Student Services Overview

DATE: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
TIME: 2:00 p.m
PLACE: Studio, Lambert Road campus
CANDIDATE: Lisa Artemesia Marie
DISSERTATION TITLE: "Seeing Through Language: Language as Instinct, Language as Archetype"
CHAIR: Dr. Michael Sipiora
READER: Dr. Paul Gabrinetti
EXTERNAL READER: Dr. Deborah Simon

Marie, L. (2014). Seeing Through Language: Language as Instinct, Language as Archetype (Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2014)


This work argues that language is an archetype in the Jungian sense, embodying the essential characteristics of archetypes as described by Jung and the archetypal qualities emphasized by some of his successors. Because Jung himself did not view language as an archetype, few of his followers have done so, and because psycholinguists have generally not exhibited interest or expertise in Jung’s theory of archetypes, the idea that the ordinary phenomenon of human language is an archetype is rarely encountered or explored. This work does explore the idea, first by using Steven Pinker’s The Language Instinct (1994) to clearly delineate the universal, biological nature of language, and to correct some common misconceptions regarding the relationship between language and thought, then by demonstrating that the nature of language and the nature of archetypes, as described by Pinker and Jung respectively, are essentially the same. Language and archetypes are revealed to be isomorphic in several dimensions or aspects, from the biological instinct to the numinous divine image, and the presence in language of such archetypal phenomena as possession, wherein the ego identifies with an active archetype, is shown. The work concludes by pointing out the potential value of understanding the archetypal power of language in even its most mundane usage, particularly for clinicians engaged in “the talking cure.”

Key words: Language, archetype, archetypal, instinct, Jung, Pinker.


Please note: All oral defense attendees must shuttle to the Lambert Road campus from the Best Western Hotel in Carpinteria. Parking on campus is not available.