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The hidden side of Wolfgang Pauli: an eminent physicist's extraordinary encounter with depth psychology

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Abstract:

Wolfgang Pauli is well recognized as an outstanding theoretical physicist, famous for his formulation of the two-valuedness of the electron spin, for the exclusion principle, and for his prediction of the neutrino. Less well known is the fact that Pauli spent a lot of time in different avenues of human experience and scholarship, ranging over fields such as the history of ideas, philosophy, religion, alchemy and Jung's psychology. Pauli's philosophical and particularly his psychological background is not overt in his scientific papers and was unknown even to many specialist scholars until a number of enthralling and perplexing documents of a close interaction between Wolfgang Pauli and the psychologist Carl Gustav Jung became publicly available in recent years. Both scholars stressed the inseparability of the physical and the psychical and called upon a sense of more openness toward the unconscious. Decades after his death, Pauli's innovative perspective and his vision of a wholeness of psyche and matter are more than ever before of great relevance.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Max-Planck-Institut fur extraterrestrische Physik, D-85740 Garching, FRG. Email: haa@mpe-garching.mpg.de

Publication date: 1996-02-01

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