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  1. #1
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Default Mr Holmes. INTP+?

    As mentioned in the thread regarding House's type it came up about Sherlock Holmes. Now, as I'm sure most of you know, Holmes has been typed previously by many as an INTP but there are some facets of that persona which just don't seem to match up with the INTP personality. Now I'm wondering if others see the same thing.

    Firstly Holmes is VERY observant. Now for an INTP to notice that you've cut your hair firstly he has to have nothing else dominating his thinking. Considering that Holmes ALWAYS had other things running through his mind I am amazed that he even noticed that people wore clothes never mind who made them and the specks of railway soot on the left cuff.

    Secondly there is the whole disguise stuff and going off to get information from people. I'd expect an INTP to read all about a person but go and meet them? Why? You have all the pertinent facts on this sheet of paper and can now construct the meeting with absolute clarity and hence don't need to bother.

    Thirdly as far as I am aware the thinking expressed by Mr Holmes when drawing his conclusions is closer to that of an INTJ or an ISTP than an INTP in my estimation.

    What do you think?
    Is Holmes an INTP or a mish mash of multiple personas to create a super detective?
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  2. #2
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Holmes is the ISTP paragon. INTPs live for the pursuit of higher truth. Holmes astonished Watson by admitting that he had no knowledge of or interest in the heliocentric model of the universe; he felt is was a waste of "space" in the "attic" of his mind as it had no use in or bearing on his "craft".

    Holmes went out of his way to avoid humoring hunches. He would collect the data, retreat to construct an internal model, then head out once more to fill in the gaps. This, in addition to his lifestyle, rules out INTJ.

    His famous quote about ruling out the impossible until whatever is left is Ti in action.

  3. #3
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Holmes is the ISTP paragon. INTPs live for the pursuit of higher truth. Holmes astonished Watson by admitting that he had no knowledge of or interest in the heliocentric model of the universe; he felt is was a waste of "space" in the "attic" of his mind as it had no use in or bearing on his "craft".

    Holmes went out of his way to avoid humoring hunches. He would collect the data, retreat to construct an internal model, then head out once more to fill in the gaps. This, in addition to his lifestyle, rules out INTJ.

    His famous quote about ruling out the impossible until whatever is left is Ti in action.
    I'm not so sure. He had the NT flexibility of thinking but combined with the ST focus on one thing and the STJ depth of knowledge. I think the only thing Holmes lacked was E and F. Aside from that he appears to run the whole gamut at one time or another. I guess that by itself is NTP..
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  4. #4
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Holmes is the ISTP paragon. INTPs live for the pursuit of higher truth. Holmes astonished Watson by admitting that he had no knowledge of or interest in the heliocentric model of the universe; he felt is was a waste of "space" in the "attic" of his mind as it had no use in or bearing on his "craft".

    Holmes went out of his way to avoid humoring hunches. He would collect the data, retreat to construct an internal model, then head out once more to fill in the gaps. This, in addition to his lifestyle, rules out INTJ.

    His famous quote about ruling out the impossible until whatever is left is Ti in action.
    Agreed.

    I think his logical deconstruction (from observable detail) was sharpened to such an extent that its physical execution appears strikingly similar to the INTJ's Ni (though aided considerably by empirical footholds).

    I think the key differences (between the comparative intuition of the ISTP and INTJ) are the gravitational forces that give rise to positive thought. Abstraction seems the fancy of the INTJ, whereas factual representation provides the strongest evidence for the ISTP.

  5. #5
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    I think I see where this is going...

    Is an ENTJ who's job it is to council people an ENFJ?

    Of course not though he may at point operate just like an ENFJ (well in most ways) to succeed at those goals.

    Holmes could well be an INTP and still work the way he does as he's in an arena which requires chains of evidence and thinking. The usual hotch potch INTP stuff wouldn't but it. NT's can do this.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  6. #6
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    I think I see where this is going...

    Is an ENTJ who's job it is to council people an ENFJ?

    Of course not though he may at point operate just like an ENFJ (well in most ways) to succeed at those goals.

    Holmes could well be an INTP and still work the way he does as he's in an arena which requires chains of evidence and thinking. The usual hotch potch INTP stuff wouldn't but it. NT's can do this.
    I think his true genius is his capacity to move between intellectual ideals to arrive at an approach that equally balances vision with practice.

    Certainly one of my favorite literary characters.

  7. #7
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    I've never thought Holmes was INTP.

    What about ISTJ?

  8. #8
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    I have read very many Sherlock Holmes stories, yet not recently enough to feel like an expert about him. It was 25 years ago. I really wonder how many of you really know him that well either. Are you thinking of the books or the movies? Movies should be considered "commentaries" whereas the books are the real authority.

    I definitely believe Holmes is a Sensor. The way he so naturally thoroughly picks up little smidgens of detail that others miss is unmistakably S, and he's good at "what's wrong with this picture" kind of thinking. Ns are not that way.

    Here's another opinion I found online:
    "Sherlock Holmes (ISTP). Content to live a solitary life or to socialize with a single roomate, Holmes is galvanized into action by problems that challenge his mind (I). Acutely aware of minor details in his environment, the detective repeatedly cautions that one must not theorize before having facts, and he solves puzzles by refining tried-and-true methods (S). His primary motivation, besides entertaining his brain with intricate puzzles, is to achieve justice (T). His rooms are a disorganized disaster area, and he fills his days with a variety of interests -- scientific experiments, playing the violin, taking drugs -- for as long as they are interesting (P)."
    What 'Type' Is Your Character?


    I think it's possible that Holmes is an INTP secondarily.

    He is a fictional character, and not only that but somewhat "superhuman". We could expect that a superhero would have the characteristics of more than one type.

    In conclusion, I think Holmes is an ISTP/INTP.

  9. #9
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    I have read very many Sherlock Holmes stories, yet not recently enough to feel like an expert about him. It was 25 years ago. I really wonder how many of you really know him that well either. Are you thinking of the books or the movies? Movies should be considered "commentaries" whereas the books are the real authority.

    I definitely believe Holmes is a Sensor. The way he so naturally thoroughly picks up little smidgens of detail that others miss is unmistakably S, and he's good at "what's wrong with this picture" kind of thinking. Ns are not that way.

    I think it's possible that Holmes is an INTP secondarily.

    He is a fictional character, and not only that but somewhat "superhuman". We could expect that a superhero would have the characteristics of more than one type.

    In conclusion, I think Holmes is an ISTP/INTP.
    Well, my expertise is fairly limited, but I have taken some grad courses that centrally involved the dynamics between Holmes/Watson (among others) as indicative of greater societal unrest between class, criminal justice, sexuality...etc.

    Certainly, as a literary trope, he probably won't fit the molding for what constitues and/or divides one MBTI profile from another.

    His defiance is what makes him dynamic.

  10. #10
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    I'm not so sure. He had the NT flexibility of thinking but combined with the ST focus on one thing and the STJ depth of knowledge. I think the only thing Holmes lacked was E and F. Aside from that he appears to run the whole gamut at one time or another. I guess that by itself is NTP..
    Ha ha. STJ depth of knowledge.

    What depth?

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