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  1. #611
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Okay, I see what you're getting at, and I think I'm going to disagree. It may be a precursor to Thinking: a childish organizational principle drawn from observation of the real world. If you cry on the playground, you get called a crybaby. But if you get angry on the playground, people fear you. So getting angry is better than crying. But if the teacher is around, then crying yields better results.

    Again, it's just a simplistic, raw organizational principle that any child can master. And it's probably part Thinking (a precursor to Thinking); but it precedes development of the functions so it's probably not real Thinking.

    With time and complexity of the data gathered, it grows in complexity as well. But it's probably not Thinking as INTPs use it. It has to be geared to the slipperiness and grayness of emotions. Witness the difficulty that INTPs have when they try to master emotions with true Thinking; and my organizational principle certainly doesn't do me much good when it comes to dealing with math and science, which I suck at. For example, I do quite a lot of something that resembles Freudian association when dredging up and organizing emotional data; not very Thinking-oriented, I assume. So again, I suspect it's just probably just a raw organizational principle, a subset or component of overall Fi.

    Again, I would assume that Ti develops in INTPs in much the same way--childish organizational principles used to incorporate math and science. With time, the organizational principle grows in complexity. But is that organizational principle Thinking itself, or is it just a component of Thinking? It's separate (it's the mortar/infrastructure) from the rules of logic or math that you learned in books (the "bricks").

    In other words, as I see it, there's an organizational principle like DOS or OS X; and then software (the bricks) is laid over the top.

    That's pure conjecture, of course. Frankly I don't know what the hell goes on inside the head of an INTP.
    1) It is true that both use Thinking, organizational principles.
    2)It is true that because the Thinking children do is very simple, therefore both the INFP and the INTP child should master them.

    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Witness the difficulty that INTPs have when they try to master emotions with true Thinking;
    INTPs generally lack the understanding of their emotions, is that what you meant in this statement?
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  2. #612
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    I would argue ENFP because unlike Dostoevsky (INFJ), Tolstoy seemed to have many themes in his novels and many characters. For example the War and Peace seemed to aspire to deliver many messages through many mouthpieces. Hence, this is Ne, or imagination sparked up by many external stimuli.
    I took an honors college course on Tolstoy. One of Tolstoy's tricks for identifying and keeping straight (in the mind of the reader) all his characters in War and Peace was to create one outstanding physical characteristic for each of the characters and then mention that characteristic each time the character appeared. It was just a writer's trick. The characters are just caricatures. They weren't "people" speaking. They were just a bent wrist, a limp, a sneer, etc.

    It was part of his philosophy of the determinism of history--to show multiple currents flowing together to form a river. But the multiplicity of characters is managed by smoke and mirrors.

    IOW, it's all very careful and calculated. Tolstoy was not at all spontaneous in his writing. He might be ENFP for all I know. But if you really study his work, there's an incredible drive to make every word count toward a goal--making a moral point. His works became shorter and shorter as he got older, reflecting more and more conciseness. War and Peace was his longest work and was one of his earliest. His novels got shorter over time; eventually he switched to mostly short stories, and by old age he had renounced his long novels as immoral and was writing 5-page religious aphorisms.

    He was a driven man, and it seems pretty Ni to me in nature.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Yet Dostoevsky on the other hand was an Ni dom. His imagination was sparked up only by a few certain sources. Hence, his vision seemed to have had more focus and there appeared to be one clear or a small set of clear messages he aspired to deliver.

    Also, Dostoevsky was clearly preaching to the reader, he makes explicit value judgments that he expects everyone to abide by (those concerning his radical political and religious views)--Fe.

    Yet Tolstoy is passionate about his maxims, yet he does not aspire to persuade the reader nearly as much.
    I'm not even going to touch Dostoevsky. I've already wasted too many keystrokes on that old windbag Tolstoy.

  3. #613
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    INTPs generally lack the understanding of their emotions, is that what you meant in this statement?
    Not quite.

    I'm saying that INTPs use DOS to organize their logical, analytical, mathematical, and scientific tools. DOS + tools = Ti. By comparison INFPs use OS X to organize their emotional tools. OS X + tools = Fi.

    When we were children, DOS and OS X were probably pretty much the same thing, a simple organization tool for observing and understanding a child's world. But because they were organizing different things (math vs. emotions), they probably developed differently. So in adulthood, DOS is not much good for trying to handle lots of emotional data (INTPs trying to juggle emotions) and OS X is not much good for handling lots of math and science (INFPs trying to juggle the sciences). That's as a rule anyway; some INTPs and INFPs do manage to do a pretty good crossover.

    That's what I'm saying. It's pure conjecture of course. But I'm just trying to explain the point that: 1) I have a model for comparing and judging emotions; 2) It includes an organizational principle; 3) But that organizational principle doesn't seem to be Thinking with a capital T. At least not in the adult Ti sense. It certainly doesn't confer on me the kinds of Ti powers that INTPs enjoy, anyway.

  4. #614

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    Well, there was been quite a lot of ground covered here, and many interesting conversations intertwined.

    What does it mean to understand something?
    Unfortunately, that in itself is a difficult question to answer both in general and in specific cases.

    For me, when I understand something it is through something resembling a mathematical proof. If I can prove something, then I believe I understand it. That is, if I know why I believe something is true then I believe I understand it.

    Basically, my strength of understanding is measured by how well the question "why is it true?" is answered. There are certain methods I hold most reliable, and I believe competent people hold reliable. Others I find less reliable.

    My sister is an ENFP, and my brother an ISFP, so I have dealings with people with strong Fi preferences often (and I have a fairly strong Fi as well).

    What I have trouble understanding is when some times they decide when things are "not cool," "messed-up," "feels-wrong," or something along those lines. I will often perceive it as arbitrary and capricious--sometimes even "corrupt" to make decisions in this way.

    I have a hard time believing Fi and Ti are the same thing. The psychological perspectives seem obviously different (even diametrically opposite) from each other. Note many Fi dom's make heavy use of Ti and Ti dom's heavy use of Fi, but the question asked is about functions not about users of functions.

    I believe it is useful and practical to have an answer to CaptainChick's initial question made in terms of functions, because those of us who don't have Fi as a primary or secondary function may be able to tap into it more in circumstances where an Fi user (like one of my siblings) says something "feels wrong" while at the same time I believe it to be "corrupt" for them make such "arbitrary" judgments.

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  5. #615
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    I took an honors college course on Tolstoy. One of Tolstoy's tricks for identifying and keeping straight (in the mind of the reader) all his characters in War and Peace was to create one outstanding physical characteristic for each of the characters and then mention that characteristic each time the character appeared. It was just a writer's trick. The characters are just caricatures. They weren't "people" speaking. They were just a bent wrist, a limp, a sneer, etc..
    If Tolstoy did have a one clear-cut message to deliver, what exactly was it?

    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    It was part of his philosophy of the determinism of history--to show multiple currents flowing together to form a river. But the multiplicity of characters is managed by smoke and mirrors...
    If it was this, it certainly needs to be clarified what exactly determinism of history is.


    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    He was a driven man, and it seems pretty Ni to me in nature.
    He certainly was a very driven man. What does one need to be driven?

    One needs to have a clear idea of what one wants.(T). One needs passion in order to have the energy to carry out what one wants. (F) And one needs imagination to have a vision.

    Tolstoy had all 3. I do not see what this has to do with Ni.

    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    His works became shorter and shorter as he got older, reflecting more and more conciseness. War and Peace was his longest work and was one of his earliest. His novels got shorter over time; eventually he switched to mostly short stories, and by old age he had renounced his long novels as immoral and was writing 5-page religious aphorisms.
    .
    A plausible explanation that I see is, as NFs age, they develop their Thinking function more, therefore become more structured in their thoughts. This is compatible with Tolstoy being both an INFJ and an ENFP.


    Tolstoy was naturally very outgoing in his life, if not an adventurer. Paul Strathern also remarked in Tolstoy in 90 minutes that despite his excellent understanding of other people and many things within the world around him, he did not know himself well at all. This certainly could not be said about Dostoevsky or Goethe, the INFJs.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  6. #616
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    3) But that organizational principle doesn't seem to be Thinking with a capital T. At least not in the adult Ti sense. It certainly doesn't confer on me the kinds of Ti powers that INTPs enjoy, anyway.
    What is seems to be is inferior Te at work. It doesnt grant you the full Thinking powers because it is not nearly as well developed as that of the INTPs.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  7. #617
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    . What I have trouble understanding is when some times they decide when things are "not cool," "messed-up," "feels-wrong," or something along those lines. I will often perceive it as arbitrary and capricious--sometimes even "corrupt" to make decisions in this way.
    They don't then explain to you why things are "not cool", "messed-up" or "feel-wrong"?

    When something just *feels* wrong/off to me, I cannot logically justify it because it usually stems from my having a deep sense/intuition about something that I don't yet fully understand, however whenever I view something as being not cool, or messed up I can always rationally back it up as to why this is so in whatever extenuating circumstances.
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  8. #618
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    If Tolstoy did have a one clear-cut message to deliver, what exactly was it?

    [...]

    If it was this, it certainly needs to be clarified what exactly determinism of history is.
    Why do poets cloak their message in obscurity? Because of some mistaken (IMO) concept that a message is more powerful when demonstrated through art rather than through a lecture at a podium or a couple lines in a schoolbook.

    As for the nature of his particular philosophy: People in his day were trying to understand how and why the Napoleonic wars came about. Like a good Ni, he saw all the world as an interconnected network. And if the network trends in a certain direction, certain major events (like wars) become inevitable. Kind of like the premise of the Foundation Trilogy by Asimov--that you can predict the future for hundreds of years into the future if you can encompass enough trends in present-day society.

    So that's what Tolstoy was doing in War and Peace: Showing how dozens or hundreds of minor actors can effectively become the cause of war simply by going with the flow. Or something like that. Remember that Tolstoy was a pacifist (though he served in the Caucasus).

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    He certainly was a very driven man. What does one need to be driven?

    One needs to have a clear idea of what one wants.(T). One needs passion in order to have the energy to carry out what one wants. (F) And one needs imagination to have a vision.

    Tolstoy had all 3. I do not see what this has to do with Ni.
    Again, I've read way too much Tolstoy. He was the kind of guy that thought everything was so interconnected (in a Zen fashion) that a leaf falling in the forest had the power to kill a king 20 years later. So he crafted and paid attention to every word he wrote; and at the same time he drove himself to write hundreds or thousands of polemics in local newspapers. He also taught himself Aramaic and Greek, rewrote the Bible, and started his own religion. Noblesse oblige. He was born into a rich, powerful family, so he needed to make his life count (especially given the nature of his philosophy).

    A plausible explanation that I see is, as NFs age, they develop their Thinking function more, therefore become more structured in their thoughts. This is compatible with Tolstoy being both an INFJ and an ENFP.

    Tolstoy was naturally very outgoing in his life, if not an adventurer. Paul Strathern also remarked in Tolstoy in 90 minutes that despite his excellent understanding of other people and many things within the world around him, he did not know himself well at all. This certainly could not be said about Dostoevsky or Goethe, the INFJs.
    He was born into one of the richest and most powerful families in imperial Russia. Noblesse oblige and his philosophy demanded that he participate in the social and political events of the day. But he hated it. He was disgusted by high society and registered his disdain for it in his novels. Unfortunately his readership was the very same high society that he hated (they were the only ones who knew how to read in Russia at the time), so his disdain is muted; but it's there.

    As soon as was feasible, he moved to a mansion in the country. His wife was a society lady and hated the country. So they split the mansion between them. She entertained high society upstairs in gowns and jewels, and he worked on his literature downstairs in peasant dress.

    For a long time he wanted to move to a monastery and quit society altogether, but his wife put her foot down. The mansion arrangement was their compromise. They fought all the time across decades; finally in his nineties he fled from the mansion and his wife and took off for a monastery; he died of pneumonia in a train station on the way.

    There's one event in his life that could have changed him significantly. As I said, in his youth he put up with high society and even seemed to enjoy it at times. While he was doing his military time in the Caucasus, however, he was blown up and spent a long time in a Moscow hospital recuperating. Thereafter, he got more intense about quitting high society and re-arranging his life to create a more reclusive, intellectual environment. So one might suggest that he was more of a party type as a young man but the serious injury in the military and long recuperation caused him to change his lifestyle (and apparent MBTI type).

  9. #619
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    I have to admit I can't always explain why something just isn't cool. Not at that very instant. It's only when I step back, and rationalise, can I then explain. I have to put it words. Sometimes I can almost visualise them. Thinking them out is like a translation.
    Pondering this, I wonder if you could compare Ti and Fi to art movements, say Ti is cubism and Fi is impressonism.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    What is seems to be is inferior Te at work. It doesnt grant you the full Thinking powers because it is not nearly as well developed as that of the INTPs.
    My Te is pretty crappy by Te-Dom or even Te-Aux measures. And I've only really discovered Te proper fairly lately in life. The discovery of MBTI in my forties allowed me to isolate specific functions and start playing with them, and Te in particular has been an eye-opener. In other words, I'm kind of a late bloomer when it comes to Te in particular.

    Still, I can imagine that the early organizational principle is some precursor of T. INTPs pick up some F across time--they get married and have kids, so love is in there somewhere. I might well be using some simple T-precursor to organize my internal landscape. I wasn't blind to the world around me, and I picked up or Ne-ed some tools as I went along.

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