Front Page Titles (by Subject) Self-Awareness: Freud vs. Jung & Adler - Literature of Liberty, Autumn 1981, vol. 4, No. 3
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Self-Awareness: Freud vs. Jung & Adler - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, Autumn 1981, vol. 4, No. 3 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Self-Awareness: Freud vs. Jung & Adler
Discovering the Mind, Volume III: Freud versus Adler and Jung. New York: McGraw Hill, 1980, 494 pp.
In this final volume of his last work, the late Professor Kaufmann argues that Freud (1856–1939) stands in the great German humanistic and extra-academic tradition of Goethe and Nietzsche as one who has significantly advanced the discovery of the mind, whereas Jung (1875–1961) and Adler (1870–1937) did more to actually obstruct that process of discovery.
Whereas Freud was able to develop the Goethian ideal of a “poetic science” (that is, an interpretation of man's mind that does justice to both myth and rationality), Adler and Jung, contends Kaufmann, were insufficiently scientific and incapable of understanding the myths that controlled them. Contrary to Popper, Freud was quite able to revise his theories in the face of objections, and was always willing to consider alternative explanations when Adler or Jung were unwilling to do so. The “split” between these three men was not primarily over theoretical differences, but owed much more to the personal problems of Adler and Jung. These personal problems found their way into the Adlerian and Jungian theories and made it easier for others to avoid self-discovery.
Besides his evolution of a poetic science, Freud made major contributions through his discovery of the importance of child-hood experiences, the importance of sex, the interpretation of dreams, the psychopathology of everyday life, the interpretation of mental illness, the development of therapy, the interpretation of jokes, literature, art, and religion—not to mention the contribution of his own personality. Both Adler and Jung believed that Freud had overemphasized sex, but both men had yet to deal adequately with their own incest-wishes and family rivalries. Thus, Adler seemed obsessed with being “number one” and Jung's Answer to Job is filled with hostility towards God as the “father.” In failing to work through their own personal problems, these men projected onto Freud what they disliked about themselves, thereby failing to understand Freud or his theories.
Still, Adler's notion of the “inferiority” complex may have liberated humans, if only by helping us to recognize it as a common problem. At the same time, Adler did not account for why some men fail to feel inadequate and proceed to develop the talents that they have. Freud would explain inadequacy in terms of the sex drive and what happens when an individual feels insufficiently appreciated by his mother.
Jung's notions of the “collective unconscious” and the “archetypes” appear to be major contributions insofar as whatever we do seems to have parallels in myth and history, as well as in literature. But, Kaufmann argues, the observation that certain symbols are found almost everywhere can be accounted for by the diffusion of ideas, and most of the analysis of archetypes explains nothing because it fails to consider objections and alternative interpretations. In his own interpretations of art and literature, Freud was far less dogmatic. By encouraging us to look even further back in the past to understand ourselves, Jung may have obstructed the discovery of the mind.
What seems to be required to advance the discovery of the mind is to emulate Freud's honesty and to recognize that what is important for us to understand is right “up front,” if only we learn to see properly. We need to further overcome the dualism that suggests that there is a “hidden self” behind a mask, and realize that we all wear many faces which are evident in our deeds and works. In this way, we can actualize our potential for Goethian “autonomy.”