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  1. #1
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Default How non-philosophical Ns think

    Most descriptions of Ns, from my reading of them, seem to imply that they are always engrossed in the process of reading deeper into things, forming connections, thinking on what some philosophers might describe as a "higher plane" than that of the practical world. Whereas Ss are portrayed as the opposite: perpetually focused on this plane, as it is the only plane in which practical things -- their specialty -- can be done.

    But the thing is, not all Ns are into that sort of thought process. Just as some Ss are indeed drawn towards philosophical thought, some Ns think that philosophical musings are pointless, pretentious, and annoying (and I've met some of those Ns, so that's my anecdotal evidence).

    So I'd be interested in hearing more about this: Ns who aren't philosophers, who focus more on the here and now, what their thought processes are, what their interests are and why they're interested in them. I'd be interested in re-framing the S/N dialogue so it doesn't involve "higher" and "lower" planes of thought, and de-bunking this myth -- and replacing it with actual facts -- might be a good way to get that re-framing started.
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    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
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  2. #2
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    I almost wanted to describe myself as one of these non-philosophical N's, but the description "reading deeper into things, forming connections" etc. underlies most of my thinking, although it doesn't feel or sound like it at the time (from my perspective, I'm just thinking about the object/topic at hand). Usually in retrospect I notice how unsimplified most of my thoughts are, and it becomes abundantly obvious when my S-type coworkers pick on me for it.

    I think the way it looks to most people is that I get too pedantic and "detailed" about things, spending too much time describing not only the object/topic but the relational foundation of why and how it came to my attention.
    Puts most S's to sleep (or irritates them) in my experience.
    intp | type 9w1 sp/sx/so

  3. #3
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Interesting topic.

    The problem could be, as you've alluded to, that we type people as N or S based on whether they are philosophical or not. This could mean many of the people we type as Sensors based on a lack of interest in philosophical matters could in fact be Intuitors. I rarely meet people who talk in philosophical terms at all, and I don't think a small N population will satisfactorily explain that.

    I do know several people that fit the N description in terms of thought process but are rather focussed on the everyday world. I think especially with the ENXXs I know, their interest in people is more engaged (than my own) and it seems to ground them in reality more.

    I know a INTJ and ENFP couple who don't entirely fit the stereotypes. Both, but particularly the ENFP, have such a sensual love of cooking and food. Whenever I'm around at their place she's organising some meal or snack for us. She has about 12 different types of tea, fancy cup and saucer sets, complete with a sandwich tier set thingee - all of which she seems to love fussing over (it's really cute). When the INTJ and I are talking about philosophical things she sometimes participates, but isn't as interested in it. Neither have a real interest in higher art, great music, film or literature (in fact he doesn't read books at all really) - they do enjoy movies but aren't very interested in anything overly artistic. The INTJ can also lecture me for long periods of time on which is the cheapest place to shop for something, or the best brand of a particular product to buy based on his rigorous assessment, or how the quality of this product is so much superior because of A, B and C (which is also pretty amusing).

    I suppose what I'm saying is, you're right, the practical, unpretentious world can be just as engrossing to the Intuitor. I mean, I'm an INFP who loves sport. And I love a violent sport like rugby in particular. But then, I can get philosophical about rugby...
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    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  4. #4
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    as a non-philosophical N, i'd like to answer this but i don't know how. I think the way i think, and i think its normal, but i've been told i'm creative that i think outside the box, but i honestly don't see it maybe they're delusional.oh and i've been told having a lengthy rl conversation with me is like being on acid, if that helps.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    Most descriptions of Ns, from my reading of them, seem to imply that they are always engrossed in the process of reading deeper into things, forming connections, thinking on what some philosophers might describe as a "higher plane" than that of the practical world. Whereas Ss are portrayed as the opposite: perpetually focused on this plane, as it is the only plane in which practical things -- their specialty -- can be done.

    But the thing is, not all Ns are into that sort of thought process. Just as some Ss are indeed drawn towards philosophical thought, some Ns think that philosophical musings are pointless, pretentious, and annoying (and I've met some of those Ns, so that's my anecdotal evidence).

    So I'd be interested in hearing more about this: Ns who aren't philosophers, who focus more on the here and now, what their thought processes are, what their interests are and why they're interested in them. I'd be interested in re-framing the S/N dialogue so it doesn't involve "higher" and "lower" planes of thought, and de-bunking this myth -- and replacing it with actual facts -- might be a good way to get that re-framing started.
    Successful intellectual inquiry demands that one think on their feet and in the moment to learn, and at the same time, teach.

  6. #6
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    So I'd be interested in hearing more about this: Ns who aren't philosophers, who focus more on the here and now, what their thought processes are, what their interests are and why they're interested in them. I'd be interested in re-framing the S/N dialogue so it doesn't involve "higher" and "lower" planes of thought, and de-bunking this myth -- and replacing it with actual facts -- might be a good way to get that re-framing started.
    I am not a philosopher by today's standards, but would have been considered a natural philosopher in an earlier era. I am a scientist, and thus focus not just on the here-and-now, but on its physical reality. The object, however, is to understand that reality, how it works, why it behaves as it does; and to be able to predict future behavior, and ultimately to control it. As a result, much of my time is spent considering what might be: developing hypotheses, investigating theories, trying to model the raw physical observations I make. These are "just ideas" until corroborated by those physical observations, but much of the creativity of science lies in the generation and manipulation of ideas - thought forms with as yet only a tenuous connection to physical reality.

    For a more mundane example, consider the renovation of my current house. The place had been empty for > 2 years, and fallen into disrepair. The kitchen was ancient, with non-functional appliances. The living room had a tacky early-70's conversation pit leaving no place for my piano, much less anything else. The master bed/bath had awful built-in furniture and woefully inefficient use of space. There was one too many baths. The basic structure and systems were sound, though, and there were many unusual and attractive aesthetic elements in the house which made it worth buying. I could see its potential immediately, and envision how I would have everything changed to my tastes. Even some of my N friends doubted it could be brought up to date until it was done.

    All that to say I think part of N is to see not just how things are, but how they might be, often many simultaneous versions of that, in short - their potential. Everyone does this, because everyone has some N in their top 4 functions. Those of us with N in our type just do it more, or more readily, or more easily (or perhaps too much!)

    I concur with Spirilis' answer as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by spirilis View Post
    I almost wanted to describe myself as one of these non-philosophical N's, but the description "reading deeper into things, forming connections" etc. underlies most of my thinking, although it doesn't feel or sound like it at the time (from my perspective, I'm just thinking about the object/topic at hand). Usually in retrospect I notice how unsimplified most of my thoughts are, and it becomes abundantly obvious when my S-type coworkers pick on me for it.

    I think the way it looks to most people is that I get too pedantic and "detailed" about things, spending too much time describing not only the object/topic but the relational foundation of why and how it came to my attention.
    Puts most S's to sleep (or irritates them) in my experience.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  7. #7
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    I don’t really associate iNtuition with philosophizing that much. And I’m not sure I could effectively articulate what separates STs from NTs in my mind- there’s generally a peculiar ‘space’ around NTs when they’re thinking, like they’re more reluctant to commit to decisions or opinions. With NFs though, there’s like this idealistic bubble around them, ideas about the potential of what people can be and what relationships could be, and it seems like absolutely every piece of incoming information gets compared to the idealized possibilities as they’re processing it. SFs can seem more present- and they do compare, but it’s more practical and rooted in experience.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari

  8. #8
    your resident asshole
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    All that to say I think part of N is to see not just how things are, but how they might be, often many simultaneous versions of that, in short - their potential. Everyone does this, because everyone has some N in their top 4 functions. Those of us with N in our type just do it more, or more readily, or more easily (or perhaps too much!)
    Isn't this just a description of Ni? What about Ne?

    I've also always tended to associate intuition with philosophy, but I know that this is not a good way to think about it. Perhaps the reason why I've always felt very strongly to be a sensor is because I'm not a philosopher. Then again, I find it hard to grasp people's descriptions of intuition. I just don't fully understand it.

  9. #9
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    My ex husband (istj) majored in philosophy.

    That's my only contribution ha : laugh:
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  10. #10
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGeek View Post
    Isn't this just a description of Ni? What about Ne?
    Both attitudes of N are about possibilities and potentials. I see Ne as more brainstorming - going off in all directions from a single point. "See this ugly living room. We could do this, or that, or get rid of those, or paint, or redo the floor . . . ". Ni pulls together multiple impressions into a coherent vision, or set of related visions (contingencies). "Yes, I see the ugly living room, but I also see how the whole thing will look when we're done, including an option B in case we can't remove that wall." Ne diverges, Ni converges. (My SO is INTP so I see the contrast all the time.)
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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