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Rauhala, L. (1970). Correspondence. J. Anal. Psychol., 15(2):184-185.

(1970). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 15(2):184-185


Lauri Rauhala, Ph.D.

From Dr L. Rauhala


It appears that Prof. Seligman in his review (January, 1970) of my book Intentionality and the problem of the unconscious almost completely failed to see what the philosophy of depth-psychology could be, or at least what my view of this was in this book, and I hope you will afford me the opportunity to clarify my ideas briefly.

While the empiricists describe and explain the problems of the human being and endeavour to help one in one's troubles, a philosopher tries to discover what is the structure of each of them. This was precisely what I was trying to do. According to the phenomenological principles which I followed, a philosopher keeps in intimate touch with the subject-matter. Phenomenological analysis without [the] mental reality is impossible, as intentionality, which is the core of the problematic, appears only in mental contents. In the philosophical analysis of the structure we put the empirical ‘in brackets’. In trying to analyse the structure of Jung's investigations and explanations and that of the changes which occur in his psychotherapy, I could approach no more and no less ‘from within’ than I have done. We cannot mix clinical descriptions and notions of the structure in philosophical analysis, as it appears Prof. Seligman recommends. If we do this we are back where we started: in the unbearable situation in which Freud and Jung left us, or in the midst of psychologism.

Phenomenology and the philosophy of existence are as far as I can understand the most adequate philosophical schools which can help us. Which philosophies could do more than these in ‘approaching it from within’? In any case, they aim so ‘deep’ that on principle there is nothing more fundamental to ask. In the light of them we can really understand what the reality of the unconscious is, and what it is based on.

Prof. Seligman says that my analysis ‘is not fruitful for analytical practice’. This is not to be wondered at. I have not even tried to present a new analytical psychology. That is a job for practising analysts to consider what they can make of philosophical analyses. The assistance of the latter is always indirect. In order to be able to decide what value this or that philosophical analysis has, one needs plenty of application. A mere superficial opinion is not enough.

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