Jung identified Freud as both ES-P and INFP

According to Jung, he had originally written ‘Psychological Types‘ as a way for him to make sense of his dramatic break with Freud, which had had a severe effect on his mood as well as his social situation (as other Freudians would no longer talk to Jung or refer patients to him).

Throughout the course of his life, Jung held several different perspectives on Freud’s type (just like how he identified himself as both ISTP and INTP). In his earliest studies, he appears to have identified Freud as an ESP type. Yet later in his life he would come to believe that Freud was an INFP.

Jung’s Early Statements on Freud’s Type

Originally Jung had thought that the difference between Freud, Adler, and himself was that Freud was an extrovert, while he and Adler were introverts. Here are some earlier statements by Jung on Freud’s type:

Jung: “[Freud’s theory] is strictly limited to empirical facts [and] accords the greatest role to sensation.”

Jung: “When Freud says that the unconscious is ‘only able to wish’, this observation contains a large measure of truth for the unconscious of the extraverted type.”

Jung: “Freud’s view is essentially extraverted, Adler’s introverted. … Freud and Adler are equally one-sided as representatives of one type.”

Jung: “Freud’s neurotic disposition makes him an extravert.”

Another thing that should be noted is that Jung says both that Freud “accords the greatest role to sensation” and says that Freud is “concretistic,” that is, a person in whom there “is a predominance of the sensation factor in psychological orientation.”

So early in life, Jung appears to say that Freud is an Extroverted, S-dominant type, and thus an ES-P.

Jung’s Later Statements on Freud’s Type

But later in life, Jung would come to believe that Freud had been a Feeling dominant, and more specifically, an INFP. First he said (in a conversation with Kurt Eissler):

Jung: “When [Freud] had thought something,  then he was himself surprised by it and it had to be right! … That later made me think that his emotional life … was once disturbed somehow, severely disturbed. And that originally he wasn’t a thinker at all, but that he began to think secondarily and with great difficulty. … When feeling has been scared off, one escapes into thinking!”

And, furthermore, in a letter to Ernst Hanhart, Jung writes:

Jung: “[Freud was] an introverted feeling type with inferior thinking. … Freud, then as later, presented the picture of extraverted thinker and empiricist.” [February 18, 1957]

Jung even gives us his view of Freud’s auxiliary function, which, according to Jung, was intuition, which Freud would then try to hide in favor of his “somewhat deficient” sensing function.

Conclusion

One can hardly blame Jung for revising his views. Jung once said that “it is hard to determine his [i.e. Freud’s] type” and with this statement we agree. In fact, we suspect that amongst people who take an interest in determining the types of philosophers, Freud occupies a special place along with Plato as psychological sphinxes.

By this expression we refer to a remark that Nietzsche once made of Plato: He said that Plato had a “sphinx-like character,” that is; that he purposefully hid his true self in his writings. Of all the people on our site, the only two true “psychological sphinxes” are Plato and Freud. That is not to say that others do not try to hide or distort themselves in writing, or when giving interviews (Obama comes to mind here). But the will to distort or hide oneself is not enough to be successful in this regard: One also needs to have good knowledge of psychology as, evidently, both Freud and Plato had.

1 Comment

  1. Te vs Se says:

    Why concretic empirism and sensation is not Te followed by sensation Si. In the Jung propably said that Freud was INFP with ESTJ mask? Logically thinking it was the most obvious.

    Empirical data is Se? Being merged in the moment taking immediate action of course is but logically building theories based on data and sensation in mind sounds like ESTJ.

Leave a Reply