In 1941, 20 years after the publication of Psychological Types, Robert H. Loeb wrote a personal letter to Jung, postulating that if one were to make an analogy between the field of Psychology and the field of Physics, Freud would be like Newton and Jung would be like Einstein. To this comparison, Jung had the following to say:
“…Your comparison of Freud and myself [is quite correct]. Freud is essentially concretistic, like Newton, and I’m chiefly impressed by the relativity of psychological phenomena.” (Jung: Letters, vol. 1, Princeton University Press 1973, p. 301 – boldface added.)
Jung then goes on to on to explain to Robert Loeb how he now thinks that Freud is essentially an INFP who puts on an EST face when he theorizes. (Rather than Freud simply being an EST type, as Jung had thought at the time that he wrote Psychological Types.)
But what interests us here is that Jung tells Robert Loeb that “Freud is essentially concretistic, like Newton.” What does “concretistic” mean in Jung’s parlance? Jung gives us a definition at the end of Psychological Types:
“CONCRETISM. By this I mean a peculiarity of thinking and feeling which is the antithesis of abstraction. … Concretistic thinking operates exclusively with concrete concepts and percepts, and is constandy related to sensation. … Similarly, concretistic feeling is never segregated from its sensuous context. … Both of them depend on sensation and are only slightly differentiated from it. … In civilized man, concretistic thinking consists in the inability to conceive of anything except immediately obvious facts transmitted by the senses. … Concretism represents a fusion of thinking and feeling with sensation, so that the object of one is at the same time the object of the other. … This fusion prevents any differentiation of thinking and feeling and keeps them both within the sphere of sensation; they remain its servants and can never be developed into pure functions. The result is a predominance of the sensation factor in psychological orientation.” (Jung: Psychological Types §696 – 698 – boldface added.)
So, basically, someone who is concretistic is a Sensation-dominant type.
If Freud and Newton are “concretistic,” then, and concretism means “a predominance of the sensation factor in psychological orientation,” then Jung identified Newton as an S dominant type (ISTJ, ISFJ, ESTP, or ESFP).
Update: (After the comment by the user ‘Jungster’): As with Jung’s typing of Socrates, Jung expressed himself in a cagey manner, leaving multiple “trap doors” open to escape his own definition. The definition of “concretistic” that we cite is featured in a section of Psychological Types (§696 – 698) that is called “DEFINITIONS,” and as such, we defer to the “letter of the law” when we cite §696 – 698. Even more so, Jung himself felt that psychologists should use their terms with “fixity and precision,” (Psychological Types §674) so he would hardly be able to object to our reading.
But as ‘Jungster’ points out: By following the letter of the law, we may be doing justice to Jung’s formal definition, while failing to do justice to Jung’s meaning. This is probably the case with Jung’s typing of Socrates, where we follow a “letter of the law” reading, but where ‘Jungster’ is probably right that Jung was simply being promiscuous with his own terminology.
So are we betraying Jung’s meaning when we use his formal definition to say that he identified Newton as an S type? Is Jungster correct when he allows Jung a “longer leash” with regards to his own formal definitions? Quite possibly, he is. So scroll down and read the comment by ‘Jungster.’ :-)