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  1. #11
    Geolectric teslashock's Avatar
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    I think the functional pairings are like business partners. They complement each other and help each other along. It's like mixing boiling water with ice to get the perfect temperature for a soothing bath. That's why some sort of balance is key, imo.

    I have the most personal experience with Ne/Si, so I can elaborate on that pairing with the most ease: Ne pulls data from inferior Si to find patterns and make connections between a bunch of things. Without Si, I wouldn't have the knowledge base to put a twist on the usual details and make things funny and/or different. I wouldn't know how to poke fun at and/or tweak tradition if I didn't understand tradition in the first place, and I wouldn't be able to go against the grain if I didn't understand where the grain typically was. I don't like to think inside the box, but it helps to understand what's inside the box in order to better maneuvre my way outside of it.

    I think these same kinds of partnerships can be seen with Te/Fi, Fe/Ti, Se/Ni, and of course, the function that is the dominant one out of the pair will affect how the pair interacts.

  2. #12
    Senior Member StrappingYoungLad's Avatar
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    So I can't use Ni on its own? It needs to be in a Se context? Or perhaps Ni comes as a side-effect?

  3. #13
    That chalkboard guy Matthew_Z's Avatar
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    Function pairs are complementary. This is the nature of their relation. The functions influence each other, their collective strengths often correspond. (that is, a person's combined strength in their 1st and 4th functions are often roughly equatable to the combined strength of their 2nd and 3rd functions.) I agree that function pairs are closely related. However, I will assert that the statement that they are identities is false.

    Functions, as a whole, are understood to be all part of the larger entity of neural processing. To make studying of this entity easier, cognitive ability is divided into functions. By definition (and perhaps definition alone) functions are differentiated. To assert them as some sort of "identity" would require a change in definition.This change would quite possibly be arbitrary; it would partially change the perspective on functional analysis, but it would also deprive the ability to study the nature of 8 different functions by simplifying them into four. Si and Ne are about as much the "same thing" as Si and Ni are.
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  4. #14
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Yeah, "identity" is the wrong claim. (As an Ni user I really want to say it's just the wrong word for what I was thinking, but hey, I made it as a claim so, wrong claim.)

    How about "unity"? The pairs are obliged to be together.

    So that's what I'm looking for, some reason for saying, or at least describing, the pairs as, I dunno, Siamese twins, bound together. The question of relative strength of the partners is still open.

    But that reason, that thing that'll let one make such a claim about bound pairs, is, once a-damn-gain, the thing MBTI seems not to have anything much to say about: preference. The nature, character and origin of preference.

    That, I suppose, is the gigantic, cult-spawning weakness of MBTI as a scientific or intellectual system, you just gotta believe in preference.

    Does Jung ever say anything about what where preference comes from? Maybe it's not actually within the purview of either Jung or MBTI to say. Preference isn't a cognitive function, is it? If it were, then there would have to be some deeper theory of cognition, something about the entity that does the preferring, I guess.

    So... preference...


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  5. #15
    Senior Member sofmarhof's Avatar
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    Things are always explained to an MBTI noob in this order: 1) There are functions: Ti, Te, Fi, Fe, etc. 2) Functions happen to always be paired a certain way: TiFe, etc. We think of them as two discrete things that happen to go together, so of course someone is going to ask, "Well, why should they always go together that way?"

    But it might just be an issue of naming, and of the order in which we explain them. TiFe shouldn't be thought of as two things put together, Ti+Fe, but as one thing with two parts. Like a brain, it has two distinct halves, but the fundamental unit is one brain.

    Not sure if I actually think that's true. What is the unifying characteristic of TiFe, shared by an INTP and an ESFJ? What might we call it besides TiFe?

  6. #16
    Supreme High Commander Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrappingYoungLad View Post
    So I can't use Ni on its own? It needs to be in a Se context? Or perhaps Ni comes as a side-effect?

    I'm not sure if a function can ever be used on its own, though if one can it would be percieving function. A judging function cannot opperate without information being supplied to it by a percieving function, but it is conceivable that a preceiving function could gather data without any attempt to analyse it being made, creating something of an idiot savant.

    I think this fact is one of the things that makes the functions hard to understand. In pretty much any situation, you will get two functions working together. Both the pairing and dominance order will effect the out come, so the obserable output of Te will be different for Si&Te, Te&Si, Ni&Te or any other combination. So to understan "pure" Te (if thats the right word) you need to seperate it from the flavour given to it by the percieving function used and to do that you need to under stand that function as well. Trouble is, you'll pretty much never see a perceiving function working on its own either...

    Because of this, you pretty much have to try and understand all the functions at once, starting off with a vague idea of what each one means and then refining your ideas one step at a time. With each step the picture gets a little clearer and you start to see the ways the all blend into each other, not really discrete entities at all.

    At least, that's been my experience with them. I'm still learning a lot.

  7. #17
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    They're always paired in any given type. If Te is present in the top four, so is Fi. If Ti, then Fe. If Ne, then Si. And if Ni, then Se. (And vice versa on all of them.)

    I wonder, do these pairings represent two functions together, or a person's exaggeration--her unbalancing of a balanced thing--via preference. That is, what if Te and Fi, or any of the other pairs, are not pairs, but instead they are exaggerations, distortions, extreme perspectives placed on things that, somehow, are the same thing?

    What same thing? Dunno.

    But why suggest the pairs might somehow be not pairs but somehow "the same thing"? Because I look around and it seems to me that inferior and tertiary, but particularly inferior, functions have an essential role in the life of the top two functions. Like, it seems that Ni really can't exist without Se. How could it? With no information coming in about what things look like moment to moment, how is there anything at all for Ni to sit back and process? Likewise, Ne and Si, if there is no library of at least some basic steadfast unchanging well known and detailed information, how is Ne to propose its wild possibilities? And maybe likewise Te+Fi and Ti+Fe, but I haven't thought how to make that seem plausible yet.
    I would say that each of these function pairs represent two ends of the same spectrum. Let's say I describe each pair in terms of its extraverted function:

    The Se-Ni pair describes how in tune the person is with his present reality. A person on the far Se end focuses his attention on things which can be observed in the present reality. A person on the far Ni end will be divorced from the present reality and instead imagine things which seem wildly original and they will also see time more as a giant continuum rather than the present moment of time.

    The Ne-Si pair describes how receptive a person is to new possibilities. A person on the far Ne side will be receptive to a wide variety of possibilities and will actively imagine new possibilities. On the other hand a person at the far Si of the spectrum will feel most comfortable with the only possibility that is truly known which is that which conforms to experience of the past.

    The Te-Fi pair describes to what degree a person judges based on external impersonal criteria. A person on the far Te side will judge almost solely based on external impersonal criteria. A person more on the Fi side will do the opposite which is judge based on internal and personal criteria, i.e. the person's own individual values.

    The Fe-Ti pair describes to what degree a person judges based on criteria that is external but personal. So a person on the Fe side will judge things based on how it affects their relationships and will pay attention to the opinions of their friends. A person on the far Ti side will judge based on their own individual but impersonal reasoning process.

    Also when I describe a spectrum I want to point out that each person is changing which part of the spectrum they want to be on at any point. Take the Ni-Se spectrum for example. An ISTP trying to reason through a problem (Ti) would prefer to look at the obvious facts (Se) and if that approach wasn't fruitful then they would begin imagining different scenarios (Ni) until they stumbled upon one that made sense. They start near Se side of the spectrum and move toward Ni. An ENTJ's reasoning by contrast would start by imagining different scenarios, and if that was unfruitful then they would start looking to their immediate environment to enlighten their reasoning process. "Aha! Why didn't I see it before? The answer was right in front of me."
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  8. #18
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Which sort of suggests one can scoot backward and forward along their spectrum, mixing, perhaps even melding, information gathering styles. My experience of Ni/Se is that one tends to cut out the other. But...say, riding along on a bicycle and being entertained by sensory information, Ni may take over and start cogitating on stuff. Not completely take over, because I don't fall off the bike having not noticed a parked car or something, but take over in the sense that it steers attention away from scenery and back to a bunch of other stuff I might be thinking about wherever I found myself. The Ni is not immediately stimulated by Se input, usually. Sometimes it can be, and Ni acts like a weak Ne, playing momentary catch up with Se, like seeing the smile on someones face and making an interpretation. But usually not. Ni's not that immediately responsive a process.

    So I guess the spectrum idea sounds okay if one remembers that an i function isn't in the moment. It's got a backlog of stuff to deal with first, I guess.

    Or has it? Casting an i function as a thing with a backlog makes it sound like Si. Where otherwise does the stuff of the i function get stored?


    Ack! I just confused myself. All i functions are alike in that their subject matter is internal, but that needn't mean all i functions have some kind of de facto memory.



    Si is my eight function. I ought to have the memory of a goldfish. How come I don't? I know past events fade really quickly as matters of concern, but stuff stays in my thinking/i-perceiving processes for a long while, so...
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  9. #19
    That chalkboard guy Matthew_Z's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    Si is my eight function. I ought to have the memory of a goldfish. How come I don't? I know past events fade really quickly as matters of concern, but stuff stays in my thinking/i-perceiving processes for a long while, so...
    You've almost answered your own question in the previous part of your post. Si and Ni don't interact the same way Ni and Se do. Both being Pi functions, they have a similar orientation, but a different approach. In the psyche, they would let some change modes of thinking while still remaining in a realm of comfort and familiarity. Don't get too caught up in a more traditional interpretation of the 1-8 system. 5 doesn't relate to 4 like 4 does to 3. For an accurate visual model, think of the sets 1-4 and 5-8 as stacking on top of each other, not one following.
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  10. #20
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew_Z View Post
    You've almost answered your own question in the previous part of your post. Si and Ni don't interact the same way Ni and Se do. Both being Pi functions, they have a similar orientation, but a different approach. In the psyche, they would let some change modes of thinking while still remaining in a realm of comfort and familiarity. Don't get too caught up in a more traditional interpretation of the 1-8 system. 5 doesn't relate to 4 like 4 does to 3. For an accurate visual model, think of the sets 1-4 and 5-8 as stacking on top of each other, not one following.
    8 can be like 4b?

    Also, as I was writing Post #18 I knew I was making some obscuring error by identifying Si and memory.

    But I am buggered if I know how and where I retain things. I used to say that the past exists in Ni as a bunch of ready inferences for the next future when events similar to past events arise again. But extracting the past back out of those Ni entities is middlin hard to nigh on impossible.


    Hm, getting a sense of getting way of track here. The concepts are being either slippery or underdeveloped in my thinking.



    Holy crap! If Ni and Se are linked, the shadows--Si and Ne--are hooked up to them too, unconscious ghostly things hanging around back? And the same for the other pairs too? What does that even mean?!?!
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

    Boy meets Grr

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