Journal of Analytical Psychology, 2001, 46, 591–611

The Baldwin effect: a neglected influence on C. G. Jung’s evolutionary thinking
George B. Hogenson, Chicago
Abstract: This paper considers the claim that C. G. Jung used a Lamarckian model of evolution to underwrite his theory of archetypes. This claim is challenged on the basis of Jung’s familiarity with and use of the writings of James Mark Baldwin and Conway Lloyd Morgan, both of whom were noted and forceful opponents of neo-Lamarckian theory from within a neo-Darwinian framework. The paper then outlines the evolutionary model proposed by Baldwin and Lloyd Morgan, which has come to be known as Baldwinian evolution or the Baldwin effect. This model explicitly views psychological factors as central to the evolutionary process. Finally, the use of Baldwinian thinking in contemporary theorizing regarding language and other symbolic systems is reviewed and suggestions are made regarding the implications of Baldwinian models for theory building in analytical psychology. Key words: Baldwin effect, computer simulation, evolution, Lamarckism, language systems.

[An earlier version of this paper was delivered at the National Conference of Jungian Analysts, Santa Fe, New Mexico, October 18, 1999, under the title, ‘Evolution, psychology, and the emergence of the psyche’.]

Introduction In 1919, C. G. Jung presented a paper, entitled ‘Instinct and the Unconscious’ (Jung 1960), at a symposium in London jointly sponsored by the Aristotelian Society, the Mind Association, and the British Psychological Association. At the symposium, several papers, all with the same title, were presented by prominent figures in British psychology. Jung alone represented the continent. Generally speaking, this paper is referenced for one of two reasons; it represents Jung’s first public use of the terms archetype and collective unconscious, and it is the first instance where Jung refers to the archetypes as being ‘engraved on the human mind’. This latter expression is taken by some commentators to be indicative of Lamarckian tendencies in Jung’s thought (Stevens 1990). Jung
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more famously repeats the engraving metaphor in volume 9 part 1 where he writes:
There are as many archetypes as there are typical situations in life. Endless repetition has engraved these experiences into our psychic constitution, not in the form of images filled with content, but at first only as forms without content, representing merely the possibility of a certain type of perception and action. (Jung, 1959, para. 99, emphasis in original)

Was Jung actually endorsing, or even thinking in terms of a Lamarckian basis for his theory of archetypes? Did he believe that the archetypes existed by virtue of the transmission of acquired characteristics wherein a trait or ability developed in the life time of one organism is passed directly to its offspring, as a Lamarckian would argue? (Lamarck’s position will be discussed in greater detail below.) This is an important question regarding our understanding of Jung, and his place in the history of thought, insofar as a Lamarckian argument for the origins of the archetypes would jeopardize Jung’s repeated claim to have grounded his theory in sound scientific method and doctrine. Indeed, Freud’s unwavering commitment to Lamarckism stands as one of the more perplexing elements of his programme, and Freud’s followers went to some lengths to blame Jung for Freud’s errant theorizing. However, as the philosopher of science, Patricia Kitcher, demonstrates in her superb study of Freud’s uses of late 19th Century scientific concepts, Freud’s Dream: A Complete Interdisciplinary Science of Mind (Kitcher 1995), Freud’s system rested heavily on Lamarckian concepts. ‘Even in the thirties’, she writes:
Freud clung to Lamarckianism and recapitulationism. In noting that he could not do without Lamarckian inheritance, he was not announcing the fall of his theory. Despite the ‘difficult position’ he had been placed in by ‘the present attitude of biological science, which refuses to hear of the inheritance of acquired characters … [he] must, however, in all modesty confess that [he] cannot do without [it]’ (Moses and Monotheism, 1939, SE XXIII:100). (Kitcher 1995, p. 177)1

Similarly, Frank Sulloway concludes his assessment of Freud’s Lamarckian commitment by showing that it was not a peripheral or incidental concomitant of his theory as his followers maintained following his death. Rather:
From the discovery of spontaneous infantile sexuality (1896/97) to the very end of his life, Freud’s endorsement of biogenetic [recapitulationist] and Lamarckian viewpoints inspired many of his most controversial psychoanalytic conceptions. More especially, these premises bolstered the heart of his developmental theories, legitimating their controversial claim to universality amidst a storm of skeptical opposition. Furthermore, these assumptions prevented Freud from accepting negative evidence and alternative explanations for his views. All in all, it is easy to see why Freud’s erroneous biological assumptions prompted such elaborate steps by his followers to deny their importance in Freudian theory. (Sulloway 1979, p. 498)

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As Sulloway also shows (p. 440), one of the preferred means used by Freud’s followers to exonerate Freud of the charge of pervasive Lamarckism was to locate Lamarckian tendencies in the late works of Freud and then blame Jung – and sometimes Ferenczi – for having introduced such misguided thinking into psychoanalysis. On its face the claim that Jung was responsible for Freud’s Lamarckian commitments is difficult to understand. Jung never mentions Lamarck in the collected works, if the general index is any guide, and Lamarck is not discussed in the Freud/Jung correspondence. Jung was, to be sure, deeply interested in what he called ‘a phylogeny of the mind’ (Jung 1961, para. 521). Roazen observes that Jung was ‘far more prone to cite phylogenetic interpretations than was Freud himself’, and Freud’s objection that Jung had a tendency to ‘seize on a phylogenetic explanation before the ontogenetic possibilities had been exhausted’ (Roazen 1975, p. 261), but all that meant was that Jung was interested in the evolutionary history of the mind, with no implied commitment to any particular theory of evolution. Phylogeny refers to the historical development of a species over evolutionary time, regardless of what evolutionary model one embraces. Ontogeny refers to the developmental history of an individual organism. Thus Freud’s objection to Jung’s phylogenetic interests simply refers to Jung’s failure, in Freud’s mind, to exhaust the possible causes of pathology in the development of the individual prior to opting for a more evolutionary or phylogenetic explanation. Indeed, the notion that Jung’s phylogenetic interests prompted Freud to embrace Lamarckism, as proposed by Jones and others, is spurious, for, as both Sulloway and Kitcher make clear, Freud’s commitment to Lamarckism significantly predated his work with Jung. Nevertheless, defenders of Jung have found it necessary to finesse the charge of Lamarckism in Jung by arguing that his theories do not require a Lamarckian basis, as Freud’s so manifestly do. Thus Anthony Stevens remarks in his book, On Jung, that ‘the collective unconscious is a respectable scientific hypothesis, and one does not have to adopt a Lamarckian view of evolution to accept it’ (Stevens 1990, p. 36). Rather, Stevens argues, one can interpret Jung’s ideas about the collective unconscious and the archetypes in terms derived from later developments in evolutionary theory and comparative psychology, to make sense out of Jung in more contemporary terms. Stevens is correct, but his comments leave open the question of what exactly Jung himself thought his position was in relation to evolution, Lamarckism, and the basis for his vision of a phylogeny of the mind. It also leaves open the question of what Jungian theoreticians at the beginning of the 21st Century are to do with theoretical constructs that appear to be based on 19th Century assumptions. These are the issues that I intend to address in the rest of this paper. While, regrettably, Jung did not leave behind a detailed working out of his position on evolution, I hope to show that there are some hints, at least by 1919, and perhaps earlier, that he was well aware of the inadequacy of Lamarckian thinking and in fact rejected it. Additionally, I hope to show that an alternative

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to Lamarckism, which has since come to be called Baldwinian evolution or the Baldwin effect, with which Jung was familiar, provides the basis for the development of Jungian theory today to an even greater degree than it did when Jung proposed his theories of the collective unconscious and of archetypes nearly 100 years ago. Thus, I intend to show that an argument Jung advanced in 1919 regarding inheritance, and his reiteration of that position throughout his life, sheds important light on our understanding of the relationship between the theory of archetypes and evolutionary theory. Additionally, I believe that Jung’s 1919 paper points to a variety of other possibilities for theory building and research in analytical psychology. To make these arguments, however, it is first necessary to briefly sketch some controversies regarding the relationship between evolution and the mind that were current at the end of the 19th Century. Lamarckism Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck (1744–1829), is often imagined as some sort of flat earther or equally benighted crank whose ghost Darwin decisively laid to rest with the publication of On the Origin of Species (Darwin, 1859/1964). In reality, Lamarck was one of the leading zoologists of his time and was decisive in setting in motion research into how life on earth had changed over time. He was a vigorous opponent of creationist views, and in that degree helped set the stage for Darwin. The essence of his theory was that characteristics acquired by an organism in response to environmental imperatives were directly passed on to that organism’s offspring. This is the so-called doctrine of the inheritance of acquired characteristics. Additionally, Lamarck viewed the transformation of life as fundamentally progressive. In other words, life was moving toward ever-higher degrees of success and well-being. Although Lamarck was opposed to traditional religious views of creation, this progressivist point of view did reflect his own deistic inclinations. Although Darwin disliked any association between his theories and Lamarck’s, their actual differences had less to do with the inheritance of acquired characteristics than with the idea of progressive change. Darwin’s innovation in thinking about change was the theory of natural selection applied to variation among organisms. But we must keep in mind that until the work of Gregor Mendel was rediscovered in 1900, no one had any idea what the unit of variation was. Indeed, Darwin himself proposed that the somatic cells of adult individuals all contributed, by way of particles he called ‘gemmules’, to the constitution of the reproductive cells. This notion, which Darwin termed ‘pan-genesis’, was nothing more nor less than straightforward Lamarckism. What mattered to Darwin was that there was no inherent directionality to his theory. If two animals both acquired the ability to stretch their necks to eat leaves higher up, pan-genesis would allow both of them to pass that

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characteristic along to their offspring. But it was natural selection that would determine which variation would be most successful, and thereby determine which bit of stretching would enjoy the greatest success in reproduction. And that determination was entirely dependent on the circumstances of the moment. There was no deistic incline toward ever-higher levels of organization. Thus as late as the 1890s, the Lamarckian dimensions of Darwin’s theory still formed an essential aspect of the theory of evolution. Indeed, some of Darwin’s closest and most devoted followers, notably George John Romanes, were open exponents of what had come to be called neo-Lamarckism, advocating the inheritance of acquired behavioural, if not morphological, characteristics. Romanes, for example, in his book Mental Evolution in Animals, proposed that a hen, who had raised several broods of ducklings and had become habituated to their taking to the water, had in fact acquired a new instinctual response when she would fly to a rock in the middle of a pond and wait for her charges (Romanes, 1884/1969). Freud, Sulloway recounts, was an avid reader of Romanes, particularly of his subsequent book, Mental Evolution in Man (1888 in Sulloway 1979, p. 247f). A contrary point of view, however, was emerging. In Germany August Weismann debunked Lamarckian views of morphogenesis by amputating the tails of several generations of rats and demonstrating that all of their offspring were nevertheless born with tails. In the United States and England, two figures will concern us, James Mark Baldwin and Conway Lloyd Morgan. Baldwin was the leading child psychologist in the United States and one of the first social psychologists until a sexual indiscretion lead to his academic exile from Johns Hopkins University in 1909. He subsequently took up residence in Paris where, until his death in 1934, he continued to write and met regularly with his long time friends Pierre Janet and Théodore Flournoy, through whom he influenced the young Jean Piaget (1982). Jung, of course, was deeply influenced by Janet, and personally close to Flournoy, and thus we may imagine that he became familiar with Baldwin’s work under their influence. C. Lloyd Morgan was the leading comparative psychologist in the United Kingdom, working primarily at Glasgow University. He was also a close friend and the literary executor of George Romanes, although he was intensely critical of Romanes’ neo-Lamarckism. These researchers, Weismann, Baldwin, Morgan, and others became known as the neo- or ultra-Darwinians. For them, the notion of the inheritance of acquired characteristics was anathema (Richards 1987). While Baldwin and Morgan were committed neo-Darwinians, as psychologists they were also concerned with the relationship of mind to the process of evolution. Baldwin and Morgan took seriously Romanes’ questions regarding the influence of learning and habit on the inheritability of behaviour. Evolution under natural selection is a slow process, Romanes argued, but some environmental demands require quite rapid adaptation if survival is going to be insured. This means, Romanes went on, that intelligent action will be engaged to solve the problem, and in so doing natural selection, which is

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predicated on differential responses to environmental conditions, would not function as Darwin’s theory demanded. In consequence, Romanes went on, in the absence of Lamarckian transmission, the germ material would not carry the trait to subsequent generations, because evolution by natural selection would not have taken place. Baldwin, and – independently – Lloyd Morgan, argued, to the contrary, that one result of evolution is the organism’s ability to alter the environment and thereby shape the circumstances of evolution by natural selection. In this regard, then, mind does indeed play a role in the evolutionary process, but not in the way neo-Lamarckians like Romanes proposed. Rather, behavioural plasticity, the ability to learn how to deal with a situation, allows a species to survive, and even create the circumstances that shape the selection process, until its genetic makeup evolves to deal with the environment independently. Behavioural plasticity can define a pathway along which natural selection runs, thereby solving the adaptive problem quicker and more successfully than through purely random variation and selection (Baldwin 1896/1996, p. 77). This process, proposed by both Baldwin and Lloyd Morgan in separate publications in 1896, was originally called ‘Organic Selection’ and only later came to be known as the Baldwin effect (Baldwin 1896/1996; Morgan 1896b). Baldwin’s seminal paper was titled ‘A New Factor in Evolution’, and the new factor was consciousness. As Baldwin remarked near the end of this paper,
We thus reach a phylogeny of mind which proceeds in the direction set by the ontogeny of mind, just as on the organic side the phylogeny of the organism gets its determinate direction from the organism’s ontogenetic adaptations. And since it is the one principle of Organic Selection working by the same functions to set the direction of both phylogenies, the physical and the mental, the two developments are not two, but one. Evolution is, therefore, not more biological than psychological. (Baldwin 1896/1996, p. 74 emphasis in original)

The Baldwin effect What exactly is the Baldwin effect, how does it work, and, above all, what does it have to do with Jung’s theory of archetypes and the collective unconscious? A simple example will help to tie these issues together. One unusual characteristic that distinguishes humans from other mammals is the ability of adults to metabolize the lactose in raw milk. Virtually all juvenile mammals possess this ability, but adult mammals other than humans universally lose the ability and can become quite intolerant to lactose. However, this capability is not identical in all human populations. Rather, almost all human populations retain some ability to use lactose in adulthood, but not all human populations retain the ability in the same degree. Take two population groups as examples: Among dairying populations of northern Europe (above 40 degrees north) an average of 91.5% of the adult population retains the childhood ability to absorb lactose. Among dairying peoples of North Africa and the Mediterranean the

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average is 38.8% (Durham 1991). Why is this the case? As it happens, the ability to absorb lactose plays an important role in the ability to fix vitamin D in the absence of sunlight, and, in consequence, to retain calcium. Hence, the ability to absorb lactose has distinct survival value in northern latitudes where sunlight is at a premium. But how is this capability acquired? Both populations have long traditions of animal husbandry – they raise a lot of cows. So we have the first step in a cultural pattern that underlies a biologically evolved trait. But cows alone are not enough, you have to do something with the milk. In the Mediterranean, India, and other warm climates, it is common to reduce milk to one or another cultured form, such as butter, yogurt or cheese. These forms of milk product are more readily stored in warm climates, but they also have greatly reduced levels of lactose in them, as the bacteria used to culture the milk digests most of the lactose. In Northern Europe, on the other hand, large quantities of raw milk are consumed, with lactose constituting an important element in the diet. What probably happened was that as Indo-European populations migrated north, those members of the population who could absorb lactose enjoyed higher rates of survival and prospered enough to pass along more genes for lactose uptake than other members of the population. However, this evolutionary process presupposed a variety of cultural innovations, beginning with animal husbandry itself, which allowed migration to take place at all. In other words, natural selection was no longer natural in the sense of simply responding to the natural environment. It was now a culturally driven natural selection. Biologically, the entire process still took place by means of natural selection, but the human cultural ability to learn animal husbandry, and consequently alter the environment to meet the needs of the organism, i.e., to cultivate a means of overcoming vitamin D deficiencies in Northern climates, meant that natural selection was going on under the supervision, if you will, of the human psyche. Processes such as this are often referred to as ‘co-evolutionary’, but they are in fact examples of the Baldwin effect because an element of behavioural plasticity is involved in the process of setting up the environment of biological evolutionary adaptation. Human plasticity and the ability to learn ways to cope with or alter the environment, thereby altering the context within which natural selection operates, established a place for the workings of the mind in the evolutionary process, without giving in to the neoLamarckian commitment to the inheritance of acquired characteristics. The genome, in the Baldwinian model, is still only affected by variation and natural selection. But the environmental conditions under which the selection is taking place are at least partly shaped by the human psyche. Jung and Baldwinian evolution Where does Jung fit into this story? While Jung appears to have been better informed about the controversies surrounding evolution than he is often given

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credit for, it would be a mistake to claim that he was deeply informed or that he cared a great deal about controversies in the field of evolutionary theory. Nevertheless, he was familiar with the work of both Baldwin and Morgan, and this familiarity appears to have helped form the basis for what he does have to say about evolution. He cites Baldwin in Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido (The Psychology of the Unconscious) (Jung 1991), regarding Baldwin’s work on the social foundations of language, and Morgan is cited in both ‘Instinct and the Unconscious’ and ‘On the Nature of the Psyche’. After 1896 Baldwin introduced his evolutionary thinking into most of his works, if only in a tangential manner. Jung’s reference in Wandlungen is to Baldwin’s three volume Thought and Things or Genetic Logic, published between 1906 and 1911 (Baldwin 1906), which, while it is does not provide an explicit discussion of the 1896 thesis, is nevertheless clear on Baldwin’s evolutionary commitments. Jung’s references to Morgan are to his book of 1896, Habit and Instinct (Morgan 1896a), which is a sustained critique of neo-Lamarckism culminating in his own rendering of the evolutionary mechanisms that would later be referred to as the Baldwin effect.1 Returning then to 1919, what can we say about Jung’s supposed Lamarckism in light of what we can infer about his familiarity with Baldwin and Morgan? One striking aspect of this short paper is that Jung’s arguments run counter to a naïve endorsement of Lamarckism, and, read as examples, in fact come across as a rather clearly worded rejection of the inheritance of acquired characteristics. How so? Jung actually proceeds on two fronts, one having to do with the nature of instinct and the other having to do with the situatedness of the organism, what Jung comes to call its image. To argue his first point, Jung draws a distinction between genuinely instinctual behaviour, which he sees as compulsive in nature, but shared by all members of a species, and the compulsive behaviour associated with phobias and neuroses. The definition of instinctual behaviour as behaviour that has an all or nothing quality to it, a definition advanced by W. H. R. Rivers, a strong advocate for Freud and another participant in the symposium, is too broad because compulsiveness is also associated with individual phobias. Indeed, Jung points out that we naturally make this distinction when we recognize that a compulsive fear of snakes is not only shared among humans, but also among other primates, while a compulsive fear of chickens would immediately be recognized as a phobia unique to a given individual. What is important here is that under a neo-Lamarckian interpretation a phobic response to chickens on the part of one individual should be no different from the chicken which raised ducks, thereby acquiring, as Romanes commented at the time, ‘the basis of a new instinct’ (Romanes 1884/1969, p. 215). This was precisely why Lamarckism was so important to Freud; he had to have a means by which a singular historical event – the primordial killing of the father by the band of brothers, postulated in Totem and Taboo – could give rise to the elaborate apparatus of the Oedipus complex. But this is not the position taken by Jung. To the contrary,

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Jung distinguished between genuine instincts and compulsions that are not instinctual. A Lamarckian, on the other hand, would have argued that the children of a person with a chicken phobia would inherit a chicken phobia, just as Freud argued that subsequent generations have inherited the anxiety associated with the primal killing of the father. Jung’s second argument, which also conflicts with Lamarckism but plays a role in the development of Baldwinian theory, is the case of the yucca moth. In Habit and Instinct, C. Lloyd Morgan describes the breeding behaviour of the yucca moth. The moth emerges from its chrysalis state on the one night that the yucca plant opens its flower for pollination. The female moth mates and then gathers a bit of pollen from one plant, flies to another plant and makes a small incision into which it lays its eggs. It then closes the incision with the pollen ball and dies. The flower closes and the fertilized eggs and the now fertilized ova of the plant develop together. Upon hatching, the moth larvae eat some of the plant ova, but leave behind many more, thus allowing for the propagation of the plant. On Morgan’s account, experiments conducted with the plant demonstrated that the moth was the only natural means by which the yucca plant could be fertilized, and the yucca plant was essential for the development of the moth larvae (Morgan 1896a, p. 14) Both Morgan and Jung point out that the reproductive behaviour of this moth is instinctual, but could not be the result of learning turned into instinct by Lamarckian transmission because the entire reproductive sequence takes place in only one day. Morgan does not go much further with his analysis of the behaviour of the moth, but Jung does. Invoking Henri Bergson, Jung proposes that in addition to the instincts one may posit the functioning of intuition which, he argues, allows for the workings of a ‘hunch’, by means of which the organism apprehends a complex situation, in the development of the organism (Jung 1960, para. 269). Jung goes on to argue that it is the combination of this kind of intuition, ‘namely the archetypes of perception and apprehension’ with the instincts that comprise the collective unconscious (Jung 1960, para. 270). Baldwin knew Bergson, and appreciated his work in philosophy and the theory of evolution. He also – correctly – distinguished Bergson from vitalists such as Hans Driesch, pointing out, in Thought and Things, that Bergson’s theories are perfectly compatible, in their actual application, with Darwinian evolution (Baldwin 1906, vol. 3, p. 275). Indeed, as we will see shortly, the notion that a hunch or guess plays a role in the later development of Baldwinian theory, as proposed by Jung – albeit without direct reference to Baldwin; the role of intuition, or having a hunch about a situation, may have been unusually prescient on Jung’s part. But Jung’s concern regarding the yucca moth has more to do with the way in which he views the situatedness of the organism. Although this point is often missed by his followers and critics alike, Jung’s original thinking regarding the theory of archetypes, which actually originates in his reflections on the word association test and the theory of the complex, falls within the frame of what we would now call cognitive neuroscience

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(Spitzer 1992). As Jung remarks near the end of ‘Instinct and the Unconscious’, ‘Archetypes are typical modes of apprehension, and wherever we meet with uniform and regularly recurring modes of apprehension we are dealing with an archetype …’ (Jung 1960 para. 280, Jung’s emphasis). At this point Jung associates the archetype with the behavioural role of the instincts, and remarks, just prior to the last passage that the ‘primordial image might suitably be described as the instinct’s perception of itself’ (Jung 1960, para. 277, Jung’s emphasis). In the case of the yucca moth, Jung remarks that there must be some image of the yucca plant that ‘triggers off’ the instinctual response that leads to the moth’s reproductive behaviour (ibid.). What does he mean by image? Jung repeats this nearly thirty years later in his important essay, ‘On the Nature of the Psyche’ where he uses another interesting insect example, that of the leaf-cutting ant. Beginning with a comment on evolution, Jung remarks:
In view of the structure of the body, it would be astonishing if the psyche were the only biological phenomenon not to show clear traces of its evolutionary history, and it is altogether probable that these marks are closely connected with the instinctual base. Instinct and archaic mode meets in the biological conception of the ‘pattern of behaviour’. There are, in fact, no amorphous instincts, as every instinct bears in itself the pattern of its situation. Always it fulfils an image, and the image has fixed qualities. The instinct of the leaf-cutting ant fulfils the image of ant, tree, leaf, cutting, transport, and little ant-garden of fungi. If any one of these conditions is lacking, the instinct does not function, because it cannot exist without its total pattern, without its image … The same is also true of man: he has in him these a priori instinct-types which provide the occasion and pattern for his activities, in so far as he functions instinctively. As a biological being he has no choice but to act in a specifically human way, and fulfil his pattern of behaviour … They [the primordial images] are not just relics or vestiges of earlier modes of functioning; they are the ever-present and biologically necessary regulators of the instinctual sphere, whose range of action covers the whole realm of the psyche and only loses its absoluteness when limited by the relative freedom of the will. We may say that the image represents the meaning of the instinct. (Jung 1960, para. 398, Jung’s emphases)

The example of the leaf-cutting ant derives from C. Lloyd Morgan’s book Habit and Instinct (Morgan 1896a), which Jung apparently continued to use as a touchstone for his reflections on evolution. That said, what impression does this passage make on us, and what are the theoretical implications of Jung’s position? On the face of it, one is tempted to assume, as I believe many do, that Jung is proposing that the all important governing images, or archetypes, are really rather complete inner or mental representations of various states of affairs encountered over evolutionary time. But this would be mistaking. Rather, it seems to me that Jung takes very seriously the notion that the archetypal is always imbedded in a context, and that the context is equally as important as any structure that may be provided by the archetypes. To understand how this could be the case I want to now move to an examination of the ways in which

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the works of Baldwin and Morgan have come into play in contemporary theorizing. The return of Baldwinian thinking To make this transition I will first have to connect the controversies that arose around the turn of the last century with developments in evolutionary thinking that are taking place at the turn of the new century. And here a question might be asked: Whatever became of Baldwin and Morgan, or at least of their theory? Baldwin, as I have noted, was forced into a gentleman’s exile in Paris after 1909, where he continued to write and collaborate with Janet and Flournoy. Morgan continued to lecture on problems in evolution, and championed a position which he termed emergent evolution, in which he argued for a point of view on the development of organisms that would later find new life in the work of other theoreticians working outside the rapidly developing modern synthesis of Darwinian natural selection and Mendelian genetics. But discussion of the Baldwin effect largely dropped out of the evolutionary discourse. Some people remembered it was there, but it had little effect on developments in theory because it did not fit comfortably into the research programme in evolutionary theory that came to be known as the new synthesis of Darwinian natural selection and Mendelian genetics. This state of affairs began to change in the 1980s, with the rise of the computer as a research tool, in particular as a means of simulating complex processes that in nature require either very long or very short periods of time to complete. In 1987 two researchers, Geoffrey Hinton and Steven Nowlan, conducted a simple computer simulation in which they added a learning variable to a 20 segment simulated genetic code, and demonstrated that if an organism could set some of its alleles, that is its actual genetic variables, by guessing at an optimal fitness, it stood a better chance of actually meeting a simple fitness criterion than did an organism that relied entirely on random variation and natural selection. The title of their paper was ‘How Learning Can Guide Evolution’, and the story of its publication is that when they sent it to the journal Complex Systems the editor had to write back telling them that their fundamental insight had been anticipated by nearly one hundred years (Pinker 1997). The insight, of course, was into the workings of the Baldwin effect. This paper had a profound impact on a new group of theoretical biologists, and a host of papers subsequently appeared that used computer simulations to examine how learning could affect evolution. By and large, these initial computer simulations addressed very simple models, but they opened up a way of studying evolution that jumped over the constraints of the new-synthesis to examine the possibility of theoretical variations on the derived neo-Darwinian orthodoxy. One such study was presented at the second international conference on artificial life in 1990. The paper, entitled ‘Learning in the Cultural Process’, was written by Edwin Hutchins and Brian Hazlehurst, at the University of California

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at San Diego (Hutchins & Hazlehurst 1990). Basing their work on that of Hinton and Nowlan, Hutchins and Hazlehurst asked how an evolutionary process might lead the individuals in a culture to know more about a natural phenomenon – in this case the relationship between the phases of the moon and the level of the tides – than any individual would be able to learn in their lifetime. The crucial insight in this paper was that cultures produce artefacts – myths, rituals, and objects of various kinds – and that these artefacts have to be taken into account when viewing evolution in that culture. Put another way, once you have culture, no matter how simple, evolution under natural selection no longer takes place in relation to the natural environment alone, but also in relation to the artefactual environment. This is precisely the situation outlined above in relation to lactose absorption. But it is also the case that in a world of artefacts, there are some artefacts that work better than others in relation to the task at hand and the cognitive capabilities of those who employ the artefacts. In their simulation, Hutchins and Hazlehurst created computer ‘citizens’ of a culture concerned with moon and tide variation. Each citizen was allowed to ‘create an artefact’ that predicted these variations, then create an offspring and then die. The result of the simulation was that if a ‘genetic’ learning bias was introduced into the process, successive generations were increasingly able to judge which artefacts worked the best in making the predictions, and were thereby able to learn to predict the moontide relationship far faster than would have been the case without the learning process. Importantly, however, the connectionist networks that were used to run this simulation were not learning the phases of the moon or the level of the tides. They were learning, or adapting, to making judgments regarding how well an artefact created by an individual in the previous generation had performed in making the prediction. Although Hutchins and Hazlehurst were less concerned with biological evolution than Hinton and Nowlan, one can immediately see how this process of cultural learning would influence genetic evolution under the conditions associated with the Baldwin effect. So, by the early 1990s Baldwin and Morgan had been resuscitated in at least some research circles where the importance of their insight was recognized and applied to a variety of situations. I am even tempted to say that the simulation of Hutchins and Hazlehurst provides a model for the emergence of archetypes, but that would be to jump too fast in the direction of interpretation. We first need to examine a more complex cultural and evolutionary process. Just such an examination has recently been undertaken by Terrence Deacon, professor of neuroscience and evolutionary anthropology at Boston University, in his book, The Symbolic Species (Deacon 1997). Why Baldwin matters: the crisis of the Chomskian paradigm The sciences advance, in part, by drawing analogies and metaphors from other disciplines. This is particularly the case with interdisciplinary sciences such

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as psychoanalysis, and Jungian theory is no exception. But, just as Patricia Kitcher makes clear in her study of Freud’s attempts at interdisciplinary theory building, this process has a number of inherent dangers, not the least being that the disciplines one draws on for insight may, in the course of their own theoretical and empirical development, suddenly conclude that things are not what they once seemed to be. Thus, to the degree one discipline hitches its theoretical wagon to findings in some other field, it runs the risk of having to explain itself all over again when the borrowed theory begins to break down. A case in point is the frequent invocation of Noam Chomsky’s generative grammar as an analogue to Jung’s theory of archetypes. Anthony Stevens, for example, is quite categorical when he remarks that Chomsky’s theories support the notion that ‘the acquisition of speech is archetypally determined’ (Stevens 1990, p. 82). Chomsky was, and remains, an enormously important figure in modern linguistics, and in the 60s and 70s his ideas swept the field. The core of his argument, and what makes him appealing to Jungians, was that there had to be innate structures in the brain that defined a set of syntactical rules – a deep grammar – common to all languages. Absent such structures, he argued, we could not account for the apparent ease and rapidity with which young children in all cultures learned their native language (Chomsky 1965). What Chomsky did not do is offer an evolutionary account of how these brain structures came to exist. Chomsky’s student, Steven Pinker, has undertaken to make this case, and, in collaboration with Paul Bloom, has probably done the best job one could within the neo-Darwinian framework (Pinker & Bloom 1990; Pinker 1994). However, there are problems, and they have to do not only with language but also with the genetic assimilation of any system of symbols. In what follows, therefore, I want to present a critique of Chomsky’s position from an explicitly Baldwinian point of view. By focusing on the work of Deacon it is not my intention to give Deacon unique standing in the debate regarding evolution and language. A host of other commentators are increasingly critical of Chomsky, and have proposed alternatives to his notion that the acquisition of language requires preexisting syntactic knowledge lodged in some organ of the brain (see for example Elman et al., 1996; Karmiloff & Karmiloff-Smith 2001; Kaye 1979). Deacon’s use of Baldwin, however, provides the particular kind of traction that will allow us, I believe, to better understand the uses that may be made of Baldwinian thinking in relation to Jung. Similarly, by focusing on a dispute in linguistics it is not my intention to neglect other areas where evolutionary theory plays a role in understanding human behaviour. But the importance of the symbolic in psychoanalysis and analytical psychology does privilege issues in linguistics. One does not need to be a Lacanian to believe that there is an important link between our understanding of language and our understanding of the unconscious. Although Chomsky’s theories have been the subject of controversy from the beginning, notably by other former students such as George Lakoff (Lakoff 1987), it has taken Deacon’s astute analysis to bring home the most

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fundamental problem with Chomsky’s innatism. Deacon’s argument is simple. If a trait is going to establish itself in the genome under natural selection, particularly in the genome of the entire human race, then the environmental conditions that drive selection must be stable over long periods of time. Natural selection does not take place in relation to abstractions derived from an academic analysis of the environment, but rather in relation to the actual regularities encountered in the world. But, Deacon points out, the most fundamental elements of language, insofar as they are actual aspects of the environment and not linguistic abstractions, do not meet this criterion, and it is therefore impossible for evolution to assimilate fundamental syntactic structures as traits coded in the genome. Simply put, there are just too many different ways in which various languages express something as fundamental as the noun part/verb part distinction for the brain to contain neurological structures that can account for them all. Additionally, languages change very rapidly compared to evolutionary time scales, and so even if we posit a common proto-language, it is unlikely that it would have been stable enough, long enough, to work its way into the genome. As Deacon remarks:
The universal attributes of language structure are by their nature the most variable in surface representation, variably mapped to processing tasks, and poorly localizable within the brain between individuals or even within individuals. Therefore, they are the least likely features of language to have evolved specific neural supports. Those aspects of language that many linguists would rank most likely to be part of the Universal Grammar are precisely those that are ineligible to participate in Baldwinian evolution! If there are innate rules of grammar in the minds of human infants, then they could not have gotten there by genetic assimilation, only by miraculous accident. (1997, p. 333)

Deacon’s alternative to Chomsky is explicitly Baldwinian. Rather than posit the existence of innate structures in the brain that generate grammatically formed languages in children, he argues, we should first look for brain structures that have the level of generality necessary to support the surface structures of any language. These structures largely have to do with the neurophysiology of the speech and auditory faculties, and the peculiarities of memory that support the learning of complex and idiosyncratic systems of signs. Ironically, for example, poor short-term memory in children seems to fit this requirement better than the developed short-term memory and fairly accurate transfer to long-term memory characteristic of adults. We should then look at language, and the actual processes of learning language, to see how they have co-evolved to work well with the evolved brain structures. Indeed, Jerome Bruner, another pioneer, along with Chomsky, in the anti-behaviourist development of cognitive science, has pointed out that children do not simply begin to spontaneously generate grammatical language but rather go through a very particular learning process heavily dependent on stereotypical interactions with their parents or care-givers (Bruner 1990). Deacon, along with researchers from a

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variety of other fields, such as theoretical roboticist Horst Hendriks-Jansen (Hendriks-Jansen 1996) and developmental psychologists Ester Thelen and Linda Smith (Thelen & Smith 1998), argues that it is really these stereotypical learning processes that are more likely to be stable over time and space, and that the Baldwinian co-evolution of language and brain relies on them to establish our linguistic abilities. Languages do in fact exhibit the deep structures of grammar that Chomsky attributes to them. But those structures are not to be found in some specifiable neurological structures in the brain. Rather, languages have structures like the noun/verb distinction because the brain does have structures that make this form of categorization more efficient for learning and using the language. In fact, Deacon continues, different language groups may well have developed the distinction independently of one another because they had to if they were going to survive in the Baldwinian co-evolutionary process of adapting to the ‘environment’ created within the human brain. Deacon explains this point as one of convergence in evolution:
I believe that recognizing the capacity of languages to evolve and adapt with respect to human hosts is crucial to understanding another long-standing mystery about language that theories of innate knowledge were developed to explain: the source of language universals. Grammatical universals exist, but I want to suggest that their existence does not imply that they are prefigured in the brain like frozen evolutionary accidents. In fact, I suspect that universal rules for implicit axioms of grammar aren’t really stored or located anywhere, and in an important sense, they are not determined at all. Instead, I want to suggest the radical possibility that they have emerged spontaneously and independently in each evolving language, in response to universal biases in the selection processes affecting language transmission. They are convergent features of language evolution in the same way that the dorsal fins of sharks, ichthyosaurs, and dolphins are independent convergent adaptations of aquatic species. (Deacon 1997, p. 115f)

Conclusion Baldwinian theory and Jungian psychology I began this paper by arguing that it is a mistake to view Jung as a Lamarckian in his thinking about evolution. The basis for this argument was the recognition of Jung’s familiarity with and uses of two of the most prominent antiLamarckians of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, James Mark Baldwin and Conway Lloyd Morgan. I then showed that Baldwin and Lloyd Morgan overcame the arguments of the neo-Lamarckians by explicitly integrating the workings of mind, or consciousness, into the evolutionary process. Given Jung’s already established theoretical commitments regarding a phylogeny of the mind – the object of complaints by Freud – we would expect him to embrace this point of view, which I believe he did. That much said, it is still worth reiterating a point made above: I do not want to argue that Jung was necessarily a consistently self-conscious Baldwinian in his evolutionary thinking.

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Indeed, Jung’s interest in and familiarity with the intricacies of evolutionary theory was relatively limited, in large measure, I suspect, because a fully developed evolutionary theory was not essential to the elaboration of his system of psychology. This again in contrast to Freud, who consistently recognized the central role Lamarckism played in the development and elaboration of his system. Jung did, however, believe that evolution played an important role in the development of the psyche, and, to the extent that he was familiar with both Baldwin and Lloyd Morgan, his thinking on evolution should not be peremptorily confused with Lamarckism simply because he saw a conjunction between the psychological and the material. To the contrary, it was precisely this conjunction that would have been underwritten by his reading of Lloyd Morgan and Baldwin. Neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory has, of course, become an issue of central concern in contemporary psychology and psychiatry (see for example: Barkow, Cosmides & Tooby 1992; Stevens & Price 1996; McGuire & Troisi 1998; Pietikainen 1998; Hogenson 1998; Stevens 1998), thereby making the interpretation of Jung’s relationship to evolutionary theory of far more central concern than it was in Jung’s time. In this context, this paper may be read as an introduction to a Baldwinian understanding of Jung that seeks to make use of his familiarity with Baldwin and Lloyd Morgan as a point of departure for further developments in theory and practice. But there are consequences that derive from a Baldwinian reading of Jung that Jung may not have fully appreciated, given the relatively limited attention he paid to the details of evolutionary thinking, and that call into question certain assumptions about the nature of the archetypes and the collective unconscious commonly shared by Jungians. Recalling Terrence Deacon’s comment that ‘the universal rules or implicit axioms of grammar are not really stored or located anywhere’, I believe that it is possible that the same may be said of the evolutionary foundations of the archetypes. Put boldly, the argument in this paper leads one to conclude that the archetypes of the collective unconscious, as either modular entities in the brain or as neo-Platonic abstractions in some alternative ontological universe, do not exist, in the sense that there is no place where the archetypes can be said to be. Innate modularity for the meaningfulness of myths and symbols, the notion that archetypes fall within the same frame as Chomsky’s language learning module, falls to the same criticism as Deacon brings against Chomsky. The surface manifestation of symbols and myths, of the narratives, which form the basis for the human sense of meaning, are as variable over time and space as the languages in which they are transmitted. As Dumezil, Eliade and many other comparative mythologists have acknowledged, there are indeed deep structural resemblances in many of the world’s myths. But the same scholarship that provides this confirmation of Jung’s fundamental insight also presents us with such a welter of differences on the surface that claims for a straightforward evolutionary basis for the common structure is rendered extremely problematic, if not impossible of

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realization. By the same token, highly abstracted models of the archetypes – neo-Platonic or otherwise – fall prey to the fact that abstract structures derived from the analysis of form do not provide the environment necessary for evolutionary assimilation. The world is not made up of logical structures, but rather of concrete instances of actually occurring entities that place adaptive demands on the organism. So does this mean that we should give up the battle and join the forces that think that Jung’s archetypes are nothing more than the mystical mumbojumbo of a deluded cult leader? To the contrary. Let me again be bold. Do the archetypes of the collective unconscious exist? Of course they do. They have to, or we truly would inhabit Nimrod’s kingdom after Yahweh destroyed the tower and confused the languages. For the confusion of languages would also be the confusion of stories, of our basic human narratives, and we can, however imperfectly, understand one another’s stories. But the archetypes do not exist in some particular place, be it the genome or some transcendent realm of Platonic ideas. Rather, the archetypes are the emergent properties of the dynamic developmental system of brain, environment, and narrative. The theoretical roboticist, Horst Hendriks-Jansen, captures the spirit of this point of view when he writes:
The synthesis of activities, producing the emergent pattern, cannot be paralleled in a corresponding synthesis of neurological correlates or mathematical characterizations. Interactive emergence means there exists no overall formal description of the high-level phenomenon, though its pattern will be clearly recognizable within the context of the creature’s environment. (Hendriks-Jansen 1996, p. 228f)

What does this point of view indicate for theory building in analytical psychology? To me, it is precisely in the work of Terrence Deacon, Horst Hendriks-Jansen, Ester Thelen and others, that the opportunity presents itself to move forward in our understanding of the theory of archetypes. A revolution is taking place in cognitive science, in the movement away from ever more complex and intricately ramified modular or ‘programme’ based models of the mind, and toward models based on the emergent properties of dynamic, complex, interactive systems. This process parallels important changes taking place in our understanding of evolution, and the mechanisms that actually shape our biological being in the world (for a discussion of this point of view in relation to the theory of archetypes see the recent paper by Saunders and Skar [2001], ‘Archetypes, complexes and self organization’). It is my expectation that these new avenues of research – situated robotics, dynamic systems theories of development, the neuro-anatomy of symbolic processes – all of which share important affinities with Jung’s interest in Baldwinian evolution, will radically alter what we see in human development and psychopathology, thereby providing us with new insights into Jung’s theories about the nature of the human psyche. We may then find, for example, that archetypal theory really

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is compatible with evolutionary and developmental theory, even that both a theory of evolution and a theory of development are necessary to sustain the theory of archetypes. But it will not be development as we have been taught to think of it either in largely Freudian terms or by classical infant observation. Nor will the evolutionary processes that underpin the theory be those embraced by evolutionary psychologists and sociobiologists. Rather, the presence of simple patterns of perception and action, and species typical forms of interpretation, embedded in the typically human environment of symbolic, narrative interaction will be seen to give rise to the immense beauty and complexity of the great myths of our species.

TRANSLATIONS

OF

ABSTRACT

Cet article interroge l’idée que C. G. Jung aurait appuyé sa théorie des archétypes sur le modèle de l’évolution de Lamarck. Cette idée est mise en cause à partir du fait que Jung connaissait et s’appuyait sur les écrits de James Mark Baldwin et Conway Lloyd Morgan, qui étaient tous les deux des opposants connus et fervents de la théorie néoLamarckienne à partir d’un cadre de référence néo-Darwinien. L’article donne ensuite les grandes lignes du modèle de l’évolution proposé par Baldwin et Lloyd Morgan, qui est maintenant connu comme l’évolution baldwinienne ou effet Baldwin. Dans ce modèle les facteurs psychologiques sont explicitement vus comme essentiels au processus d’évolution. Pour finir l’auteur passe en revue l’utilisation de la pensée baldwinienne dans les théorisarions contemporaines relatives au langage et autres systèmes symboliques, et avance des hypothèses quant aux implications qu’ont l’influence des modèles baldwiniens sur la construction théorique en psychologie analytique.

Diese Arbeit stellt Überlegungen an zur Behauptung, daß C. G. Jung ein Lamarcksches Evolutionsmodell verwandte, um seine Archetypentheorie zu unterstützen. Dieser Behauptung wird widersprochen auf der Grundlage von Jungs Vertrautheit mit und der Verwendung der Schriften von James Mark Baldwin und Conway Lloyd Morgan, die beide auf neo-Darwinistischer Grundlage bekannte und machtvolle Gegner der neo-Lamarckschen Theorie waren. Die Arbeit beschreibt dann in Umrissen das Entwicklungsmodell, das von Baldwin und Lloyd Morgan vorgeschlagen wurde, bekannt geworden als Baldwinsche Evolution oder der Baldwin Effekt. Dieses Modell verwendet explizit psychologische Faktoren als zentral für den evolutionären Prozeß. Schließlich wird ein Überblick gegeben über den Gebrauch Baldwinschen Denkens in zeitgenössischer Theoriebildung hinsichtlich Sprache und anderer symbolischer Systeme. Vorschläge hinsichtlich der Implikationen Baldwinscher Modelle für die Theoriebildung in Analytischer Psychologie werden unterbreitet.

In questo lavoro viene presa in considerazione l’affermazione che C. G. Jung abbia usato un modello evolutivo Lamarkiano a sostegno della sua teoria degli Archetipi. Tale affermazione viene contestata sulla base della familiarità con e dell’uso degli scritti di James Mark Baldwin e di Conway Lloyd Morgan, entrambi noti e accaniti

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oppositori della teoria neo-Lamarkiana, a partire da e all’interno di una impostazione neo-Darwiniana. Il lavoro delinea quindi il modello evolutivo proposto da Baldwin e da Lloyd Morgan, divenuto noto come evoluzione Baldwiniana o come l’effetto Baldwin. Tale modello considera esplicitamente i fattori psicologici come centrali nel processo evolutivo. Viene infine riesaminato l’uso del pensiero di Baldwin nelle teorizzazioni contemporanee sul linguaggio e su altri sistemi simbolici e si suggeriscono possibili implicazioni dei modelli Darwiniani sulla costruzione teorica della psicologia analitica.

Este papel considera la afirmación de que C. G. Jung usó el modelo evolutivo Lamarkiano para escribir su teoría de los arquetipos. Este es retado sobre la base de que Jung estaba familiarizado y usaba los escritos de James Mark Baldwin y Conway Lloyd Morgan, que eran ambos connotados oponentes de lateoría neo-Lamarckiana desde un marco neo-Darwiniano. El trabajo por lo tanto destaca el modelo evolutivo propuesto por Baldwin y Lloyd Morgan, el cual ha venido a ser conocido como la evolución Baldwiniana o el efecto Baldwin. Este modelo explícitamente observa a los factores psicológicos como centrales para el proceso evolutivo. Finalmenmte, se revisa el uso del pensamiento Baldwiniano en la teorización contemporánea en relación al lenguaje y otros sistemas simbólicos y se hacen sugerencias en relación a las implicaciones de los modelos Baldwinianos en la construcción de la psicología analítica.

Note
1. Around the turn of the century there were two lines of thought in biology that have since fallen into disrepute. One was Lamarckism, or more correctly neo-Lamarckism, and the other was recapitualsionism, proposed in particular by the German biologist, Ernst Haeckel. Recapitulationism is unquestionably an important issue in understanding Jung’s thinking – and even more so that of some of his close followers such as Erich Neumann – but requires its own detailed examination. The present paper confines itself to the question of Lamarckism in Jung. For a detailed discussion of recapitulationism see Gould 1977. For a discussion of Neumann’s recapitulationism, and the problems it poses for Jungian theory see Giegerich 1975.

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[MS first received November 2000; final version April 2001]

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