Bond, Solitude, and Digital Sociality: Freud and Jung One Hundred Years Later

On the occasion of the centenary of the publication of two major texts of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic thought, Sigmund Freud's Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (1921) and Carl Gustav Jung's Psychological Types (1921), the Eranos Foundation is pleased to invite you to an afternoon of studies on the theme "Bond, Solitude, and Digital Sociality: Freud and Jung One Hundred Years Later", scheduled for Friday, November 26, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Monte Verità Auditorium (Ascona), in collaboration with the Tiresia Research Center "Philosophy and Psychoanalysis" of the Department of Human Sciences of the University of Verona. Participation is free; registration is required. A cocktail reception open to the public will follow.

Today's bonds are increasingly unstable, digitally modified, capable of throwing us into the hypnotic intoxication of massification as well as abandoning us to the darkest solitude. When we take part in a group, when we act within it, what sustains our bond and from where does the power by which we feel inhabited come from? What happens to our responsibility, our instincts, our emotions, when we are socialized by the multitude, in the places and forms through which it expresses itself from time to time? These are all questions that come to the fore today because of the communication devices offered to us by new technologies. We can well see all this in the new forms of virtual aggregation, in its forms of giving body to the different online communities, with concrete consequences on the way of doing politics, of understanding relationships, of generating conflicts. But they are also questions at the heart of a work, now a classic, of which this year marks the centenary of its publication: Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego by Sigmund Freud. From a classic we always have something to learn to better understand what we are living today, and it is in this sense that we will try to question the Freudian essay starting from the notions of identification and falling in love, with which the author explains the functioning of the bond. Not only that, we will also try to question these themes in the light of another classic whose centenary of publication is being celebrated: Psychological Types by Carl Gustav Jung. With a completely different approach, although published in the same year as the Freudian essay, Jung's study tries to find in the inescapable variety of human experience some "forms" or "structures", also building on some of the insights of Otto Gross (whose existential path intercepts the experience of Monte Verità almost thirty years before Jung's arrival at Eranos) that founded the now well-known Jungian concepts of extroversion and introversion. The evening will try not only to put in tension the two essays, but also and above all to verify how much the categories discussed by the two authors (in Jung's case, already problematized by James Hillman in a memorable lecture held at Eranos in 1976) help us to shed light on some of the social phenomena that today direct our ways of living, thinking, and reflecting on ourselves: not least, on some of the most regressive forms of contemporary digital narcissism.

Lecturers will be Matteo Bonazzi (University of Verona), Federico Leoni (University of Verona), Matteo Vegetti (Università della Svizzera Italiana), Fabio Merlini (Eranos Foundation and Federal University Institute for Vocational Training), and Riccardo Bernardini (Eranos Foundation).

The recording of the conference can be viewed on the official YouTube channel of the Eranos Foundation.



18.30-18.50 Fabio Merlini: Introduction

18.50-19.10 Matteo Vegetti: "Ciò che resta della massa: neoplebe e populismi"

19.10-19.30 Matteo Bonazzi: "Oggetto e ideale nell’orizzonte del legame contemporaneo"

19.30-19.50 Federico Leoni: "Uomini e topi e virus. Sulla struttura delle masse contemporanee"

19.50-20.10 Riccardo Bernardini: "La tipologia psicologica a confronto con la contemporaneità"

20.10-20.30 Dibattito conclusivo



Riccardo Bernardini is Scientific Secretary of the Eranos Foundation. Director of the Institute of Analytical Psychology and Psychotherapy IPAP (Ivrea), Analyst Member of the Associazione per la Ricerca in Psicologia Analitica (ARPA) and of the International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP), he is adjunct professor of Psychology of Evil and Radicalization Processes at the University of Turin. Since 2019, he serves as Secretary of the Order of Psychologists of Piedmont. Among his publications: Jung a Eranos. Il progetto della Psicologia Complessa (2011) and Jung e Ivrea (2018). In agreement with the Foundation of the Works of C.G. Jung, he edited Carl Gustav Jung's The Solar Myths and Opicino de Canistris. Notes from the Seminar held at Eranos in 1943 (with G.P. Quaglino and A. Romano, 2014), also in English translation (2015), and Rebirth. Text and notes of the lecture given at Eranos in 1939 (with F. Merlini, 2020).

Matteo Bonazzi is researcher in Moral Philosophy at the Department of Human Sciences of the University of Verona, where he teaches Philosophy of History, Phenomenology of Care, and Ethics and Philosophy of the Person, and is scientific coordinator of the Tiresia Research Center "Philosophy and Psychoanalysis". He is a psychotherapist (member of the Order of Psychologists of Lombardia), psychoanalyst (member of the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis and the World Association of Psychoanalysis), Managing editor of the journal "PHI/PSY. Journal of philosophy and psychoanalysis" (ETS) and president of the clinical-cultural association "CLAC. Clinic of contemporary adolescence". In addition to various essays, he is the author of Il Libro e la scrittura. Tra Hegel e Derrida (2004), Scrivere la contingenza. Esperienza, linguaggio, scrittura in Jacques Lacan (2009), El lugar político del inconsciente contemporáneo (2012), Lacan e l'estetica. Lemmi (withD. Tonazzo, 2015), and Voce. Un incontro tra filosofia e psicoanalisi (with C. Serra and S. Vizzardelli, 2018).

Federico Leoni teaches Philosophical Anthropology at the University of Verona, where he is co-director of the Tiresia Research Center "Philosophy and Psychoanalysis", as well as coordinator of the Degree Course in Philosophy. He is co-director of the series "Phi/Psy" at the publisher Orthotes (Salerno) and of the international journal "Chiasmi" at the publishers Mimesis/Vrin (Milan/Paris). He teaches at IRPA (Research Institute for Applied Psychoanalysis, Milan), where he directs, among other things, the activities of the DEP (Department of Epistemology). He writes on "aut aut", "doppiozero", "il manifesto", and other newspapers, as well as various Italian and foreign journals. Among his books, we list here: Habeas corpus. Sei genealogie del corpo occidentale (2008), L’idiota e la lettera. Quattro saggi sul Flaubert di Sartre (2013), Jacques Lacan, una scienza di fantasmi (2019), L’automa. Leibniz, Bergson (2019), and Henri Bergson. Segni di Vita (2021).

Fabio Merlini, philosopher, is Regional Director of the Swiss Federal University School for Vocational Education and Training (SFUVET) in Lugano and President of the Eranos Foundation in Ascona. Among his books: L'efficienza insignificante. Saggio sul disorientamento (2009, published in French as L’époque de la performance insignifiante. Réflexions sur la vie désorientée, 2011), Schizotopies : Essai sur l’espace de la mobilisation (2013, published in Italian as Ubicumque. Saggio sul tempo e lo spazio della mobilitazione, 2015), L’architettura inefficiente (withL. Snozzi, 2014, published in French L’architecture inefficiente, 2016), and Catastrofi dell’immediatezza (with S. Tagliagambe, 2016). His most recent work, Triste esthétique. Essais sur les catastrophes de l’immédiateté (2018), was also released in Italian as L’estetica triste. Seduzione e ipocrisia dell’innovazione (2019). For the “Eranos Classics” series, he Carl Gustav Jung's Rebirth. Text and notes of the lecture given at Eranos in 1939 (with R. Bernardini, 2020).

Matteo Vegetti, philosopher, is Full Professor at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland SUPSI (Department of Environment, Construction, and Design DACD). He teaches at the Academy of Mendrisio and at the University of Bergamo. Among his works: La fine della storia. Saggio sul pensiero di Alexandre Kojève (2000), Hegel e i confini dell’Occidente. La fenomenologia nelle interpretazioni di Heidegger, Marcuse, Löwith, Kojève, Schmitt (2004), and L'invenzione del globo (2017). He also edited La città: note per un lessico socio-filosofico (with P. Perulli, 2005) and Filosofie della metropoli. Spazio, potere, architettura nel pensiero del Novecento (2009). His most recent work is L’invenzione del globo. Spazio, potere, comunicazione nell’epoca dell’aria (2017).

Photography: Fabrizio Dusi, "Eve and Adam", installation at Monte Verità, Ascona, 2021

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