First, I want to apologize if I restate the obvious here - I'll admit, I haven't read the more "scholarly" material, and have neither the time nor desire to. With that being said:
It occurred to me today that some of the concepts we discuss regularly on here are things that I define in a different fashion, and that some of the concepts are fairly well-known ones arranged in a particular manner. It was with this concept that I started thinking about what the connections between these things are, and thus, came up with this expanded analysis of what I think MBTI is doing. Most of this is thinking out loud, so there's your warning on that one.
So to start -
THE RECOGNITION/BUILDING FUNCTIONS
Most studies of human psychology determined that the brain, particularly in its response to its evolutionary pressures, developed two primary cognitive functions - the recognition and building of patterns, and the desire for and maintenance of social cohesion. It's these two that are actually the psychological processes that go on inside people's heads, other than the instinctive/neurochemical relays (what we qualify as emotions or instinctual reactions). In the MBTI parlance, the recognition/building of patterns is called T (which is why "thinking" may be a bit of a misnomer), while the desire for and maintenance of social cohesion is F (same thing with "feeling" being imprecise). In a large sense, these are the only actual procedural functions that occur in one's cognition, and define most of the base personality, as it is these two that define how a person relates to the world. In a large sense, a person doesn't have a personality in relation to themselves; they are who they are. The existence of a personality comes distinctly by comparison to others. Introversion and extraversion in these functions indicate whether the person is more inclined toward building (e) or recognition (i). Everyone does both; it's just the inclination that's different.
The two cognitions:
T (patterns): This seeks to recognize and create patterns in the world at large. It's one of Homo sapiens greatest advantages, as it's the function that allowed us to create tools, and it's also the one that gives us a conceptualization of time, recognizing the patterns between the past, present and future. It also has its drawbacks, particularly in the social areas. Examples are stereotyping, constant authoritarianism and inclination toward radical individualism (particularly to the neglect or offense of others), which is a big loser as far as our overall evolutionary strategy is concerned. The building manifestation is precisely what is implied; the desire for creation of patterns is primary, and as such is the main concern of a xxTJ. The recognition manifestation, the xxTP, seeks the patterns in the information that is brought in by the information systems (to be described below), usually resulting in a logical demeanor. Logic simply is a recognition of the objective patterns of the universe and causality, anyway.
F (social): This seeks to maintain social cohesion and promote the well-being of the group. This is by far the most important strategy for survival that humans ever developed, and is the basis for the great success we've achieved as a species. The biggest drawback is the tribalistic nature of this function, which leads to no end of human suffering, particularly when the pattern-oriented members of the group attempt to fix the problem by eliminating the offending other, or expression is suppressed as being unrepresentative of the group. Along with this, the tendency to interpret all communication as having a socially oriented meaning can cause much confusion. The building manifestation is concerned with the cohesion and increase of the group, as most xxFJs are. The recognition manifestation acutely understands the stimuli that affect social cohesion, which is what the xxFPs understand.
Neither group is more intelligent as a whole, as it's what the person picks up on that is the key difference, rather than how capable of picking up on it a person is. Likewise, neither have a more developed emotional system, as the same emotions are felt by all. The difference is that pattern-oriented thinking is not as intimately tied to human survival as group-oriented thinking, and consequently, the former have fewer emotional triggers in their thought processes (since emotions are separate from cognition, as they are neurochemical reactions for the most part).
Thoughts on the information processors (induction and deduction; conscious and subconscious) to come later.