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  1. #1
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Default I've got the feeling that feeling is not a rational process

    I'd almost like to say that title says all, but few words should be written for explanation.

    I'm enjoying various feelings and the information and joy the give me. Also, the drama. However, I'm always at odds with statements like these:

    -I just looked him in the eyes and shake his hands, and I knew he's a man to be trusted. I signed that deal.
    -I got an awful vibe from that neighborhood! I would never put my child to that place.
    -His words spoke one thing and his expression spoke another. His words made a perfectly logical explanation. I didn't believe it, for his face told another story.

    etc.

    those were three example statements some would classify as "thinking with feelings" or something to that effect. I think otherwise.

    Feeling is nowhere near thinking in it's capability to find truths, classify, to form coherent system of statements, or frankly, anything that has any measurable aspect to it.

    I enjoy various feelings. Feelings form the basis of what I like and what I despise. But to name any of that affection or subjective bias as "thinking" is doing a disservice to this cognitive function. Feeling isn't thinking. One doesn't reach conclusions with feeling to the same effect one does with thinking. The conclusions aren't transferrable, provable or relevant to the same effect as the conclusions reached with thinking.

    Then again, should we all just think and do nothing else? Not at all. It's just that the human capability to feeling is ill-suited to unfamiliar concepts or things we don't have much to feel about, say algebra. Feeling is no replacement for thinking. Any reasonable and complete person should do both: think, and feel. Yet, I wouldn't personally recommend anyone to "feel" themselves through some tough problems. I'd ask them to think.

    Just saying.

    edit: for those who doubt, this message was written with the help of whole bunch of feelings. My point proven.

  2. #2
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    It is very rational imo. It is an evolutionary adaptation to avoid stimuli that lights up the amygdala or coversely to seek out stimuli the leads to the release of dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. energy states help us adapt to release of cortisol in conjunction with stressors such as adrenaline being released when one has a sense of danger.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  3. #3
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    I think your definitions differ so much from jungs that it kinda changed it all.

    "Feeling
    The psychological function that evaluates or judges what something or someone is worth.
    In Jung’s view it is a rational function, like thinking, in that it is decisively influenced not by perception (as are the functions of sensation and intuition) but by reflection."

    "Rational
    Descriptive of thoughts, feelings and actions that accord with reason, an attitude based on objective values established by practical experience."
    http://www.nyaap.org/jung-lexicon/


    The thing is that if your F is unconsciously used, it comes through intuition, which makes it a intuitive perception of value, and the perception itself is irrational. But there is a reason behind this feeling, even tho it may not be consciously perceived, which makes the feeling judgment itself rational, but it might be assigned or projected irrationally.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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  4. #4
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu
    -I just looked him in the eyes and shake his hands, and I knew he's a man to be trusted. I signed that deal.
    -I got an awful vibe from that neighborhood! I would never put my child to that place.
    -His words spoke one thing and his expression spoke another. His words made a perfectly logical explanation. I didn't believe it, for his face told another story.
    I don't know that I trust these either, except maybe for the last one. I do understand "vibe", but I've always thought of it more like reading body language cues and tone and then running them against what their spoken message is. If someone is saying something friendly but their body language is hostile and their tone is gruff, I'm going to wonder why there is an inconsistency. But these aren't really examples of Feeling "untruths" so much as they are discrepancies and indicators, and it's hard to know whether a person saying these things is really gifted, or just assuming a lot.

    I think a more realistic example is how my INTP dad and I have always had difficulty in disagreements because I tend to place a lot of emphasis on tone in terms of understanding what's trying to be conveyed, while he places much more emphasis on precise wording. So we tend to misunderstand one another because I'm listening to his tone and being very careful about my tone but not really paying as much attention to his exact wording while he's listening to my exact wording and being very careful about his exact wording but not really paying as much attention to his tone. Ti versus Fi.

    Feeling is nowhere near thinking in it's capability to find truths, classify, to form coherent system of statements, or frankly, anything that has any measurable aspect to it.
    I don't know about this. I think Feeling is actually very rational and incredibly useful once you see it for the measurement system that it is. It just doesn't work on the same "plane" as Thinking. With Feeling, you're gauging worth based on human attachment. Fi is very "truth" oriented in terms of personal experience and identity; Fe classifies roles and relations; Fi creates, assesses, and tests coherence of value prioritization (eg, "if you really cared about X, why would you do Y?").

  5. #5
    Member Folderol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
    -I just looked him in the eyes and shake his hands, and I knew he's a man to be trusted. I signed that deal.
    -I got an awful vibe from that neighborhood! I would never put my child to that place.
    -His words spoke one thing and his expression spoke another. His words made a perfectly logical explanation. I didn't believe it, for his face told another story.
    It could also be due to subconsciously noticing things that are off. When scanning one's environment, you can take in so much information, you may not even realize parts of it. However you will still be alerted to it via hunches.

  6. #6
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Evolutional adaptation, yes. Getting a feeling of something tells me that my ancestors have done well enough with those feelings to transfer those genes to me. Feelings undoubtedly have lot to do with adaptation to environment, and feelings also gives us instant clues about many things without us having need to learn them through formal education. Spiders? no-no. Snakes? Definite no. They look terribly dangerous, they give bad vibes. Cats? they are cute, so yes, cats are okay. Cute = harmless = useful = good for survival, as in killing vermin. Somehow feelings give these hints of information that are useful to us.

    What kind of system can be supported with feeling? Let's try.
    -"I'm gonna feel through how to build this house. My grampa's house used to have nice cellar where we used to hide in when we were kids. I have a fondness of cellars so having a cellar in my house is definetly a good thing. How about walls? Walls make me feel like it's a real building. My house is definetly going to have some of those, too. I like warmth."

    No, feeling is definetly not going to cut it. What I think that 99% of the people do most of the time - even the so called feelers - is thinking. They think. You can set your mind to think about something and find an answer. Feeling doesn't give answers. It hints at something.

    Also, the most important one: you don't use feeling like a tool to do some task for you. Feelings are immediate and unavoidable when encountering a certain stimuli, unless care has been taken to unlearn the reaction. What one CAN do is to decide to THINK about something in order to elicit feelings about it. I'd say feelings are strongly automatic and not the result of decision-making process at that point. Feelings are our reactions to something. They're much more a part of system 1 that involves the automatic, instantaneous response that is generated effortlessly, and less a part of system 2 that involves deliberate cognitive processes.

    edit: oh, I forgot. People don't do 99% thinking. the automatic response of the brain to many situations also often resembles thinking, but they're just first impressions. Example: "Ford motor company makes good cars! I am going to invest in their shares. "

    So what we end up with? Almost any of the feeling we do isn't rational, but neither is most of our thinking.

  7. #7
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Folderol View Post
    It could also be due to subconsciously noticing things that are off. When scanning one's environment, you can take in so much information, you may not even realize parts of it. However you will still be alerted to it via hunches.
    thats intuition


    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
    What kind of system can be supported with feeling? Let's try.
    -"I'm gonna feel through how to build this house. My grampa's house used to have nice cellar where we used to hide in when we were kids. I have a fondness of cellars so having a cellar in my house is definetly a good thing. How about walls? Walls make me feel like it's a real building. My house is definetly going to have some of those, too. I like warmth."
    Its not feeling function you are talking about.

    F would be more like: "If i dont build a cellar, my potatoes will go bad and i dont have anything to eat during winter, therefore its worth it to build a cellar. If i dont build walls, i would get cold, therefore its worth it to build walls with proper insulation. Or if i would try to find me a wife, it would make me happy in the long run and i need a wife to get kids anyways, therefore its worth it to get a wife."

    Again it judges a worth of things, its not this sort of judging based on "feelings" you are talking about.

    If you look at my examples, you can clearly see that there is a proper rational judgment of worth in them.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Rational is not a rational process.

    As human beings its not going to be possible to eliminate affect and emotion from logic and calculation when reasoning or making judgements.

    I think that its a good idea to try but even the vulcans were only practicing some sort of universal conditioning and CBT from the stars.

  9. #9
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    You seem to have given this a lot of thought and I feel the need to respond though I wonder whether this response will essentially be hot air or not.

    I don't consider "feeling" a different system than "thinking." From what I understand the two are the results of multiple phenomena. According to Nardi, one part of the Fi process would be IIRC utilisation of the left frontal lobe for decision making (especially in Fi-doms) as well as several other areas at the same time. Likewise according to Nardi, the Ti process would utilise multiple areas which Fi would not utilise. Fe and Te use different areas as well but there may be some crossover. So perhaps feeling and thinking should not be considered as singular entities but machinery with multiple internal parts. If one or more of the individual parts the feeling function uses would have a "rational" application then I do not think its fair to call feeling irrational, perhaps closer to "an irrational twist on the rational."

    Your argument also seems to come heavily from your own Fi function which if I may dare say is slightly on the primitive side. For an Fi dom it has more application and is more useful. For me it has a quality I call "the ice breaker/the gridlock buster" or something along those lines which is what I believe is the real cause behind feeling's continued existence in the human psyche. There is a significant component which allows an individual to escape analysis paralysis and also to take action. It allows an individual or people to tip the scales in favour of a certain decision e.g. when there are equal pros and cons for a course of action and system determined by objective analysis the feeling can add value to one side or the other so a decision can be made. The whole process is also removed from emotion (if anything emotion undermines the process.) Whilst it is arguably irrational it to me poses another question: Is it wrong to be irrational when the rational process on its own has reached a dead end and can no longer proceed? I find feeling very helpful as a nihilist, allowing me a chance to move in a direction even though all decisions (including inaction) are meaningless and pointless.

    So feeling is a tool, it is a tool to finish the job when conventional tools do not work. I think its partially rational and partially irrational for in the past it has helped me in real world situations many times, especially in relation to the self and my needs. I admit though the thinking function is probably superior to the feeling function and that a human race with less feeling would be in a better position.

  10. #10
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Eloquent post, thank you. What I'm wondering is if this systematic, controlled, deliberate and purposeful use of emotion- and value-based data is really that different from thinking. What distinguishes it from thinking? The subject matter of such process is feeling. But, if I think about playing basketball, have I *played* basketball or *thought* of it?

    Feeling plays a lowly role in my thought experiment. But.. what kind of feeling-based rational processes are possible? T->F->T->F processes might be driven by thinking, or just as well by feeling. What would a T-driven process look like? Probably something like this:
    "I need to do some chores today. I'm kind of tired so I'd rather pick some easier chores. On the other hand, I'll feel really lousy when my teammembers ask me what I've done over the weekend and I'll have to tell them I've done nothing. I'll better write some kind of report and appear productive. Most of the teammembers will need just a report at this point of the task anyway."
    If the use of T and F alternate and share equal weight, it might be hard to tell which cognitive process drives which. But.. somehow, I don't associate feeling with structure. I also don't see how a structured thought process involving feeling could have it's structure derived from feeling as well.

    Can a mental process with structure derived from thinking and content derived from feeling really be called feeling?

    Maybe I've been influenced by systems thinking to see it this way.

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