Nicolas von Grot

photo neededIn psychological thermodynamics, Nicolas von Grot (1852-1899) was a Russian psychologist who, according to Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, was the first to have defined the concept of psychic energy. [1] Specifically, in his 1898 article “The Terms of the Soul and the Psychic Energy in the Psychology” von Grot stated that: [2]

“The concept of psychic energy is as much justified in science as that of physical energy, and psychic energy has just as many quantitative measurements and different forms as has physical energy.”

In seems that, von Grot maintained the view that there is an interchange of energy between material process and conscious process and propounded the hypothesis that the most immediate correlate of conscious process is not nervous matter, but ether. [3]

Psychological energy
In terms of principles, von Grot outlined three points about psychic energy: [4]

(a) Psychic energies possess quantity and mass, just like the physical energies.
(b) As different forms of psychic work and psychic potentiality, psychic energies can be transformed into one another.
(c) Psychic energies can be converted into psychical energies and vice versa by means of physiological processes.

In defending his views on psychic energy, he states that: “the burden of proof falls on those who deny psychic energy, not on those who acknowledge it.”

1. Bishop, Paul. (1999). Jung in Contexts. (pg. xxiii). Routledge.
2. Von Grot, Nicolas. (1898). “Die Begriffe der Seele und der Psychischen Energie in der Psychologie” (The Terms of the Soul and the Psychic Energy in the Psychology), Archiv fur systematische Philosophie, IV.
3. Anon. (1898). Mind, Vol. 7, (pg. 591). B. Blackwell.
4. Jung, Carl. (1928). “On Psychic Energy” (pg. 8), in On the Nature of the Psyche (1960). Princeton University Press.

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