Analytical Psychology is the result of different schools of knowledge. Even though Jung was a great innovator, a good part of his creative power came from gathering a great variety of theories from different disciplines, as philosophy, psychiatry, psychology, religion, eastern thought, alchemy, and from relating these theories with other theories, in a novel conceptual frame that constitutes this psychological approach.

Historically it is possible to trace back some of the authors who contributed more in the expositions of Analytical Psychology. It has been said that Carl Gustav Jung is, in the context of Depth Psychology, the author having the vastest amount of knowledge together with a large philosophical background that enriched his approach. He received the influence of other thinkers, as listed below.

A large share of the following review is based on the article “El historical Context of Analytical Psychology” of Claire Douglas, in the Introduction to Jung, Cambridge University Press (2001).

Bachofen, Johann Jakob: (Basel, 1815-1887) Historian of Law and Swiss philosopher, Professor of Roman Law in Basel (1841). He interpreted roman mythology from a romantic and symbolic perspective, and wrote Matriarchate (1861) a historical and ethnological study.

In this work, the author states that the history of humanity evolved from a non differentiated and polymorphus period, to an ancient matriarchal era followed by a period of destabilization, after which rises the patriarchal society. Jung, and later Erich Neumann, were in search of matriarchal symbolism, and accepted at least, the existence of matriarchate in the development of the conscience.

Carus, Carl Gustav: (Leipzig, 1789- 1869) He studied at the University of Leipzig with further studies in Gynecology and obstetrics in the hospital of the Maternity of Triersches, where he became director until 1827. He published numerous articles and books in medical, philosophical and psychological subjects. He was a talented artist of the romantic period, specially in painting landscapes. He was friend of Nietzsche and Goethe.

From Carus, Jung takes the presence in the unconscious of a creative, independent and healing function, as well as the restoring capacity of dreams in the psychic balance. Carus proposed as well a tripartite model of the unconscious (absolute general, absolute relative and partial) that inspired in Jung his concepts of the collective and personal unconscious, and of conscience.

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang: (Frankfurt, to 1749-Weimar, 1832) German Writer. In 1765 he started Law Studies in Leipzig, but a disease forced him to return to Frankfurt. Once recovered from his illness he was transferred to Strasbourg to continue his studies, and living there he became an active participant of literary and artistic circles. In Frankfurt he began the writing of his most ambitious work, Faustus, in which he worked until his death.

Jung shared with Goethe a polar vision of the world, and used to talk about Faustus, work in which his author reflected on the polarity of good and evil through the use of images and the symbols when describing the internal fight of Faustus with evil, and his effort to keep the tension of the opposites within oneself. Like Jung, Goethe was interested in the possibility of the metamorphosis of the self and for the relation between the masculine and the feminine.


Janet, Pierre (1859-1947): French psychiatrist, who was born and died in Paris. He was disciple of Charcot and in 1886 he published an very interesting essay on hysteria. In his book Psychological Automatism (1889) expresses his central theory on neurosis. The normal personality would be the integration of pulsions, relatively balanced. When these are abnormally weakened, a pathological deployment of personality takes place.

This last thesis influenced Jung, as well as his perception of the necessity of neurotic patients to let themselves go and to sink in the unconscious. Another important influence was the importance given by Janet to the relation doctor-patient. In the field of therapy Jung received more influence from Janet than from Freud


Plato (Athens, 427- 347 a.C): Greek philosopher, whose name was Aristocles. Of noble family he pursued his education with Socrates. He founded the Academy (387), and is the first Greek thinker whose work has been conserved completely.

Plato proposed the existence of some primigenius models of which human beings constituted more or less defective shades. The models included an original human being, complete and bisexual. The models would serve as roots for the idea of jungian archetypes, whereas the ideal of totality would influence his unitary vision of Nature.


Kant, Emmanuel (Königsberg, Kaliningrad today in Russia, 1724-1804): German philosopher. In 1740 he entered the University of Königsberg as a student of Theology where he became interested in the rationalist philosophy of Leibniz and Wolff, as well as for natural science, specially for the mechanics of Newton.

His theories, along with those of Hegel influenced the theoretical model of Jung, through the dialectic logic and the play of opposites that generate energy psychic. Jung also follows Kant s argument that every polarity contains the seed of its opposite. In addition, Jung refers often to Kant s interest on parapsychology, granting him the credit for the development of his theory of the archetypes.


Nietzsche, Friedrich (Röcken, today Germany, to 1844-Weimar, 1900): German philosopher, nationalized Swiss. After studying Philology in the universities of Bonn and Leipzig, he obtained at 24 a chair in the University of Basel. His life became increasingly isolated as the symptoms of syphilis increased, and the last years of his life were spent in mental institutions.

Jung was influenced both by Bachofen and by Nietzsche who shared Bachofen’s idea of the n the f primacy of the matriarchy one) to model its own sense of history and to clarify its theory of the archetypes. It was also inspired by the emphasis that gave to Nietzsche to the importance of the dreams and the fantasy. Another aspect that hit to Jung was the deep understanding that this one reached of the dark shades and irrational forces that sublie to the individual behavior and our civilization. But also its desire to fight against them.


Schelling, Friedrich von (Leonberg, today Germany, 1775-Baz Ragaz, Switzerland, 1854): German philosopher. One of the greater exponents of idealism and romantic trends in German philosophy. He studied Philosophy and Theology, where he met with Hegel and Hölderlin. In 1796 he made acquaintance with Goethe who obtained for him a chair at the University of Jena. In 1803 he was transferred to the University of Wurzburgo, where he taught until 1806.

The ideas of Jung on the collective unconscious, archetypes and sizigia anima-animus were inspired by Schelling’s philosophy of nature and his concept of the soul of the world that unifies Spirit and Nature, his idea of the polarity in the masculine and feminine attributes, and the essential bisexuality of human beings. There is also Jungian theory takes from the reflections of Schelling about the role of dynamic interplay of opposites in the evolution of conscience, a belief shared with other romantic philosophers.


Schopenhauer Arthur (Danzig, today Gdansk, Poland, 1788-Frankfurt, Germany, 1860): German philosopher. In 1805 he entered the University of Gotinga as student of medicine student, where the readings of Plato and Kant oriented his interests towards philosophy. He later returned to Weimar, and became related to Goethe. The three pillars of his philosophical system were ancient Hindu philosophy, Plato and Kant.

This author influenced Jung with the importance given by him to irrational, oniric and unconscious elements. His neoplatonic vision reinforces Jung’s theory of the archetypes, and his developments on the four functions had a bearing on Jung’s theory of Psychological Types. .


Silberer, Herbert (1882-1922): Viennese psychoanalyst, member of the Viena Association since 1910, known by his works on the symbolism of alchemy.

He becomes the first reference that Jung received of the psychological symbolism of alchemy, since in 1914 Silverer applies psychoanalytic theory to the study of this subject. However, the true interest of Jung arises years later when writing in 1929 his comments for the book the Secret of the Golden Flower, written with Richard Wilhelm, in which he links Analytical Psychology to Eastern Hermetic tradition.