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Thread: Tolkien

  1. #51
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    Okay, this thread has lain dormant for quite awhile, but I wanted to offer some input.

    People noted early in this thread that Tolkien was an academic, a Philology professor. But he wasn't merely a Philology professor. He was a significant Philologist. I remember having to learn assorted "Tolkien laws" when I took a Philology class during grad school. In his academic life, Tolkien studied languages and devised theories to explain his discoveries.

    For a hobby, he was not initially a writer. He was a language geek. The writing came later. In fact, he didn't set out to write LotR or The Hobbit and then invent languages to inhabit the stories. He first invented the Elven languages. Then he needed a world where those languages could live, so he invented one. Then he needed stories to inhabit that world. So he wrote them. I think it was his friendship with C.S. Lewis and his meetings with the Inklings that encouraged him to keep working on those stories.

    Regardless of whatever cognitive processes we can identify in quotes from Tolkien's fiction, his creative process does not appear to have been a very INFP one. It was grounded in geek stuff.

    In my opinion, just from looking at his academic contributions and his creative process, Tolkien = INTP.

  2. #52
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    Tolkien's writing is obviously Ne/Si styled, Delta themed.

    Fi-INFJ.


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  3. #53
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    INFJ 9w1 So/Sp
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    E=60% S=55% T=70% P=80%

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  4. #54
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    INFP 9w1 sp/so
    ENFP: We put the Fi in Fire
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  5. #55
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    I think I'd go for INFP or INTP...not sure which. There are some very good arguments in this thread!
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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    INFP 9w1 sp/so
    Not Sp/So.
    EsTP 6w7 Sx/Sp

    Chaotic Neutral

    E=60% S=55% T=70% P=80%

    "I don't believe in guilt, I only believe in living on impulses"

    "Stereotypes about personality and gender turn out to be fairly accurate: ... On the binary Myers-Briggs measure, the thinking-feeling breakdown is about 30/70 for women versus 60/40 for men." ~ Bryan Caplan

  7. #57
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    I strongly believe that Tolkien was either INFP or INTP. His fiction itself seems to indicate the former. The main conflict is that of good vs. ultimate evil, and Frodo's pity of Smeagol and his desire to find the good in him is what ultimately enables the destruction of the Ring. In addition to this, Tolkien's Middle Earth fiction gives an indication that Tolkien had a very clear idea of "the world as it should be." His Middle Earth is that ideal world in the process of being corrupted (by ultimate evil through Morgoth in the Silmarillion, then by Sauron in the second and Third Age, and by Saruman through industrialization).

    Then again, his initial motivation for creating Middle Earth was sort of a grand experiment for demonstrating his radical linguistic theories. He was primarily a philologist, and only a writer afterwards (as zerocrossing mentioned). But it's hard to say which of these things shows what his personality was really like.

    I think I remember his essay "On Fairy Stories" giving me a distinct INFP vibe, but unfortunately I can't find my copy to cite it.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by kissmyasthma View Post
    The main conflict is that of good vs. ultimate evil, and Frodo's pity of Smeagol and his desire to find the good in him is what ultimately enables the destruction of the Ring.
    That's Fe, not Fi. If you compare the use of Fe and Fi throughout the novel, you'll see that Fe is consistently shown in a good light and Fi in a bad one. Fe shows up as hospitality, generosity, and good-humor. Fi is mostly associated with pride and greed. Indeed, the Ring takes control of people by disrupting the Fi-valuing process.

    Tolkien's extreme suspicion of Fi rules out INFP. It is, however, highly compatible with INTP, which has Fi in the demonic position.

  9. #59
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kissmyasthma View Post
    I strongly believe that Tolkien was either INFP or INTP. His fiction itself seems to indicate the former. The main conflict is that of good vs. ultimate evil, and Frodo's pity of Smeagol and his desire to find the good in him is what ultimately enables the destruction of the Ring. In addition to this, Tolkien's Middle Earth fiction gives an indication that Tolkien had a very clear idea of "the world as it should be." His Middle Earth is that ideal world in the process of being corrupted (by ultimate evil through Morgoth in the Silmarillion, then by Sauron in the second and Third Age, and by Saruman through industrialization).

    Then again, his initial motivation for creating Middle Earth was sort of a grand experiment for demonstrating his radical linguistic theories. He was primarily a philologist, and only a writer afterwards (as zerocrossing mentioned). But it's hard to say which of these things shows what his personality was really like.

    I think I remember his essay "On Fairy Stories" giving me a distinct INFP vibe, but unfortunately I can't find my copy to cite it.
    I think people are playing extremes here. INTPs (especially the 5w4) veer easily into territory that people are assuming is F. I'm not F, and I think in terms of the same broad psychological/mythic elements that Tolkien does.

    There are a lot of F writers in fantasy fiction, and if you compared any of them to Tolkien (especially one of the first-generation Tolkien clones, such as Terry Brooks and his Shannara series), you're going to become very aware of the detachment in his work that is typical of INTP and atypical of INFP. In fact, some of Tolkien's work can be very dry/boring, because he drops into straightforward but lengthy historical details that have no real sense of narrative but are just a long string of events tied together. Same thing if you read books of his letters to other people (they read like INTP posts on forums, and he just explains a lot of time explaining philosophy and systematic-style theology), as well as consider the fact he was a world-class philologist as his life's passion. There was no place for values in that profession, he was suited for his by his nuanced understanding of the subject matter.
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  10. #60
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    Tolkien could have been INTP because of interest in languages, but then again, I too am very much a geek in languages (obsessed though not fully competent in any), and I'm not INTP.

    It's likely that Tolkien was INFP because of his obvious camaraderie with CS Lewis, an INTJ. The F and T would seem to go much better together than two T's, don't you think?

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