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  1. #1
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Default What is thinking? It's not objective, that's to be sure

    If there's a real-world definition to the Thinking function, in my mind, it's simply our ability to influence, manipulate and change the nature of the non-human sensory information we receive. Introversion vs. extraversion simply determines whether we do this best inside our own heads, or whether this is more effective by changing the external sensory data.

    Back in the "Ti is not objective" thread, Ivy mentioned that this could be a decent subject. Here's my stab at it - Ti is not objective because it depends on accurate external sensory information, something none of us have because our sensory systems are wired to be "just good enough" for survival/reproduction purposes. There's also the observer effect - you automatically change the nature of the sensory information by one's own presence. This makes every bit of information we receive fundamentally subjective.

    That's not a bad thing - it's just how we're built.

    Feel free to offer your own thoughts on the subject.

  2. #2
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    It goes without mentioning that "Ti users" (for lack of a better way of putting it) all have their realm of interests, and they're only going to be noticably objective in that sense. Many ISTPs, for example, sort of just have a "body logic".. many are using their Ti while working with their hands. It may be different in a new subject, when they're detached from Se, or just talking about something they haven't invested in yet. Talk to one about politics, and one could very well miss a note or three. Not to pick on ISTPs (I doubt they care anyways), but I'm just using that as an example.

  3. #3
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    If there's a real-world definition to the Thinking function, in my mind, it's simply our ability to influence, manipulate and change the nature of the non-human sensory information we receive. Introversion vs. extraversion simply determines whether we do this best inside our own heads, or whether this is more effective by changing the external sensory data.

    Back in the "Ti is not objective" thread, Ivy mentioned that this could be a decent subject. Here's my stab at it - Ti is not objective because it depends on accurate external sensory information, something none of us have because our sensory systems are wired to be "just good enough" for survival/reproduction purposes. There's also the observer effect - you automatically change the nature of the sensory information by one's own presence. This makes every bit of information we receive fundamentally subjective.

    That's not a bad thing - it's just how we're built.

    Feel free to offer your own thoughts on the subject.
    I thought the thread was interesting simply because I thought it was rather obvious that no function is objective, in the sense of how the word is used commonly. Each function prioritizes elements of experience automatically, giving the user an unbalanced picture. Think of the world as a book, and each function will highlight different text for different reasons.

    A huge problem I see a lot on these boards are applying simple human behavior to functional use, as though functions control everything in the mind. Functions do not describe the entire psychic functioning of the mind, I don't think. In a way, I wish functions were called Attitudes instead, because "function" implies use and skills which leads to attributing how I tie my shoes to some kind of functional pairing. Although I suppose we'd just see threads like "Ti is the smug attitude, Fe is the caring attitude."

    True objectivity is more a higher, conscious ideal than it is simply a emergence of your functional arrangement. I do think that type is some indicator of how likely one is to value and practice objectivity though.



  4. #4
    Senior Member Kenneth Almighty's Avatar
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    I completely agree. Ti isn't an objective function at all, it just seeks logical coherence.

    If there's any instance where this is the case, it's our discussion, right now: the MBTI has little to no empirical basis (not by itself, anyway), but yet here we are discussing the fuck out of it.

  5. #5
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    What does "objective" really mean?

    Sounds like with the definition you're using, nothing's objective. Which means you're not really distinguishing between things (the point of adjectives).

    Maybe I'm wrong though.

    In my opinion, all the T functions do is check for consistency. Something inconsistent is labelled "false", consistent is labelled "true". The difference between the introverted and extroverted attitudes is just the difference between the premise sets the Thinking function gets as inputs.

    But I've said this all before and no one has listened, so maybe I'm just banging my head against the wall.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Robopop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Ti is not objective because it depends on accurate external sensory information, something none of us have because our sensory systems are wired to be "just good enough" for survival/reproduction purposes. There's also the observer effect - you automatically change the nature of the sensory information by one's own presence. This makes every bit of information we receive fundamentally subjective.

    That's not a bad thing - it's just how we're built.
    This is kind of what Kant had in mind, we are forever tied to the phenomenal world. By this account we can't even hope to understand the world outside our perception, humans are subjective by their very nature. I think what alot of people argue about "being objective" is not in that context but just being the closest to impartial judgement, seeing the most perspectives without personal biases or prejudices which does require a fairly open mind.
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  7. #7
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robopop View Post
    This is kind of what Kant had in mind, we are forever tied to the phenomenal world. By this account we can't even hope to understand the world outside our perception, humans are subjective by their very nature. I think what alot of people argue about "being objective" is not in that context but just being the closest to impartial judgement, seeing the most perspectives without personal biases or prejudices which does require a fairly open mind.
    Right.

    But then, if everything is subjective, what's the point of using "objective" as a label at all?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Kenneth Almighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    What does "objective" really mean?

    Sounds like with the definition you're using, nothing's objective. Which means you're not really distinguishing between things (the point of adjectives).

    Maybe I'm wrong though.

    In my opinion, all the T functions do is check for consistency. Something inconsistent is labelled "false", consistent is labelled "true". The difference between the introverted and extroverted attitudes is just the difference between the premise sets the Thinking function gets as inputs.

    But I've said this all before and no one has listened, so maybe I'm just banging my head against the wall.
    I think (and I'm not going to put a lot of thought into this) that when we're looking for and "objective truth", we're looking for as many possible "views" of a problem as possible, and see how they truly interrelate to one another. Kind of like the elephant story.

    That being said, I think that Te users, with their Si or Ni, are going to be more "objective" than Ne-Ti users, who tend to be like an expanding bubble.

  9. #9
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    This and that idiotic "Ti is NOT objective" thread are suffering from a simple lack of distinction between objective as an adjective and the notion of objective truth.

    To the extent that Ti is a process in which logic is engaged to reach decisions, and depending on your view of the epistemological status of logic, then Ti can be called an objective function. That is to say, the algebraic form of the logic used by Ti can be called objective if one is convinced that said logic is a consistent rendering of reality (an empirical truth; it withstands the onslaught of new empirical facts.)

    If one does decide to call Ti objective in this sense, however, it is next to meaningless because the inherent subjectivity of perception (and the high probability that one's passions will interfere above and beyond this basic subjectivity) will fuck with the objectivity of the content used to fill any logical process. Thus, the objective process of Ti does not guarantee the objective truth of its product. (Not to mention that, when dealing with the type of content used for everyday decisions, context also becomes an important factor affecting perception and interpretation.)

    I think that when people talk about Ti being objective, they mean it in the objective truth sense; that Ti is the most likely to produce objective truths. This is so obviously not the case that it seems unworthy of discussion, though there does appear to be some Ti-superiority bullshit going around on these forums. But in all practicality, if any so-called Ti user appears to have a sense of entitlement based on the idea that he/she, by virtue of his/her Ti, is some grand producer of objective truths, then their stupidity is such that any response outside of contempt would be too good for them.
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  10. #10
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    This and that idiotic "Ti is NOT objective" thread are suffering from a simple lack of distinction between objective as an adjective and the notion of objective truth.

    To the extent that Ti is a process in which logic is engaged to reach decisions, and depending on your view of the epistemological status of logic, then Ti can be called an objective function. That is to say, the algebraic form of the logic used by Ti can be called objective if one is convinced that said logic is a consistent rendering of reality (an empirical truth; it withstands the onslaught of new empirical facts.)

    If one does decide to call Ti objective in this sense, however, it is next to meaningless because the inherent subjectivity of perception (and the high probability that one's passions will interfere above and beyond this basic subjectivity) will fuck with the objectivity of the content used to fill any logical process. Thus, the objective process of Ti does not guarantee the objective truth of its product. (Not to mention that, when dealing with the type of content used for everyday decisions, context also becomes an important factor affecting perception and interpretation.)

    I think that when people talk about Ti being objective, they mean it in the objective truth sense; that Ti is the most likely to produce objective truths. This is so obviously not the case that it seems unworthy of discussion, though there does appear to be some Ti-superiority bullshit going around on these forums. But in all practicality, if any so-called Ti user appears to have a sense of entitlement based on the idea that he/she, by virtue of his/her Ti, is some grand producer of objective truths, then their stupidity is such that any response outside of contempt would be too good for them.
    Extremely well said.

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