Synchronicity and Intellectual Intuition in Kant, Swedenborg and Jung

Author: Bishop, Paul
Examines, for the first time, the filiation of a philosophical concept in relation to its use by the major 20th century thinker, C. G. Jung. It is a timely contribution to the history of the development of analytical psychology, as well as the ‘history of an idea’. It represents a new and substantial argument about the significance of Jung, placing him in an often-overlooked but vitally important intellectual context. It shows how Jung’s theory of synchronicity stems from a long and deep preoccupation with such central themes of German philosophy as the mind-body problem, the notion of intellectual intuition, and the critical philosophy of Immanuel Kant. It contextualizes Jung’s misprisioning of Kant in terms of the modernist interest in mysticism and occultism.


“Through numerous publications, most notably his monograph on Jung and Nietzsche, Dr. Bishop has firmly established himself as a leading authority of C. G. Jung and the influences which shaped his thought. This monograph on Jung’s relationship with Kant and Swedenborg will therefore be widely welcomed not only by Jung scholars, but also by anyone interested in the history of philosophy, psychology and the history of ideas. . . .Dr. Bishop’s analysis of Kant’s own often-overlooked interest in the Swedish mystic Swedenborg will be of great interest to Kant scholars, as will the account of the reception of this aspect of Kant’s work at the end of the nineteenth century. . . .this work not only deepens our understanding of Jung and of Kant, but is also a substantial contribution to the history of ideas.” – Dr. Karl Leydecker

“This work helpfully situates Jung’s concept of ‘synchronicity’ in the intellectual tradition of ‘intellectual intuition’ and, in doing so, casts illuminating light not only on Jung’s controversial idea, but on the whole length, from Kant to Fichte and Schelling. Of the German Philosophical tradition. . . Dr. Bishop’s study is a work of incisive concision which, by dint of its clear structure and masterly command of the secondary literature, succeeds in making a convincing case in a refreshingly direct and telling way. . . a pioneering work, opening up a whole new dimension of research on the history of modern German, and European, thought.” – Professor R. H. Stephenson

Table of Contents

Table of contents (main headings)
Foreword; Introduction
1. Synchronicity
2. Jung’s Early Philosophical Development
3. The Use of Kant in Jung’s Early Psychological Works
4. Jung’s Use of Kant in his Psychological Works after 1921
5. Kant and Swedenborg: Dreams of a Spirit-Seer and the Lectures on Psychology
6. Neo-Kantianism, Materialism, and Spiritism: the 19th Century Background to Jung
Conclusion: Reception of Jung’s Notion of Synchronicity
Appendix A: Editions of Kant in C. G. Jung’s Library
Appendix B: Kant’s Lectures on Psychology – A Bibliography
Select Bibliography; Index