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Thread: Are ISFPs intellectual?

  1. #21
    Seriously Delirious Array Udog's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    My mom, an ISFP, is absolutely brilliant. She has an intimidating vocabulary at her command that she knows to use sparingly yet concisely. She is able to keep up with most doctors (she is a nurse) in conversation, and is very respected for her intelligence mixed with enthusiasm where she teaches.

    Oh, and she's very artistic. Brilliant on the piano and guitar and used to be a pretty damn good painter.

    However, I don't think my mom would consider herself an intellectual. Intellectual is different than intelligent. When given a choice between continuing her education in an ivory tower or going into nursing so she can focus on being hands on with people, she chose the latter without hesitation. She is also an emotional creature, and is unable to apply cold, impersonal logic to a problem even when she'd like to.

    It doesn't mean that ISFPs can't be intellectuals, but I don't think that's how they are geared. They do tend to be very intelligent and gifted at a wide variety of things, though.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Array
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    Does being an intellectual mean you have to be into philosophical exploration/conversation/debate? Because if so then no, I'm not one. Haha... I guess I just wanted to pat us on the back for being just as smart as any of the other types who think they're so damn special. ;-)

  3. #23


    I think Udog hit it on the head. The difference between intellectual and intelligent. I'm frequently discussing epistemology with people I know that'd appreciate such a conversation but, although I find it interesting, I read up on philosophy more out of a curiosity than out of a real 'hunger' like many of my ENP friends. So, I'll discuss sophism with them for 40 mins then, once my curiosity is momentarily sated, I'd get antsy and want to go do something else while the poor ENP is just getting started.

  4. #24
    Member Array Tea Party's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    People who fancy themselves as intellectuals are never the real thing. :O

    I think that applies to all types.
    "I feel so strongly that the deep and simple is far more essential than the shallow and complex." -Fred Rogers

  5. #25
    Senior Member Array "?"'s Avatar
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    May 2007


    Rule #1 when dealing with T/F dichotomies. Determining intelligence or being an intellectual, or having emotions has no bearing on type. It's repeated throughout books on the subject, but for some reason readers never comprehend it. Furthermore a person being intellectual:
    in?tel?lec?tu?al? ?/??ntl??kt?u?l/
    1. appealing to or engaging the intellect: intellectual pursuits.
    2. of or pertaining to the intellect or its use: intellectual powers.
    3. possessing or showing intellect or mental capacity, esp. to a high degree: an intellectual person.
    4. guided or developed by or relying on the intellect rather than upon emotions or feelings; rational.
    5. characterized by or suggesting a predominance of intellect: an intellectual way of speaking.

    –noun 6. a person of superior intellect.
    7. a person who places a high value on or pursues things of interest to the intellect or the more complex forms and fields of knowledge, as aesthetic or philosophical matters, esp. on an abstract and general level.
    8. an extremely rational person; a person who relies on intellect rather than on emotions or feelings.
    9. a person professionally engaged in mental labor, as a writer or teacher.
    10. intellectuals, Archaic. a. the mental faculties.
    b. things pertaining to the intellect.
    does not equate to intelligence, which Keirsey and Howard Gardner have already determined can have multiple meanings and are not comparable. Saying that ISFPs can be just as intellectual as anyone since it’s not based on type.

  6. #26
    Member Array rooo's Avatar
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    Apr 2009


    Intellectual.. well sometimes I like to indulge in "intellectual" conversations and reading... guess that means philosophizing... I enjoy reading about art theory (recently discovered what Surrealism was all about and pored through about 6 books on the movement in one evening) and arguing a bit of politics... but I find it ultimately unsatisfying compared to the satisfaction of doing.

  7. #27


    I am going to go with an effin hell yeah but in a really strange way that Ns dont always get. It's not a bookish, abstract, intellectual way. I think it may be a more sensual, in the moment Se powered awesomeness. I am starting to see why they are the artists and the musicians. need much education... need specimens to study....

  8. #28
    filling some space Array UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Sep 2007


    One probable ISFP I know seems to like something of the sort.. she doesn't practice intellect, as in expressing theorems, analyzing, anything witty, but she has an appreciation for some intelligent things, mostly related to humanities and the ways of living.

    It isn't her area of expertise though; I'd say she's a distant admirer of intellectualism, would deny it when asked. I'd almost say she likes the mood it gives for her, without going very deep at all.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Array
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    Jun 2009


    It depends on the company I keep. WHen hanging out with my SF friends who are into cooking, shopping and gossiping, I feel like an intellect in comparison. When I hang out with my INTP friends, I feel like a bimbo.

  10. #30
    darkened dreams Array labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    I think my sister might test as an ISFP. It's hard to tell if she is an INFP or ISFP. The little we talked about MBTI she mentioned that she is much more concrete than I am. She has tested as INFP, but I think now the results might be ISFP.

    Anyway, she has an MFA in art and has studied a great deal on philosophy and aesthetics. She is more opinionated that I am, is well read, and forms her opinions based on that body of knowledge. We have almost the exact same level of intelligence when we take tests. We both were in the 92 percentile for analytical reasoning (logic) on the GRE which is pretty good considering that is competing against all people applying to graduate programs including math, science, and engineering.

    Alot of people are considered intellectuals based on their bravado and self-esteem. Just look at all the pundits on the news shows. ISFPs are unlikely to put up the intellectual front, so people will tend to dismiss their intellectual contributions more than other types. It is annoying when prejudice dismisses someone based on letters by their name. That reasoning is the antithesis to being an intellectual.
    The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas. H.G. WELLS
    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. FEYNMAN

    If this is monkey pee, you're on your own.SCULLY

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