Natural History of the Self, first published in 1982, was a
ground-breaking book: the first to explore the connections between Jung's
archetypes and evolutionary disciplines such as ethology and sociobiology,
and an excellent introduction to the archetypes in theory and practical
applications as well.
C.G. Jung's 'archetypes of the collective unconscious' have traditionally
remained the property of analytical psychology, and been commonly
dismissed as 'mystical' by scientists. But Jung himself described them as
biological entities, and which, if they exist at all, must be amenable to
empirical study. In the work of Bowlby and Lorenz, and in recent studies
of the bilateral brain, Dr Anthony Stevens has discovered the key to
opening up this long-ignored scientific approach to the archetypes,
originally envisaged by Jung himself. At last, in a creative leap made
possible by the cross fertilization of several specialist disciplines,
psychiatry can be integrated with psychology, with ethology and with
biology. The result is an immensely enriched science of human behaviour.
In this revised and updated edition, Anthony Stevens considers the
enormous cultural, social and intellectual changes that have taken place
in the past 20 years, and includes:
chapter on The Archetypal Masculine and Feminine, reflecting recent
research findings and developments in the thinking of feminists.
on the intrusion of neo-Darwinian thinking into psychology and psychiatry.
what has happened to the archetype in the past 20 years in terms of our
understanding of it and our responses to it.
"This is a very welcome arrival after nearly twenty years since the
first edition. The new publication is not only a new edition of the
original work, but we have the pleasure of reading an update at the end of
each chapter. Dr Anthony Stevens is revisiting his Natural History of the
"The whole publication is a continued quest by the author to
present scientific evidence for Jungís theory of archetypes, and Stevens
produces a well researched and sparklingly original approach to
understanding the psychology of Carl Gustav Jung. Dr Stevens is himself in
a strong position to propose and debate these controversial issues linking
Jung with the ethologists, experimental and developmental psychology,
neuroscience and evolutionary psychology and psychiatry. He approaches the
subject with his own background in experimental psychology, medicine and
psychiatry, analytical psychology and a lifetime of varied clinical
experience. It would be foolish to omit that a big influence on the authorís
life was Irene Champernowne, herself a biologist, psychologist and
analyst, an analysand of Jung and a pupil previous to that of Alfred
Adler. Stevensís credentials therefore speak for themselves.
"This book I hope will become a standard text for all budding Jungian analysts. More than that. It should be read by all in clinical and academic psychology and psychiatry so as to open the minds and traditions of what is all too often a doctrinaire and dogmatic education."
John Stewart, Harvest
"Reading this book is an enlightening
experience. Stevens draws the reader into a wide landscape of exploration
which brings with it new and interesting insights and connections. He has
endeavoured to cover all aspects of what is meant by the term 'archetype'
and to bring the reader up to date with current research and ideas... The
book itself is an archetypal exploration of the spectrum of what it means
to be human and to live and express humanness and, as such, is an
important contribution which is well worth reading."
Journal of Analytical Psychology, no. 48, 2003.
"A remarkable book . . . gives us a kind of Rosetta Stone by which to
translate the concepts of Jungian depth-psychology into those of
anthropology, ethology, sociobiology, psychology and (even)
neurophysiology. It is extraordinarily successful in this ambition,
overweening and hopeless as one might have supposed it to be."
Dr Eliot Slater (described by Professor Sir Martin Roth as 'British
psychiatry's most renowned representative'),
"Dr Anthony Stevens has made a major contribution to Jungian studies
as well as indicating the common ground between seemingly
Dr Glin Bennet, The British Medical Journal, February 19th, 1983.
"Stevens writes not only with clarity but with refreshing personal
commitment . . . we are offered so daring an attempt at synthesis,
one that in years to come may well be seen as seminal."
Ronald Higgins, Resurgence, September/October, 1982.
"At last, a well-written definitive book on C.G. Jung's
Times-News, September 17th, 1982.
". . . helps to open up an approach to human nature which has
relevance to literally everything we do, say, or feel . . . the best
general guide so far to the astonishing work done in recent years on how
different functions of the psyche are physically centered in the different
parts of the brain . . ."
Christopher Booker, Sunday Telegraph, April 25th, 1982.
'Like Jung, Stevens writes with flashes of brilliance and insight.'
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