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  1. #1
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Default Type and Reductionism: Is It Time to Move Away From the Eight-Functions Model?

    I recently came across an article which was written by Henry Thompson. For those who aren't familiar with him, here is the story.

    Somewhere along the line, with the popularity of MBTI, the underlying depth of complexity of Jung's theory was lost and people only focused on the four functions vs eight. The words would be there in various MBTI books (extraverted thinking, introverted sensing, etc.) but they were never explained. Thomson's book, "Jung's Function Attitudes Explained," written in 1996, was the first book to exclusively focus on the eight functions and how they manifest themselves. It also includes a brief description of the "grip" experiences that Quenk elaborates in great detail on in Beside Ourselves/Was That Really Me?. It is concise, clearly written and straightforward while imparting important principles and examples. Maybe someone else would have written it if he hadn't but it seems to be a cornerstone work in terms of influencing people to think about Jungian functions vs. MBTI letters.

    So, the following is a link to an article he wrote in 2006 that seems to reflect how his views may have changed - or that at least he was questioning things.

    http://www.hpsys.com/PDFs/Type%20and...ism%202006.pdf

    What are your thoughts on all of this?
    Last edited by highlander; 02-20-2011 at 09:17 PM. Reason: correct link

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  2. #2
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    I know I read the thread on this last summer, but I don't know why I didn't comment.

    I have moved more back towards just the four "general" (attitude-neutral) functions, with the ego setting the i/e orientation separately. It's sometimes said, i/e is simply the "standard" the function is based on.
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    Supreme High Commander Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    I know I read the thread on this last summer, but I don't know why I didn't comment.

    I have moved more back towards just the four "general" (attitude-neutral) functions, with the ego setting the i/e orientation separately. It's sometimes said, i/e is simply the "standard" the function is based on.
    Funny, I've done exactly the opposite. I barely even consider the idea of just "sensing" or "feeling" to have any particular meaning outside the specific examples of Si, Se, Fi and Fe. I've found that improved my understanding greately. Still, if you find the idea useful, run with it and see where it takes you.
    Don't make whine out of sour grapes.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    It's sometimes said, i/e is simply the "standard" the function is based on.
    Interesting. Can you elaborate?

    I liked that that article addressed that the way typology is generally approached makes linear a system that, by definition, is not linear (and is, rather, holistic). I wish that it had been longer, perhaps, and gone into more detail, but I guess it's main purpose was to bring up a point, not necessarily delve scientifically into things or even illustrate that point.

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    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Funny, I've done exactly the opposite. I barely even consider the idea of just "sensing" or "feeling" to have any particular meaning outside the specific examples of Si, Se, Fi and Fe. I've found that improved my understanding greately. Still, if you find the idea useful, run with it and see where it takes you.
    Of course, I still use the eight function attitudes, but now realize they are not hard separate items, but different sides of the same coin.
    this helps in may descriptions of function attitudes, which often get muddied. Like which function "considers others". Most will say Fe, but really, Fi does too. It's feeling in general that considers others, as it is "personal".
    What is different, hence, is the "standard" it is based on.

    Quote Originally Posted by allegorystory View Post
    Interesting. Can you elaborate?
    Actually, I got this from others, and it made sense, though I also am accustomed to the notion of where the function is "applied" determining the attitude.
    But basically, the standard is either the internal or external orientation of the function. You can either set your values by group standards, or have your own. Again, both can accomplish the same or at least similar things such as "considering others".
    Then, when you look at where the actual "ordering" (in the case of judgment functions) is done, you can say the function is applied (or, if you must, "used") in the internal or external realm.
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    Ti 54.3 | Ne 47.3 | Si 37.8 | Fe 17.7 | Te 22.5 | Ni 13.4 | Se 18.9 | Fi 27.9

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  6. #6
    Junior Member MTINFJ's Avatar
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    I think type detects patterns. Given the complexity of the human being, and the difficulty of self understanding, anything that can do something as basic as show us a pattern within ourselves is very helpful. It's scientific to break something down to the smallest parts, it's mathematical to isolate variables and test. We put a man on the moon using these techniques, but we still are not close to knowing what consciousness is. Thompson is right to cite Descartes because the way I see it typology is Cartesian and Modern. Remember Descartes grounded his philosophy on the thinking subject, and how is that any different from answering the test questions and getting your type? Move on from there to linear math that has done so much for modern science, not unrelated to the "linear" mentioned by Thompson, and it's clear to me at least there is can be an overwhelming temptation to treat the system as an ideal math construction. (Or as the character attributes of a fantasy role playing game, but I digress). My point is that the system is capable of showing us a little bit about ourselves, and that is amazing, but the inverse that says the system can show us everything about ourselves can't be true because people are too complicated and everyone is an individual.

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