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  1. #1
    heart on fire
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    Default anti-intellectualism

    It is possible for an INF to be anti-intellectual because of upbringing due to limited exposure to higher ideas and the great works/books AND/OR and prejudices developed then due to parental anti-intellectualism either through their lack of interest or their insecurities.

    Could it be possible for an INF to express their inner life strictly through the langugage of pop culture and the things they happen to run into along the way in modern daily life? By anti-intellectual, I do mean having actual distaste and/or lack of interest in so-called higher subjects.

    Or do you think that the inward pull of both introversion and intuition would always bring an INF around to exploring the worlds of classical philosophy, literature, art history, classical music, poetry etc?

    I am curious what people's opinions are.

    I am also curious if anyone here has known someone who seemed very N in their approach to life, but also had this distaste for what is considered more intellectual type subjects and materials. ( I don't mean distaste for the pompously intellectual and posers, but distaste for the subjects themselves.)

    To be clear, I am not trying to turn this thread into a debate about what is or is not intellectual or whether pop culture is good or bad. I am not passing personal judgment on that here. I am more curious what the issues I have raised here say about the person's type.

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    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I believe it's more likely for INFP's to be anti-intellectual, but that it would be rare for INFJ's (granted, I may be biased). I'm pretty sure the tertiary Ti would lead INFJ's to that at some point, but the Si might keep INFP's steeped in tradition more. Although I think most of both types get into higher subjects eventually, if their environments and experiences don't prejudice them against it. And Fi isn't as malleable, because once a (potentially bad) value gets stuck in there, it can't be changed by normal means (if at all).

    Don't get me wrong, of course. I like INFP's because they have a greater insight into the emotion itself, because they don't need to envision and apply a pattern to see it, and they generally have a certain depth...

  3. #3
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    It seems possible. MBTI type has some correlation with IQ, but not in a way that would prevent some INFs from having difficulty with more intellectual subject matter and difficulty with the subject matter can be discouraging. Then, like you mentioned, there is the matter of exposure.

    I'm don't engage in many intellectual pursuits myself, for that matter.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
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    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    ...
    Or do you think that the inward pull of both introversion and intuition would always bring an INF around to exploring the worlds of classical philosophy, literature, art history, classical music, poetry etc?
    ...
    This is supposed to be the stereotype, right?

    I don't think any of the stereotypes apply to everyone. Why are you asking?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    It seems possible. MBTI type has some correlation with IQ, but not in a way that would prevent some INFs from having difficulty with more intellectual subject matter and difficulty with the subject matter can be discouraging. Then, like you mentioned, there is the matter of exposure.

    I'm don't engage in many intellectual pursuits myself, for that matter.
    I am not meaning so much lack of ability to understand as unwillingness to explore either due to non-interest or extreme negative prejudice. Maybe even violent rejection of such topics at times.

    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    This is supposed to be the stereotype, right?

    Yes, that is why I thought it would make a good discussion topic.

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    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    INTJs are supposed to be so intellectual, too but I can't stand anything overly complicated.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    INTJs are supposed to be so intellectual, too but I can't stand anything overly complicated.
    You apparently are not totally opposed higher works of literature, however.

    To clear, however, I am not meaning that they have to be masters of what they pursue, just the desire to pursue.

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    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    It's hard to imagine INFs rejecting any subject out of hand or of not finding something of interest in at least a few of the areas you mentioned at least to dabble.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  9. #9
    will make your day Carebear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    I believe it's more likely for INFP's to be anti-intellectual, but that it would be rare for INFJ's (granted, I may be biased). I'm pretty sure the tertiary Ti would lead INFJ's to that at some point, but the Si might keep INFP's steeped in tradition more. Although I think most of both types get into higher subjects eventually, if their environments and experiences don't prejudice them against it. And Fi isn't as malleable, because once a (potentially bad) value gets stuck in there, it can't be changed by normal means (if at all).

    Don't get me wrong, of course. I like INFP's because they have a greater insight into the emotion itself, because they don't need to envision and apply a pattern to see it, and they generally have a certain depth...
    Tertiary functions tend to score pretty low on function tests for the different types, so I don't buy your argument for Ti and Si having any major role in this. Fi could hinder an INFP, but so could Fe for an INFJ if they lived in an anti-intellectual culture. If anything I'd say having Ni as primary would be the explanation if INFJs were less likely to become anti-intellectual than INFPs (with Ne only as secondary). I see that both INFPs and INFJs can become anti-intellectual, but I'd think it a very rare occurrence, something that'd have great chances of changing as the person matured, and I can't picture any of them as rabid anti-intellectuals.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    I believe it's more likely for INFP's to be anti-intellectual, but that it would be rare for INFJ's (granted, I may be biased). I'm pretty sure the tertiary Ti would lead INFJ's to that at some point, but the Si might keep INFP's steeped in tradition more.
    I'm not sure whether I got this right, but you seem to be setting tradition and intellectualism against each other, which I'm not sure is logical... for example, the Jesuits have a long tradition of intellectualism, as do Benedictines, and both are rooted firmly in history.

    Tradition itself doesn't oppose intellectualism, but some traditions do.

    ----

    NT's are supposed to be intellectual, but I haven't read a single book in about a year. Really.

    I'm also not at all comfortable or happy in the world of academia. In fact, I f***ing hate it. I'm all for intellectual pursuits, but I think the way it's pushed in colleges and stuff, well, it doesn't really do much for me. Call it arrogance if you like, but I've better things to do with my time than answer arbitrary questions just to prove to some asshole that I read a book - or reading books I'm not interested in because someone told me to. Lots of people can't summon much enthusiasm for doing things against their natural inclinations, and I think reading dry, boring stuff and writing dry, pointless essays can be just as unappealing to any type... except perhaps those who have so little else on which to base their self-esteem and so much free time (no social life perhaps) as to actually gobble the stuff up. I feel quite confident and able to learn any subject without partaking in all that stuff.

    Tradition doesn't equal anti-intellectual, and intellectual doesn't equal academic. Not necessarily.

    Also, with regard to Fe or Fi disinclining a person to 'go against their culture', it's been shown that intellectualism can be, and has been, harnessed to support, strengthen, justify and explain just about any culture from Nazism to Communism, from orthodoxy to anarchy. Which incidentally, might just be why some people are suspicious of it, regardless of their type...
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