I recently came across this well-conceived series of scholarly articles by Marc Fonda focused on the work of James Hillman.

Chapter ONE is is labeled  "Archetypal Theory and the Construction of Self"

Chapter TWO delves into more of Hillman's work and also introduced that of the inimitable Ed Casey. This work is labeled Imagination and Aesthetics: The Language of the Soul. In Chapters ONE and TWO, the author states, "Hillman suggests that psychology begin not only to deconstruct traditional paradigms but also turn to such alternate notions as polytheism, aesthetics and feeling, soul, and imagination."

Chapter THREE, The Feminist Critique of the Separated Self, looks at the "separated self" and contemporary feminist theorists that help flesh out Catherine Keller's deconstruction of traditional western notions of selfhood....

Enjoy, and if you are so moved, please post any thoughts or commentary here below as you read....


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  • Debra, I think you may be misunderstanding Marc Fonda. Although I don't know him and have only had time to read a little here & there of his 100 or so pages, I must say I am generally quite impressed with his understanding of Hillman.  

    Although you are correct in pointing out JHillman is against any notion of the psyche as inside us rather than we inside it-- that is not what I think Marc F is saying.  When he says JH sees imagination as primary he is speaking in a more philosophical way.  Philosophically, yes, for JH imagination is more basic than anything else. It is primary. Everything is within the imagination-- which is, Debra, actually kinda the same thing you are saying.  I also agree you are right to point out that in many ways JH made clear his support of women's issues but that "his works were not ABOUT 'issues'.  Right On !!!

    But I also am not sure MF is so wrong in what he is meaning. He may use the word "neglect", but if he does I would not take it so seriously.  I would assume he just means Hillman puts aside most feminist issues, which is true.  As you say, issues are not his main interest. 

    Thanks for your energy with all this, Debra!! Critiques are good. And your attention great!   I just don't think this guy is the problem. My impression so far is that he has made perhaps a major contribution (on a thinking level) to the field.  I am so glad Bonnie has posted his papers. Otherwise I would not have known of him.  So thank you, Bonnie, too.

    I am sorry I cannot engage much in online discussion myself. But I do like peaking in now & again to see what is being posted.


  • Debra,

    I just read your comment and find it compelling and speaks to me in the way I read James Hillman. I, though, am not an expert by any means and the more I learn the less I feel I know. Hope to ponder more upon your words and the essay.


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