We are currently seeking submissions for future volumes of Culture and Cosmos.
Volume 5, No. 2
The Hidden Lineage of Modern Management Science: Astrology, Alchemy and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Garry Phillipson and Peter Case
Beneath the surface of some significant contemporary management practices there exists evidence of pre-modern cosmology. The influence of astrological and alchemical ideas on organisational conduct has not, however, attracted very much serious social-scientific attention to date. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTIÒ) is described and reasons discussed for considering it to be a prime example of the underpinning of the modern by the pre-modern. C.G. Jung's role as mediator between pre-modern and modern is considered, with some investigation devoted to the four function-types and two attitude-types which he propounded, their origins in earlier symbolism, and their influence on subsequent psychological theory and practice. An astro-genealogical account of the development of the MBTI is offered, taking into account its debt to Renaissance and earlier forms of thinking and symbolism. In conclusion, a warning note is sounded: the modern need to place psychology on an entirely scientific footing can manifest as a dogmatic, belief-driven revisionism that produces a fragmentary, potentially alienating, view of the individual.