So I've been skeptical of Jung's ideas. More so because one of the philosophical moves Wittgenstein makes is: considering the possibility that just because you can grammatically string a bunch of words, doesn't mean they have meaning in the language game being played.

Have there been write ups a Wittgenstein-like analysis of Jung? This is the closest I could find (I'm cautious of its validity)

2 Answers 2


While by no means an exact fit it's interesting to consider Wittgenstein's Remarks on Frazer's Golden Bough, where as well as discussing Frazer and his work, he also talks about William James, magic, ritual, ceremony, and religion and the study of it (free open access copy of the text here).

On Jung, have you encountered The Red Book? It records his journey after the break with Freud, in far more an open observational introspection towards his own encroaching mental illness or distress, rather than assembling or imposing a prefigured theory. Personally, I think Wittgenstein would have had a lot of time for that, because it mirrors the conduct of his inquiries in philosophy - a deep openness towards uncertainty and dissatisfaction, without settling for verities that comforted others enough to end their questioning.


I think Jung would laugh and set about right away to analyze Wittgenstein. Wittgenstein certainly needed help.

The great so-called understander of language (Wittgenstein) had a slight problem: he could not communicate even when he wanted to do so!

Please take a look here if you desire at Piero Sraffa’s Personal Connections to read about his attempted friendship with Wittgenstein. And Wittgenstein wanted Sraffa as a friend! Sraffa had to break it off. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piero_Sraffa

  • In other words Wittgenstein’s destruction of the possibilities of communication was itself a psychological defense mechanism. To destroy human communication and understanding. At the root of this was probably Wittgenstein’s uptightness over his sexuality.
    – Gordon
    Commented Oct 9, 2022 at 17:51
  • Wittgenstein wanted most humans to be kept at a distance. He did best as a solitary.
    – Gordon
    Commented Oct 9, 2022 at 17:54
  • Btw, Jung did have his own imperfections. In his case he was “unlucky” enough to have a rich wife, and as time went on Jung was able to engage in all kinds of whacky mystical stuff. But as long as Jung stuck strictly to his psychology he was okay.
    – Gordon
    Commented Oct 9, 2022 at 18:10
  • That's a remarkably shallow bit speculation. If you want to amend your answer, edit it. Comments are not for that. This isn't Reddit.
    – CriglCragl
    Commented Oct 9, 2022 at 20:47
  • If I wanted to learn to play the trumpet, then I would try to find a good trumpet player as a teacher. I think Piero Sraffa said and did all that needed to be said and done. I’ll let Sraffa teach me how to communicate.
    – Gordon
    Commented Oct 9, 2022 at 23:33

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