Ok, so I'm confused. I'm branching off in a new direction from Ivy's "A CLUE! A CLUE!" thread which asks for input on her type.Originally Posted by FineLine
Let me explain. FineLine, you're saying here, just to make sure, that sensations are the building blocks of all perception. You further say that Si is a basic one-to-one comparison between two stimuli. But then you say that the process of thinking is not associated with Si, is not Si at work. But I think if Si is mainly cognition at work, then Si is involved in all mental processes from the ground up, and up, and further up.
As humans, we are simply capable of seeing differences in color caused by waves of light. We can see that a gorilla is different from a candle. We can see that water is different from feet. It is sensory input that our brain identifies by a process of comparison and contrast that takes place at lightning speed. This sounds simply like cognition itself. If comparison (Si) is merely cognition, it can't belong to any one MBTI function, because they all use it.
Se is said to be the process of experencing things with our five senses in the moment. But that's merely cognition at work. It's comparison and contrast. It's like the current that runs a hundred miles under the surface of the ocean. It is needed for all higher thinking: comparing two complex concepts; comparing ideas; forming intricate definitions of words; constructing an idea and opinion of a person in one's mind based on their characteristics.
So it seems, looking at what I've deduced (which may be erroneous), that functions, if they wish to be defined by basic cognition, are hierarchal, not functions on the same level.
The definition of Se seems almost like the definition of cognition itself. I see a pencile with a pink erasor. Next to it is a pair of scissors with a red handle. They are different. Compare and contrast. Cognition and identification at work.
Si is said to deal in comparing and contrasting as well: I see Jenny walking down the street, who reminds me of someone I used to know, a past lover, which calls back feelings of sadness and joy at the same time. But the process of associating a feeling with a stimulus is also cognition at work: it is identifying the feeling and identifying the stimulus that caused the feeling (by comparing them to all of the other stimuli and feelings in our memory), and associating the two; I don't know if association is the same thing as compare and contrast. Maybe it is. Maybe it is all just a process of cognition.
What I also can't figure out, is how Se is different from Si. They're both comparing stimuli. What does it matter if the stimulus took place twenty years ago or is sitting before us in the moment? What's the difference between comparing two shirts laying on our bed before us, one true-blood red and the other coral red (Se, supposedly), and comparing the memory of a true-blood red shirt with the current sight of a coral red shirt (Si, supposedly)? Why do we need to differentiate between the two? They're both comparison. They're basically cognition at work, whether the two stimuli are in our faces at the moment or in our memory from ten years ago. Is there any reason to make distinctions between these two types of comparison?
As we are observing two colors side-by-side, we can immediately see that they are different; we don't even need to compare them to past experiences. True-blood red and coral red are different. But we made that comparison in-the-moment. It was cognition at work. And we had to compare those stimuli with stimuli we've already experienced, which is said to be Si, but is really just the process of recognition and comparison (and association?).
Se is commonly cited as "acting in the moment; being spontaneous." It seems to be describing an action, not a process of the brain. To act in the moment requires cognition, comparison, association, and at some point decision-making, which are such fundamental aspects to how we work.
As we take stimuli in, we have to see them for what they are, which requires comparison, defining, which goes beyond Si, Se, Ne, Ni, and all the functions. It travels beneath them. It is their undercurrent. To recognize data, we compare and contrast data; we make associations, establish links on our brain. Isn't that a part of every MBTI function? Ne jumps from concept to concept, the ultimate brainstorming technique; Ni is said to break something down into its most fundamental is-ness and defining concepts; Ti is said to compare definitions and make fine distinctions among meanings, which leads Ti-users to be very precise in word choice. And so on, and so forth. It all involves comparing and contrasting: cognition at work.
Basically in my mind, I've always seen all eight functions as on equal standing; different processes that function on the same level. But now I see that aspects of the definitions of Si and Se seem to deal with cognition itself, with comparison, which is a basic, if not the most basic, process of the mind, required even to differentiate one stimulus from another, required for understanding, required even to experience stimuli and store them as electrical impulses in our brains that we may recall at a later time to help us decide on a course of action in the present moment. It's thinking.
My logic probably has quite a few flaws in it, but I'm going to send this out there for your cognition and analysis, comparison and contrast, and ask for input, explanations, feedback, etc.