstraction, that is, between intuition and thinking. … This conflict was due to the psychological fact that the energy of feeling lent itself in equal measure to his intellect and to his creative imagination. Schiller seems to have suspected this, for in the same letter to Goethe he makes the observation that no sooner has he begun to ‘know and to use’ his moral forces, which should set proper limits to imagination and intellect, than a physical illness threatens to undermine them. As has been pointed out already, it is characteristic of an imperfectly developed function to withdraw itself from conscious control and, thanks to its own autonomy, to get unconsciously contaminated with other functions.”

    Jung later explains (152-55): “It is entirely characteristic of Schiller’s psychology that he should conceive the expression of [his undifferentiated feeling function] as [i]sensation[/i], and not as active, sensuous [i]desire[/i]. This shows that for him sensuousness has the character of [i]reactiveness[/i], of affectivity, which is altogether typical of the introvert [— i.e., in this chapter, the “introverted thinking type.”] … Whoever lives under the supremacy of the idea strives for permanence; hence everything that pushes towards change must be opposed to the idea. In Schiller’s case it is feeling and sensation, which as a rule are fused together on account of their undeveloped state. Schiller does not in fact discriminate sufficiently between feeling and sensation as the following passage proves: ‘Feeling can only say: this is true for this subject and at this moment; another moment another subject may come and revoke the statement of the present sensation.’ This passage clearly shows that for Schiller feeling and sensation are actually interchangeable terms, and it reveals an inadequate evaluation and differentiation of feeling as distinct from sensation. Differentiated feeling can establish universal values as well as those that are merely specific and individual. But it is true that the ‘feeling-sensation’ of the introverted thinking type, because of its passive and reactive character, is purely specific; it can never rise above the individual case, by which alone it is stimulated, to an abstract comparison of all cases, since with the introverted thinking type this duty is performed not by the feeling function but by the thinking function. … From a further analysis of Schiller’s description we find that ‘feeling-sensation’ (by which I mean the characteristic fusion of the two in the introverted thinking type) is the function with which the ego does not declare itself identical. It has the character of something inimical and foreign, that ‘extinguishes’ the personality, whirls it away, setting the subject outside himself and alienating him from himself.”

  4. Again we must thank you for a well-considered comment relying on an impressively close reading of the text.

    As you can see from our excerpt from PT in the main blog post here, we are not attempting to hide the passage where Jung identifies Schiller as an introverted thinking type (in italics and all). We just read the part that we quoted as Jung saying that Schiller is an N-dominant type outside of the letters.

    Related question: Have you noted anywhere Jung saying whether Goethe’s dominant function was Feeling or Intuition?

    Edit: We have updated the main post in the section on Schiller. We are open to further refinements on the matter.

  5. As previously noted, Jung says in that footnote, “I would like to emphasize that everything I say in this chapter about the extravert and introvert applies only to the types we are discussing: the intuitive, extraverted feeling type represented by Goethe, and the intuitive, introverted thinking type represented by Schiller.” Assuming Jung viewed Schiller as a Ti-dom with an N-aux, and given that he referred to Schiller in the footnote as an “intuitive, introverted thinking type,” it would be strange if the parallel reference (in the same footnote) to Goethe as a “intuitive, extraverted feeling type” didn’t mean Fe-dom with an N-aux.

    And Jung repeatedly characterizes Schiller and Goethe as symmetrical opposites in Chapter 2 in a way that seems significantly more consistent with Ti-N vs. Fe-N than Ti-N vs. Ne-F.

    I wouldn’t say it’s clear that Jung considered Goethe an Fe-dom to the same degree that it’s reasonably clear (IMO) that Jung considered Schiller a Ti-dom, but I lean pretty strongly in that direction.

  6. Thank you. You are clearly a Jung-reader of the first order. (How did you get so good?)

    Please read the last part of PT §540 and share with us if you think this means that J is identifying Schopenhauer as F-dom and Hegel as T-dom, or if we should just let that lie.

  7. I’m more inclined to suspect Jung’s reference to Schopenhauer’s “intuitive feelings” in that sentence was just a reference to Schopenhauer’s intuition, rather than to interpret that particular use of the word “feelings” as a reference to the F function. By contrast, I’d be somewhat more inclined to interpret the following sentence (“intuition was subordinated to intellect”) to mean that Jung viewed Schopenhauer as a T-dom with an N-aux.

  8. Dear lord, how can a person be so vague. It is as if Jung wants to be unclear, a Nostradamus, even. As far as breakneck writers go, we would rather read Kant!

    (And by the by, if you know Kant, is it not an… uhm, unconventional interpretation of Kant that Jung is advancing in PT, saying that the archetypes and the collective unconscious correspond to the noumenon? We don’t think Kant would have agreed with that at all.)

    You are quite likely right that Jung is not saying that Schopenhauer is an F-type in that passage after all. But elsewhere, when Jung says that Schopenhauer conceives of the idea as an image, he seems to be using the same terminology that he later used to describe Ni in chapter X.

    Also in §322, Jung seems to say:

    There is an attitude.
    This attitude is Schopenhaurian.
    This attitude is introverted.

    But did Schopenhauer then have this Schopenhaurian attitude? We are not told.

    We can scarcely imagine how one could be so vague without deliberately trying to be.

  9. These are some very good comments.

    I don’t find Jung’s writings so nubilous, but he is certainly not as direct as most other writers and in the examples he makes the ingredients for each case’s type have been laid out somewhat diffusely. (I am perhaps a bit more forgiving given my own style can be a bit circuitous at times.)

    I agree with jungster on every point. Jung states that both Schopenhauer and Hegel are Thinking types first and foremost, but with strong auxiliary iNtuition: “In both cases, however, intuition was subordinated to intellect, but with Nietzsche it ranked above it.” He was contrasting Thinking dominants with auxiliary iNtuition to an N dominant with auxiliary T.

    As a side note, I don’t necessarily agree with Jung’s assessment of Schiller conflating Sensation and Feeling, nor do I believe most Introverted Thinking types would fail to make such a distinction. While I do enjoy Jung’s style of writing, I believe the theory propounded in Psychological Types, while written over the span of several years, was still inchoate — especially the early chapters.

  10. Very good then. We are privileged to have the help of two competent ‘Jungsters’ such as yourselves.
    So Hegel *and* Schopenhauer as T-dom NTs (ENTJ/ INTP) ?

  11. Yes, there Jung had identified Schopenhauer as an Introvert, and with that you may deduce that Jung saw him as an “intuitive, introverted thinking type” much like Schiller.

  12. More fuel for the fire of our coming essay: “Why was Jung so often wrong?” – Forgive the conceited title, please. :D

  13. Also, Desmond, if you know Kant, wouldn’t you say that Jung employs quite the idiosyncratic reading of him in PT? I.e. that if it had been a philosophy class, Jung would have flunked :D

  14. Jung once stated that he was “steeped in [Kant]” yet seemed to have a very subjective take on it. I have to admit that Jung had eisegetic proclivities. More than once did he seem to misconstrue statements to support his own ideas. This was something he seemed a bit self-conscious of, as well; it is evident from several passages in Psychological Types that he was attempting to forestall accusations of such a bent.

  15. I think you wrongly present Jung’s ideas about type.

    For Jung, an INTJ is an introverted thinker with intuition. An INFJ in Jung does not mean introverted thinking like in Myers, but a feeling-judging type with intuition.

  16. No, because Jung didn’t use the four-letter codes. What you’re talking about is Socionics, which originally still did not use the four-letter codes.

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