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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Default MBTI and the Fallacy of Either/Or

    http://ksuweb.kennesaw.edu/~shagin/l...c-eitheror.htm
    "An either/or fallacy occurs when a speaker makes a claim (usually a premise in an otherwise valid deductive argument) that presents an artificial range of choices. For instance, he may suggest that there are only two choices possible, when three or more really exist. Those who use an either/or fallacy try to force their audience to accept a conclusion by presenting only two possible options, one of which is clearly more desirable."

    I was reading an interesting old article on PersonalityNation about problems with the MBTI. If anybody wants to check it out, it's at:
    http://www.personalitynation.com/ana...-jcf-why.htmlf

    This article does an excellent job of taking the MBTI to task. But it is insufficient in questioning Jungian typology. I realize that this was not the author's task there. The article knocks down the MBTI for its either/or policy of typing personalities, but then commits its own either/or fallacy by concluding that the JCF (Jungian Cognitive Functions) is the only alternative to the MBTI.

    I agree with the author's criticisms of the MBTI in that article. And it's obvious that most of the posters here have put on their big boy/girl pants and realized that dichotomies are the wrong way to go. Since I have been on this forum I have, however, seen instances where some posters declared, for example, that someone was a J simply because she had a neat desk. And once upon a time I had a problem typing my boss simply because he, representing the TeSi type, could be a "big picture" thinker at times, and often I think his greatest success comes from acting "out of type," so to speak. Both of these examples were mentioned, and rightly condemned, in the PersonalityNation article.

    On the other hand, I don't see why I should believe in the JCF. Declaring only 2 rational functions, it does not explain why there are not 4 or 8 rational functions, or sufficiently explain why S and N cannot be rational functions. It does not explain how a person can move through life with a dominant Irrational function without, literally, being irrational. Since it does not delve sufficiently into the Irrational mode, people who study these systems come to the conclusion that they are merely experiencing as Se and not judging with Se during the same process.

    I'm just going by what I've read since I started reading these threads. For example, an Se will declare that she enjoys the experiencing process, but she does not describe the experiencing in subjective terms for what it is: something resulting in a kind of feeling which serves as a judgment to the cognitive faculty that is neither Fe nor Fi, Te nor Ti. An experience such as the so-called "natural high" during a trip to the countryside is not explained by Carl Jung using functional analysis.

    I believe this is because Jung did not believe in the existence of a subjective judgment. As a "soft mystic," so to speak, he believed in the use of archetypes in judgments involving the analysis of poetry and such. But that is merely an intellectual exercise designed to produce the desired result. Using JFC terms is self-supporting. He does not explain the effect of certain art forms on the human psyche precluding and not requiring any use of the traditional intellectual formulas. Carl Jung was merely the inventor of new intellectual formulas. Yes they are a great advance over the old ones, but they still only go in circles.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  2. #2
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    I don't even know how we can get from "someone is typed as an INTP, therefore he thinks in a way described by the function Ti". Are there any evidence to support this claim? The 8 functions are very interesting, but ppl should care more about the verification if they want to believe in what's true.

  3. #3
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mal12345 View Post
    http://ksuweb.kennesaw.edu/~shagin/l...c-eitheror.htm
    "An either/or fallacy occurs when a speaker makes a claim (usually a premise in an otherwise valid deductive argument) that presents an artificial range of choices. For instance, he may suggest that there are only two choices possible, when three or more really exist. Those who use an either/or fallacy try to force their audience to accept a conclusion by presenting only two possible options, one of which is clearly more desirable."

    I was reading an interesting old article on PersonalityNation about problems with the MBTI. If anybody wants to check it out, it's at:
    http://www.personalitynation.com/ana...-jcf-why.htmlf

    This article does an excellent job of taking the MBTI to task. But it is insufficient in questioning Jungian typology. I realize that this was not the author's task there. The article knocks down the MBTI for its either/or policy of typing personalities, but then commits its own either/or fallacy by concluding that the JCF (Jungian Cognitive Functions) is the only alternative to the MBTI.

    I agree with the author's criticisms of the MBTI in that article. And it's obvious that most of the posters here have put on their big boy/girl pants and realized that dichotomies are the wrong way to go. Since I have been on this forum I have, however, seen instances where some posters declared, for example, that someone was a J simply because she had a neat desk. And once upon a time I had a problem typing my boss simply because he, representing the TeSi type, could be a "big picture" thinker at times, and often I think his greatest success comes from acting "out of type," so to speak. Both of these examples were mentioned, and rightly condemned, in the PersonalityNation article.

    On the other hand, I don't see why I should believe in the JCF. Declaring only 2 rational functions, it does not explain why there are not 4 or 8 rational functions, or sufficiently explain why S and N cannot be rational functions. It does not explain how a person can move through life with a dominant Irrational function without, literally, being irrational. Since it does not delve sufficiently into the Irrational mode, people who study these systems come to the conclusion that they are merely experiencing as Se and not judging with Se during the same process.

    I'm just going by what I've read since I started reading these threads. For example, an Se will declare that she enjoys the experiencing process, but she does not describe the experiencing in subjective terms for what it is: something resulting in a kind of feeling which serves as a judgment to the cognitive faculty that is neither Fe nor Fi, Te nor Ti. An experience such as the so-called "natural high" during a trip to the countryside is not explained by Carl Jung using functional analysis.

    I believe this is because Jung did not believe in the existence of a subjective judgment. As a "soft mystic," so to speak, he believed in the use of archetypes in judgments involving the analysis of poetry and such. But that is merely an intellectual exercise designed to produce the desired result. Using JFC terms is self-supporting. He does not explain the effect of certain art forms on the human psyche precluding and not requiring any use of the traditional intellectual formulas. Carl Jung was merely the inventor of new intellectual formulas. Yes they are a great advance over the old ones, but they still only go in circles.
    Yes, absolutely. That's why I always call this just a "well written theory." One that can explain anything the way that you perceive it to/ want it to. Ignoring some traits in favor of others, molding the entire theory to fit thoughts and behaviors/ molding thoughts and behaviors to fit the theory. In my opinion, the theory barely skims the surface of human cognition without adding labels. When you start to use the 16 labels, things get wary and sometimes outright inaccurate. People who are using it as an end-all/ say-all personality theory can't see that there are so many fine gray areas that we are yet to explore. You can't explore those areas until you admit that they're there.

    What baffles me the most-
    Self reported "N's" who do daily intense mental gymnastics to support/ "prove" "facts" that everybody belongs in one of 16 types, when that in itself is thinking within the box. It's refusal to remove yourself from the box, actually.
    06/13 10:51:03 five sounds: you!!!
    06/13 10:51:08 shortnsweet: no you!!
    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
    06/13 10:51:23 five sounds: oh hell naw
    06/13 10:51:55 shortnsweet: !!!!
    06/13 10:51:57 shortnsweet: (cries)
    06/13 10:52:19 RiftsWRX: You two are like furbies stuck in a shoe box

    My Nohari
    My Johari
    by sns.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken888 View Post
    I don't even know how we can get from "someone is typed as an INTP, therefore he thinks in a way described by the function Ti". Are there any evidence to support this claim? The 8 functions are very interesting, but ppl should care more about the verification if they want to believe in what's true.
    As the author of that article quoted said, most of us still use the old MBTI vernacular, and always will, although it is more accurate to say TiNe. The old method precludes the idea of an extravert who uses Ti dominant, or the introvert who uses Ne dominant. The idea that Ne does not mean extraverted is as old as Jung.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  5. #5
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    My point is that we should be skeptical about their fundamental claims first before worrying about whether its Ti or TiNe or TiNeSiFe and so on. Explanations come after evidence is gathered and interpreted to support a hypothesis. In another words, we need evidence or "proof" that earth is round first before coming up with an explanation why earth is round, gravity mass, energy etc.. So before we try explain why MBTI is the way it is, first find evidence to support the claim that says for example "if a person is typed as an ESFJ, then he thinks in a way that is described by the function FeSiNeTi". If no evidence is presented then they are at best hypothesis.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Ok, we determined it to be a best hypothesis, so now we can move on to determine if it's best described in the form ESTJ or TeSi.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

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