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  1. #1
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Default Metaphor and MBTI

    I have a lot of trouble accepting MBTI.

    However I can accept it as metaphoric.

    And indeed the metaphor of introversion and extroversion is known across the world.

    And so it is a useful metaphor.

    But if we accept MBTI as metaphoric, we then must accept its limitations.

    And the first limitation is that metaphors are not literal - they are, for instance, not literally true.

    And you might even go further and say a literalist interpretation of MBTI is Fundamentalist.

    And the second limitation of metaphors is that they can't be taken very far.

    If you take them too far, they become absurd.

    And of course it is this absurdity that the Fundamentalists and the Literalists are fighting off.

    But they can only fight absurdity off by turning off their critical faculties and ignoring evidence.

    But at a deeper level, they just want to feel good - 'cause oddly enough they think that if they feel good, they are good.

    But fighting off - and continuing to fight off absurdity - is dispiriting.

    And the unconscious knows that fighting absurdity is hopeless. But with the cognitive faculties turned off, the unconscious can only speak to us through our emotions.

    So our unconscious has no alternative but to speak to us through depression.

    And this is why we just want to feel good, because deep down we are depressed.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Anentropic IxTx's Avatar
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    That's just the way one can accept religion as metaphoric.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anentropic IxTx View Post
    That's just the way one can accept religion as metaphoric.
    Precisely.

  4. #4
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    But if we accept MBTI as metaphoric, we then must accept its limitations.

    I suppose I tend to assume that everyone sees it this way. Just a mentally constructed structure created to talk about hazy and abstract. Then too I hate to see it used as anything other than a voluntary tool for self-discovery and exploration. I would hate to see it impressed on people or used to sift or pigeon-hole people into jobs or classes yet it is already being done.

    So then what does one do? Blame the tool or blame the people taking the tool too seriously?

  5. #5
    WTF is this dude saying? A Schnitzel's Avatar
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    MBTI has a lot of limitations, but I fail to see why someone would need to regard it as metaphoric to accept that.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    And the unconscious knows that fighting absurdity is hopeless. But with the cognitive faculties turned off, the unconscious can only speak to us through our emotions.
    That's uncomfortably brilliant. You are a genius.

    I too reject it as reality, obviously. Yes, rejecting it as reality requires accepting it as another metaphor, another turning that is not the thing itself, which means that the thing itself is again not understood. Again, despite our efforts, we do not know, but then, if we knew the thing itself, we would literally cease to be ourselves. The Thing Itself, Plato suggests (and I gleefully steal), is how we see rather than what we see. A thing cannot be known by means of itself, I think.

    But a good metaphor, a strong metaphor, can be taken very far before it becomes absurd; it is a bridge sustaining much weight before collapsing. To take another less concrete image, it is an invisible blue thread of connection between two minds, which can be stretched farther and farther, until the thread breaks and communication dies. MBTI is, I believe, a fairly strong metaphor that is made persuasive by itself ability to predict (or reflect) us. To what degree is this a charlatan's trick (because such is the implication of a prediction) and to what degree is it real? A metaphor (or a lie) is until it ceases to be persuasive, yes? (that is genuinely a question.)

    And there is, I believe and almost know, deeper magic from before the dawn of time (to steal another metaphor) wherein alongside the unconscious awareness of absurdity, there is the awareness of the Thing Itself, which finds expression in wonder, even as absurdity finds expression in sorrow (which is the proper response to absurdity, which is that which should not be. It is, for instance, absurd to kill a baby, because the universe tells us that the universe is wonderful, and yet here it also tells us that it is not). Both are to be avoided, according to the ego, because either would rob us of ourselves... except that surely, either life or death must make us complete.

    Yes. We may accept most religion as metaphor. But can't religion be a metaphor for, and therefore, a tenuous bridge or a method to true religion, which is to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and remain unstained (rather than untainted?) by the world? (James says this is complete as it is, but where does it allow for Knowledge? Is Knowledge a necessary result of this?)

    That was not relevant to the topic. Sorry!

    More literally, I take MBTI as a useful descriptive, a metaphor, as you said, for reality. It is a thorough and convincing metaphor, a large form. Doesn't the best metaphor always predict us because it is accurate to reality? Doesn't this prove that the thing itself exists fully apart from ourselves? Metaphors are the smallest lies that one can tell, because the truth is sadly impossible (or at least prohibitively difficult) to speak.

    I apologize for that being incoherent. Writing it was helpful for my understanding it.

  7. #7
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I would agree that it only makes sense as metaphoric rather than literal.

    The problem with that, is that this makes it much harder to say what things are and aren't in terms of it. Then again, perhaps that's really how it is... not so definite that things should be clearly placed in it anyway.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Schnitzel View Post
    MBTI has a lot of limitations, but I fail to see why someone would need to regard it as metaphoric to accept that.
    Having looked at its history and how it is used today, I find I can't accept it is literally true as a personality test.

    However it is very popular and has led to the creation of this tolerant and well run site.

    So the question for me is how can I use it in a sensible way?

    And really the larger question is, how can I use religion in a sensible way.

    And the answer I have arrived at so far is, metaphorically.

    This suits me personally as I like to write in metaphor.

    And metaphors are more precise and complex than you may think. For instance, the structure of a metaphor is -

    As A is to B so C is to D.

    So a metaphor is a comparison of relationships.

    And interestingly, so far no computer has been programmed to create metaphors.

    So far only persons can create metaphors.

    So metaphors are delightfully profound but limited.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    I would agree that it only makes sense as metaphoric rather than literal.

    The problem with that, is that this makes it much harder to say what things are and aren't in terms of it. Then again, perhaps that's really how it is... not so definite that things should be clearly placed in it anyway.
    Metaphors do appear to be hazy when they are precise and complex - the structure of a metaphor is -

    As A is to B so C is to D

    So a metaphor is a comparison of relatioinships.

    And a metaphor is at a higher cognitive level than a literal description.

    And it is interesting that very small children do not understand metaphors nor like them. But once they reach a certain development age, they understand metaphors and delight in them.

    And metaphors are why computers can't pass the Turing test.

  10. #10
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    And metaphors are why computers can't pass the Turing test.
    I hate that line of reasoning.

    Humans are computers.

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