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View Poll Results: What type is Sherlock Holmes, as portrayed in the stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

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  • ESFJ

    0 0%
  • ESTJ

    0 0%
  • ISFJ

    1 3.85%
  • ISTJ

    1 3.85%
  • ESFP

    0 0%
  • ESTP

    0 0%
  • ISFP

    0 0%
  • ISTP

    4 15.38%
  • ENFP

    0 0%
  • INFP

    0 0%
  • ENTP

    1 3.85%
  • INTP

    13 50.00%
  • ENFJ

    0 0%
  • ENTJ

    0 0%
  • INFJ

    0 0%
  • INTJ

    5 19.23%
  • I can't decide or even make an educated guess.

    1 3.85%
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  1. #1
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    Default Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

    What is an MBTI introvert? Someone who gets their energy from within. Now Mycroft was an introvert, for the whole point of the Diogenes Club was to have a place where people can avoid talking with the unwashed peons. But is it so clear that Holmes is an MBTI introvert? When left alone, instead of being energized, Sherlock Holmes becomes moody, bored, and fidgety. He indulges in opium for he would do anything to distract his mind from the tedium. Holmes becomes greatly energized when he is out on the hunt. Watson often remarked about the great change that took over Holmes when he was out and about sniffing for clues like a bloodhound. He would become oblivious to everything around him. Now if he was such an introvert, he would have found just as much pleasure staying inside, and analying a case from a purely theoretical perspective, but he greatly preferred getting his hands dirty. He was an extrovert since his energy came not from within, but from outside himself. This also helps to answer the following question: Was he a sensor or an intuitive?

    What is an MBTI intuitive? One who prefers the abstract, and general over the tangible and the specific. Sherlock Holmes was a fiend for details. That was his obsession. If he let the slightest detail escape him, he would greatly reprimand himself. Although he used both inductive and deductive reasoning, he had a marked preference for inductive reasoning when it came to solving cases. He went in this order: inductive reasoning followed by deductive. He would look back on previous cases, and use the specific details of a past case in order to make a generalization (inductive) and then he would apply it to the case at hand (deductive). If he were an intuitive, he would have shown a preference for using deductive reasoning first. However, he used the specific details of his past experiences and inductive reasoning first.This combined with how much he loved to get his hands dirty indicates to me that he is a sensor.

    Now, about F or T, I am not so sure. Sherlock Holmes liked to think and analyze therefore he must be a thinker, right? Of course not. What is an MBTI feeler? Feelers prefer ethics to make the decisions, while thinkers prefer logic. The funny thing is both methods can be subjective. A thinker could easily be too selective with his facts and make a logical but partial conclusion. Holmes was guided by principles and ethics, and this was what kept him from becoming Europe's greatest villain. If he was a thinker, he would have tried being the villain out of pure intellectual curiosity, but his ethics always held him back. This one is inconclusive to me, so I'm not sure if he was a thinker or a feeler.

    P or J. J's like rules, while percievers like freedom. Right? Wrong. What is MBTI Judging? A judger is someone who uses their T/F axis to relate to the outside world, while a perciever uses their S/N axis to relate to the outside world. Holmes was a boxer, no slouch with a gun, and quite adept at wielding fire pokers or hunting crops when it came time to open up a can of ass whooping. His senses were keen, and this is how he related to the outside world when solving a case. Conclusion: His P'ness was long, thick and conspicuous without a doubt.


    Sherlock Holmes was an ESXP if we use strict MBTI definitions. This is far from the biased INTX conclusions that people usually arrive at.
    Last edited by Vasilisa; 03-25-2012 at 12:14 AM. Reason: merge and clarity
    The purple sun won't heal my purple bruises :ouch:

  2. #2
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    Not saying I disagree with you, but what do you make of this article:

    SOLVED: The Mystery of Sherlock Holmes ~ THE MBTI BLOG

    I am not sure that fictional characters can ever be adequately typed, but I enjoy other people's opinions. Please don't take me as snobbish or manipulative because I am trying to be neither, but I love Holmes and Watson and their endeavors so I had to say something.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by thewoman1858 View Post
    Not saying I disagree with you, but what do you make of this article:

    SOLVED: The Mystery of Sherlock Holmes ~ THE MBTI BLOG

    I am not sure that fictional characters can ever be adequately typed, but I enjoy other people's opinions. Please don't take me as snobbish or manipulative because I am trying to be neither, but I love Holmes and Watson and their endeavors so I had to say something.
    I must commend that person for looking deeper, and not just falling for the old stereotypes (Sherlock is smart smart, so he must be an NT, ugh).

    That article is not that different from my conclusions. In fact we have similar conclusions, but when it came to applying the letters, the person had a problem with having Sherlock's dominant function be extraverted sensing, so he changed the E to an I. We both agree that Holmes thrives on action, and I think an ESTP could be even more of an action fiend than an ISTP.

    So according to the article, the main problem with my conclusion is: I put Holmes' dominant function as extraverted sensing.

    I personally have no trouble with letting Se be his main function since that is what provides the fuel for his analysis. Is it possible that someone can use their auxilliary function as often as the dominant? It seems to me that Holmes uses Se and Ti/Fi about equally.
    The purple sun won't heal my purple bruises :ouch:

  4. #4
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    I see no flaw in your logic, but the only evidence I can collect is subjective so I can gauge it to read as I want it read. I do believe that Holmes wasn't an N, but other than that I can be flexible. I thought Holmes was a detailed oriented individual who uses the details to form conclusions. Perhaps I am narrow minded, but I would prefer to think I have a grasp on what the character was saying during his explanatory chapters, such as in the Study in Scarlet and the Sign of the Four. Perhaps I am wrong, but I will not be argued out of it.

    What are you opinions of the other characters?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by thewoman1858 View Post
    I see no flaw in your logic, but the only evidence I can collect is subjective so I can gauge it to read as I want it read. I do believe that Holmes wasn't an N, but other than that I can be flexible. I thought Holmes was a detailed oriented individual who uses the details to form conclusions. Perhaps I am narrow minded, but I would prefer to think I have a grasp on what the character was saying during his explanatory chapters, such as in the Study in Scarlet and the Sign of the Four. Perhaps I am wrong, but I will not be argued out of it.

    What are you opinions of the other characters?
    Your conclusions are fair and reasonable.

    As for the other characters?

    The only one I seriously thought about in MBTI terms was Watson, and he's an INFP who upholds a sense of duty (to patients, to country, to wife, and to Holmes) as one of his values. He is driven by that value thus is driven by Fi.

    I think he is more N than Holmes because he unconsciously waxes lyrical and poetic much to Holmes' annoyance. He is capable of great physical exertion but something tells me that without Holmes as a catalyst, he would be content with just quietly serving his patients and spending time with his beautiful wife.
    The purple sun won't heal my purple bruises :ouch:

  6. #6
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    In the Sherlock Holmes movie as portrayed by Robert Downey Jnr he certainly comes off as an INTP... ? (I'm not trying to make any point that he was an NT in the books however)
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contemptus View Post
    In the Sherlock Holmes movie as portrayed by Robert Downey Jnr he certainly comes off as an INTP... ? (I'm not trying to make any point that he was an NT in the books however)
    Robert Downey junior probably had more to do with that than the screen writer. He is known to let his will supercede the director's/script writer's. He even thought Sherlock was gay...the loon.
    The purple sun won't heal my purple bruises :ouch:

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplesunset View Post
    falling for the old stereotypes (Sherlock is smart smart, so he must be an NT, ugh).
    Wait, I thought that was the whole idea of MBTI??

  9. #9
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    ISTP seems like a good fit.

    Dr Watson subsequently assesses Holmes' abilities thus:

    1. Knowledge of Literature Nothing.
    2. Knowledge of Philosophy Nothing.
    3. Knowledge of Astronomy Nothing.
    4. Knowledge of Politics Feeble.
    5. Knowledge of Botany Variable. Well up in belladonna, opium and poisons generally. Knows nothing of practical gardening.
    6. Knowledge of Geology Practical, but limited. Tells at a glance different soils from each other. After walks, has shown me splashes upon his trousers, and told me by their colour and consistence in what part of London he had received them.
    7. Knowledge of Chemistry Profound.
    8. Knowledge of Anatomy Accurate, but unsystematic.
    9. Knowledge of Sensational Literature Immense. He appears to know every detail of every horror perpetrated in the century.
    10. Plays the violin well.
    11. Is an expert singlestick player, boxer and swordsman.
    12. Has a good practical knowledge of British law.

    This does not sound like an intuitive to me.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ace_ View Post
    ISTP seems like a good fit.

    Dr Watson subsequently assesses Holmes' abilities thus:

    1. Knowledge of Literature Nothing.
    2. Knowledge of Philosophy Nothing.
    3. Knowledge of Astronomy Nothing.
    4. Knowledge of Politics Feeble.
    5. Knowledge of Botany Variable. Well up in belladonna, opium and poisons generally. Knows nothing of practical gardening.
    6. Knowledge of Geology Practical, but limited. Tells at a glance different soils from each other. After walks, has shown me splashes upon his trousers, and told me by their colour and consistence in what part of London he had received them.
    7. Knowledge of Chemistry Profound.
    8. Knowledge of Anatomy Accurate, but unsystematic.
    9. Knowledge of Sensational Literature Immense. He appears to know every detail of every horror perpetrated in the century.
    10. Plays the violin well.
    11. Is an expert singlestick player, boxer and swordsman.
    12. Has a good practical knowledge of British law.

    This does not sound like an intuitive to me.
    But if you actually read the stories, you realise that this assessment by Watson is not entirely accurate. I think it was done at an early stage in their friendship. For one thing, Holmes has an excellent and extensive knowledge of literature. He frequently quotes the likes of Goethe, Hafiz, and Shakespeare. I think the same goes for philosophy. Not sure about history, but he seems to be perfectly well up on politics. There is a suggestion that Holmes may have been pulling Watson's leg a bit in the early part of their friendship by pretending he knew less about certain things than he actually did (really, this is just Conan Doyle developing the character further, but anyway!)

    I'm going to reserve judgment for the moment on what I think Holmes's type might be. This is an interesting discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by purplesunset View Post
    Your conclusions are fair and reasonable.

    As for the other characters?

    The only one I seriously thought about in MBTI terms was Watson, and he's an INFP who upholds a sense of duty (to patients, to country, to wife, and to Holmes) as one of his values. He is driven by that value thus is driven by Fi.

    I think he is more N than Holmes because he unconsciously waxes lyrical and poetic much to Holmes' annoyance. He is capable of great physical exertion but something tells me that without Holmes as a catalyst, he would be content with just quietly serving his patients and spending time with his beautiful wife.
    Watson doesn't strike me as an N. Yes, he does occasionally wax lyrical and poetic but I'd say it's usually in a fairly conventional way. He's an intelligent man but his main qualities are his straightforwardness, loyalty and devotedness. I'd guess he's an ISFJ.
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