@five, I already let you know much of my opinion via reps, but, considering the nonsense flying around this thread, and the fact that I can't recall another about Jung's type on the site (surprisingly), and that a lot of people are very interested in this topic and thus might end up looking here for an answer, and the fact that I've probably done more work on this question than most, I figure I should offer the results of my inquiry into this matter to the general interested public.
Source 1: The BBC Interview with John Freeman
At 8:40 of this video, Jung is asked, "Have you concluded what psychological type you are yourself?"
Jung responds, "Naturally, I have devoted a great deal of attention to that painful question, you know..."
Freeman interjects, "And reached a conclusion?"
Jung responds, "Well, you see, the type is nothing static, it changes with the course of life. But I most certainly was characterized by thinking, I always thought, from early childhood on, and I had a great deal of intuition, too. And, I had a definite difficulty with feeling. And my relationship to reality was not particularly brilliant. I was often at variance with the reality of things. Now that gives you all the necessary data for the diagnosis."
Now, some people point to this interview as evidence that Jung was an INTP, arguing that the way he phrased his words indicates T-dominant, N-auxiliary, S-tertiary, and F-inferior, but, if you actually examine the bases by which they attempt to support these claims, you'll find that they're specious at best.
- First, just because he says that he "was always characterized by thinking", why would we make the jump to inferring that this means he must be a T-dominant? And Ti-dominant at that? Does he ever actually indicate Ti over Te? If you're gunna use the fact that the first thing he mentioned is that he "was always characterized by thinking" as evidence that Thinking was his dominant function, then why could it not be Te, as he does not explicitly indicate one over the other (granted, most everybody agrees that he was an introvert)? More importantly, why, just because he mentioned that he "was always characterized by thinking", should we take this as ironclad evidence that he was stating that his dominant function was a T function? I could just as well, if asked, say that I have always been characterized by thinking. But I'm an Ni-dom. How could this be?!? Because I use both functions heavily, you dolt! Jung's saying that he "was always characterized by thinking" is not ironclad evidence that he was a T-dom; it can only be properly used as evidence that Thinking was always a function that he used heavily.
- Second, unlike in his first observation, that he "was always characterized by thinking", in his second observation, Jung actually indicates an amount or degree to which he was characterized by iNtuition, stating that he "had a great deal of iNtuition". If you're gunna make the logical jump that just because he mentioned Thinking first, that he must be a T-dom (and a Ti-dom, at that), why would it make any less sense to make the jump that because he said he "had a great deal of intuition", that he could not be an N-dom? To make the first logical leap but not the second is to favor the fact that he mentioned Thinking first over the fact that he stated that he had a large amount of iNtuition: it's too favor order over degree/amount. I, personally, choose to do neither, as, unlike others in this thread, this is by no means my only or primary source of evidence for Jung's type; rather, I look at it from as distanced and objective as a perspective as one can, and say, "It could be evidence that he's a T-dom, and possibly a Ti-dom, but maybe not. It could, just as well, be evidence that he's an N-dom, and possibly an Ni-dom, but maybe not. What I can say is that it is evidence that both Thinking and iNtuition played a large role in his psyche."
- Third, to say that one "was often at variance with the reality of things" would be an extremely fitting description, according to Jung, of an Ni-dom, for whom Se is inferior, which causes one to be "at variance with the reality of things". It is a less likely description of someone who has tertiary Si -- it's just not something one would really say to characterize that kind of person. Yes, saying that he "was often at variance with the reality of things" could be seen as evidence that Jung was just saying he was an iNtuitive, but he had already more-or-less stated that in his second observation (that he "had a great deal of intuition"). Whatever the case may be, being "at variance with the reality of things" jibes extremely well, and probably better, with the Jung's descriptions of Ni-doms in 'Psychological Types' (LINK) than it does with his description of Ti-doms.
- In the last argument, I skipped over his third observation about himself and went straight to his fourth. The third thing he said about himself was that "he had great difficulty with feeling". Once again, some people (hmm, what a coincidence that they happen to be INTPs...) take this as evidence that he was a Ti-dom (Fe-inferior). But, if you look at that claim with a critical eye, how can it be strongly defended?!? All it's directly saying is that "he had great difficulty with feeling". From that, you cannot accurately infer what function his Feeling function was, and in what position it would be correctly placed. You can't. And anyone trying to say that you can is full of shit. And, just to show the absurdity of the people who try to claim from this video that Jung is definitely an INTP, consider the fact that the reasoning they use for why he is a Ti-dom is that: 1) he was an introvert; and 2) that he mentioned that he was "characterized by thinking" before he mentions any other functions. In other words, because he mentioned Thinking first, they claim that this means he was saying he was a dominant Thinker. Now here's where their idiocy reveals itself: but then, when it comes to his Feeling function, they say that he is referring to inferior Fe, even though Feeling is the third function he mentions! By their same logic as to why this video shows that Jung is a Ti-dom, it would show that he is a tertiary Feeler! There goes the notion that INTPs are masters of consistency!
In summary, to use this one video as evidence that Jung is an INTP is absurd; such a conclusion can only be reached if one takes great liberties with what can properly be inferred from it.
Perhaps little should it surprise us that the people who most readily and most often taken such liberties over the meaning of this video are INTPs trying to claim that Jung was in fact an INTP. What is most troublesome about this is the fact that these same INTPs, who would usually pride themselves on being extremely rigorous and analytical in nature, seem to completely let go of their usual critical nature when examining this video, choosing instead to stoop to a level normally beneath themselves, apparently to try to prop themselves up by showing that they are of the same type as a man they greatly revere and admire. So quickly they seem to let go of one of their supposed strengths (objectivity) for the shallow satisfaction of "proving" some sort of type-allegiance with one they greatly respect.
In addition to the points already made, it's important to take note of the fact that, right before he starts offering observations about himself, he says that "type is nothing static, it changes with the course of life".
Also, I think it is relevant to point out that typology was not as developed and was more poorly understood back when this video was made. Jung was a pioneer, breaking new ground, when he published 'Psychological Types' in 1921, and his groundbreaking work has since been greatly expanded upon. Just because the man broke the ground, does not mean that he actually understood typology better than we now do. We get to stand on his shoulders, and the shoulders of all the theorists who stood on his shoulders. Those who have a better understanding of type today are almost certainly better positioned to properly understand it than those who were at the forefront of the field back when this video was made over 50 years ago (1959). Back then, did Jung have an understanding of "tertiary temptation" or "dominant loops" (the way we now usually talk about what @Seymour, above, called "pure types")? Had he yet thrown out his original assumption that the auxiliary, tertiary, and inferior were all of opposite attitudinal direction to the dominant's attitude, as is now the general assumption? How well did Jung really understand the types, compared to how we understand them now?
Jung himself seemed to express in the video that he had considerable difficulty assessing his own type, stating that he "devoted a great deal of attention to that painful question".
Under these lights, we might ask not only whether Jung's type was the same throughout his entire life, but when it was that he arrived at an assessment of his type, how confident he was of his assessment, and whether or not he might have changed his assessment after this video (he did live for another couple years, and the source I reference below claims he did change his assessment after this video [which would seem to imply that his type is even distinguishable from this video in the first place, which, as I argued above, it is not]).
Lastly, I just want to add that it seems a bit suspect that Jung would offer the response that he did to Freeman's question. These videos were very prepared, and, if Jung was not explicitly made aware of what the questions would be, or even took part in writing them himself, one would not be stretching one's imagination by any means to assume that he was prepared for the question about his type. When one looks at it from this light, one must ask why he would give what is essentially an ambiguous answer. He could've just said, "I'm a dominant thinker and an intuitive", and it all would've been very clear. Considering the ambiguous answer he instead decided to offer, one might suspect that he intentionally wanted to leave the answer open. One might also question why an INTP, usually so known for their clarity of language, would give an answer that is so unclear. One might think that an answer like the one he gave would be much more fitting to an Ni-dom, as would the desire to sort of toy with his audience with such an answer...
Source 2: Alleged Conversation with Stephen Abrams
I ran across this piece of evidence while researching the question of Jung's type (LINK).
The author, Vicky Jo, who runs her own typology website, typeinsights.com, and whom I've run across on other typology forums, includes excerpts from a post and an email she supposedly received from one Stephen Abrams, who apparently had enough correspondence with Jung between 1957 and 1960 that most of the letters were published in Vol. 2 of the Jung Letters.
The post says:
Now, this meeting between Abrams and Jung, if it did actually occur, would have taken place after the filming of the interview above, so, if this man is actually Abrams, and if what Abrams is saying is true, then either Jung was rather ambiguous (either intentionally or not) about his type in the BBC interview, or he changed his mind about his type afterward, because to say, "No [you are not a thinking type] you are an introverted intuitive type, just like me" is to call oneself some type of Ni-dom, in no uncertain terms.Originally Posted by Stephen Abrams at typeinsights.com
Now, I understand that a post and an email supposedly sent from an old man who supposedly corresponded and personally met with Jung might seem like questionable sources, but I certainly don't think it would be proper to just discount this evidence entirely, either.
I recently tried to reach out to Vicky Jo, to see if she could get in further contact with Mr. Abrams. I will post if I receive a reply.
Source 3: Jung's Mysticism, Symbolism, and Religiosity
Jung's beliefs, writing, and philosophy are noted for their highly mystic, symbolic, and religious nature; in fact, those are largely the hallmarks of Jung's thought. Mysticism and symbolism are, without a doubt, more readily and accurately associated with introverted iNtuition than they are with introverted Thinking; and religiosity is far more associated with INFJs than INTJs and INTPs.
Quoting from the comments section of the website I linked to above:
As such, I argue that, while Jung was indeed a heavy Ti-user, he was in fact an Ni-dominant. He led with Ni, but was primarily supported by Ti.Originally Posted by Mike @ typeinsights.com
This is basically the same as saying what Seymour was getting at in his post, calling Jung a "pure type", except it's substituting this notion of "pure type" (which, imo, is antiquated) with the idea of the "dominant loop" (NiTi) or "tertiary temptation" (poorly developed auxiliary Fe, but highly developed tertiary Ti) of an INFJ.
Source 4: 'The Red Book'
Apparently, in the years leading up to World War I, Jung was having recurring nightmares and visions of impending disaster and chaos. He thought he was going insane, and so decided to record his suspected descent into madness on paper (which forms the basis of much of ‘The Red Book’) but then WWI broke out, and Jung came to believe that he had actually been intuiting the impending war.
That sounds a lot like an Ni vision foretelling the future, if you ask me…
Source 5: Freud
Freud is said to have opined to Jung that Freud felt he himself was generally unpopular and disliked by those around him, while he felt Jung was, by contrast, very popular and well regarded by those who knew him. Now, this is certainly open for interpretation, and what I’m about to say is by no means the only possibility, but I think this more likely points to Jung being an INFJ than it does to his possibly being an INTJ or an INTP, since INFJs are usually better with people, due to Fe being in the auxiliary.
Source 6: Me
I'm not an INFJ, so saying that Jung is probably an INFJ does not have to do with me trying to boost my own ego in some lame, Jung-is-the-same-type-as-me kinda way (granted, by saying he is an INFJ, that would make me his Jungian "cousin", but, that's really not a strong enough association to go around building my own ego on).
Here is my take from various places on the internet:
Originally Posted by Zarathustra @ personalityjunkie.comSource 7: The ExpertsOriginally Posted by Zarathustra @ typeinsights.com
I'm not a big fan of David Keirsey, but he postulates what I have already argued, that Jung is some type of Ni-dom: he just stops at INxJ. John Beebe, one of the foremost developers of Jungian typology (and an ENTP), thinks that Jung is an INxJ (I believe he thinks INFJ). Angelo Spoto, author of 'Jung's Typology in Perspective', also thinks Jung is an INxJ.
Source 8: Everybody Else
By extension, I believe the proper move here is to largely discount the opinions of people who say that Jung is the same type as them (as that might be due to them wanting Jung to be associated with their type), and look at the collective opinions of those who think Jung is of some type other than their own. From all the sources I've scoured on the internet, the type that is most often postulated as Jung's type, putting aside those who claim that Jung is of their type, is INFJ.
Source 9: The Internet