"When we use Thinking in an Introverted way, we get a mental image of the logical relationships in an entire system. For example, if we're crocheting an initial into a sweater, we're likely to draw a picture rather than work out the logical relationships analytically."
"Introverted Thinking is a right-brain form of judgement that makes us aware of a situation's many variables. When we use it, we recognize our power, as individuals, to exploit some variables at the expense of others."
"This kind of awareness is not only impersonal: it's graphic, immediate, and holistic. It prompts no predetermined categories of good and bad. Variables that have unusual or perverse potential are accorded the same consideration as variables that assure a socially appropriate outcome."
"As a right-brain function, Introverted Thinking is not conceptual and linear [contra Extraverted Thinking]. It's body-based and holistic. It operates by way of visual, tactile, or spatial cues, inclining us to reason experientially rather than analytically."
"The right brain, with its all-at-once approach to life, doesn't require exact predictability before it takes action. Its decisions are based on probabilities, and it leaves room for the random and the unexpected."
"These perceptions aren't peripheral. They're crucial to our intended effect. And they aren't reflexive. They're unspecified. As we're selecting and responding to them, we're not defining them and telling ourselves about them in a left-brain way."
As a Dominant Function:
"Introverted Thinkers understand reality only in terms of their ability to 'converse' with it, to take part in its 'becoming'."
As a Secondary Function:
"Unlike Extraverted Thinking, which is conceptual and generalized, Introverted Thinking motivates strategic action in a specific situation. When ENTPs use it, they don't start with abstract rules and apply them, step by step, to bring about a goal. They recognize themselves as part of an ongoing process, and they keep adjusting their behaviors in terms of the whole picture."
"When combined with Extraverted Intuition, Introverted Thinking can be highly cerebral, and it usually involves a complex imaginal pattern of relationships. For example, an ENTP might enjoy playing chess, because such types can usually anticipate the results of many potential combinations of moves. An ENTP salesperson might pull together a host of small details and recognize in one mental image how a customer is likely to respond to a product. An ENTP cultural historian might see how a seemingly insignificant detail in a popular movie actually defines the underlying ethos of a culture."
Proposed definition #1: Orientation to underlying cause
Introverted Thinking (Ti) is the attitude that beneath the complexity of what is manifest (apparent, observed, experienced) there is an underlying unity: a source or essence that emerges and takes form in different ways depending on circumstances. What is manifest is seen as a manifestation of something. From a Ti standpoint, the way to respond to things is in a way that is faithful to that underlying cause or source and helps it emerge fully and complete, without interference from any notion of self. The way to understand that underlying essence is to learn to simultaneously see many relationships within what is manifest, to see every element in relation to every other element, the relationships being the "signature" of the underlying unity. This can only be experienced directly, not second-hand.
Proposed definition #2: Orientation by "the groove"
Introverted thinking is a form of mental representation in which every input, every variable, every aspect of things is considered simultaneously and holistically to perceive causal, mathematical, and aesthetic order. What you know by Ti, you know with your hands, your eyes, your muscles, even a tingling sensation "downstairs" because you sense that everything fits. Every variable is fair game to vary, every combination of variables worthy of consideration; the only ultimate arbiter is how well the parts form a unified whole rather than a jumble.
Orienting by Ti, you track causal harmony: you are part of the system, you do your part to fit in with that overall way that things make sense and harmonize. You get into "the flow" or "the zone". You need a gestalt sense of order to know what to do--a sense that you feel in your body, in your mind, in everything at once. "I get it." Without that, you are lost.
For example: You hear a Brahms piece that you've never heard before, and you're sure it's Brahms. How can you tell? You can't name a criterion, like the pitch of the notes, the number of notes, or some simply measurable criterion like that (see extraverted thinking). You know "all at once" because of the way in which the notes all relate to each other. You sense the overall pattern as an indivisible gestalt way in which the music makes sense.
For example: You are composing a piece of music, and you sense that something "doesn't fit". A dominant seventh chord here just doesn't fit the style of the piece. You take it out and replace it with a peculiar series of ambiguous chords, bridging two sections of the piece in a way that leads to but doesn't give away what is to come. Ahh, now that's right. That's what the piece really wanted. It's not what "you" wanted, it's what the emerging causal harmony of the music wanted. "Your" only job is to create faithfully to that emerging harmony--to follow the groove.
What is that groove? What distinguishes the harmonious whole from the jumble, or the almost-whole? This cannot be said, it can only be pointed to. It cannot be defined in advance of knowing it. It cannot be defined separately from the physical material that it potentially exists within. You can "say" it only by directing someone's attention to the parts and how they fit together. You acquire terms of discourse--a vocabulary of things to say--only through "conversation" with the material itself: interacting with it, letting it take shape. Once you've found the groove, you can explore it endlessly--the infinity of ways in which the underlying Idea of the Whole necessitates the arrangement of the parts, the infinity of different ways that the same Idea can be realized in different parts and different situations, and what that Idea is.
In contrast to the "linear thinking" necessitated by extraverted thinking's representation in terms of verbally defined criteria, Ti takes in everything at once and converts it into a "way in which the whole fits together." You can't stop and explain each step as you go; there are no steps, only flow, only finding the groove and going with it.
In contrast to other attitudes, especially left-brain and Feeling attitudes, Ti does not lead you to experience a sense of self. There is no "you" who is separate from the process in which the material takes on the form that is natural to it. Whether people find the way the parts want to arrange themselves into a harmonious whole offensive, whether you find it pleasant or painful, whether you personally like it or not--you see these as distractions. Your job is to get yourself in harmony with it. The Idea of the whole must become real, and it must be necessitated by the nature of the parts. What "you" create must already be there, as form latent within the material, already yearning to exist. You bring no notion of self to your work except perhaps that of midwife to Nature.
Introverted Thinking leads you to relate whatever you are doing to some larger principles that you have identified. Hence, Ti is like having some kind of book in your head, which describes the inner workings of things. When interacting with reality, you are constantly writing and re-writing your book. To deal with anything, you have to be able to understand in terms of the observations in your book. Whenever you are dealing with any new system, you start writing a new chapter on it in order to attain complete understanding of it.
This approach may seem very cumbersome from an extraverted standpoint. You don't really need to understand how a bicycle works in order to ride one. You don't have to actually understand a subject in school if you simply cram and memorize. You don't have to understand computers to check your email. Yet Ti leads you to desire complete understanding of whatever you are doing, instead of looking up the correct procedure, or asking your friends for help, or kicking it when it's not working. With Ti, you don't simply try to understand a system well enough to manipulate it. You try to become such an expert on how it works that you could write a book about it if you had to, even if your expertise is unusable or useless to everybody (sometimes even to yourself).
Hence, Ti is a kind of high-bandwidth understanding, because it leads you to try to understand the entire causal, aesthetic, or logical mechanism of any system of interest. This kind of understanding takes much more time and effort to develop, but it is more flexible once attained, because it allows you to deal with aspects of reality that cannot be described through social norms or sets of discrete procedures.
True knowledge comes through the fingers
In a sense that everyone understands, true knowledge comes through the fingers, not through the ears or the eyes.
To illustrate what we mean by that, consider what happens when someone tells you how to do something moderately complicated with a certain computer program (say, MS-Word or Excel). They tell you how to work it, but that day you don't operate it yourself (maybe they were telling you over the phone when you weren't at a computer). When you finally try it yourself the next day, you can't get anything to work. All sorts of crucial details are missing from your memory. Or perhaps you remember everything perfectly, but they forgot to tell you something crucial. Now consider what happens when someone sits down in front of you and demonstrates how to operate the program. They run through the whole thing and explain as they go. The next day, you try it yourself for the first time. And barely anything works, again because crucial details are missing. And now consider what happens when they show you how to work the program by having you sit down at the computer. You type as they tell you what to do and point things out on the screen. Every time they forget a detail, you catch it immediately, and they supply the missing info. Every time you run into something you don't understand, you just ask them right away, or they tell you without your asking because it's obvious what you need to be shown. When you work the program again the next day, you're not a pro yet, but you can actually do stuff.
What's relevant here is not the sense of touch, but whether you are actively engaged with the tool. When you interact with the tool using your very own body, the reality of the tool becomes known to you in a different way than when someone tells you or shows you how to use the tool. You understand in a right-brain way rather than a left-brain way. The reality of the tool is guaranteed to have shown itself, because you had a concrete experience with the tool, not just a verbal or symbolic representation of it. The causal relationships of the tool get burned into your brain in a way that transcends words. You could try to translate your understanding into a linear stream of words, but you would indeed be translating: the actual knowledge that you have is not linear and not words. It's an "all at once" thing, and it seems that the knowledge resides in your hand.
Or in other words, you have come to understand the tool in the Ti way.
Another example: Let's say you want to make a tower out of random irregular objects. For example a book, an eraser, a pencil and a cup.
A Te approach would be to think of the tower as a list. And try to reduce variables to a minimun. For instance, you would only use the book closed to keep variables down. If you use every object in only one way you only have 24 combinations in total. That way you can be sure that you make the best choice. Then you can decide to put the book with the biggest base first. So you put the book first, then the cup, the eraser and the pencil. Done.
Ti, on the other hand, would encourage you to pick two objects and try to add more. Feel them, consider all the possibilities. Once you are very familiar with each object you can picture everything in your mind. You can see how they fit and how they interact with each other in time. But you don't longer think in 'objects', you think in gestals. You see everything as a fluid. For instance, you consider now the table and your breath as part of the system. You are familiar with the everything in a way that you can consider things like keeping the book open, or taking pages out of it and add them elsewhere to keep balance. After playing with everything a little you see how it would work best and you just do it.
Perhaps the notion of a goal explains why Lenore calls Ti Subjective:
p. 288: "We have to recognize, in the midst of action, which variables are best taken into account and which are irrelevant to our goal."
p. 290: "When we're Thinking in an Introverted way, we're coordinating our behaviors with the variables in a situation related to our intended effect. This is a matter of logic, limitation, and goal orientation--all the things we associate with a rational approach to life."
p. 287: "Subjective logic--a way to coordinate our behaviors logically with immediate sensory data: the position of the ball, the skill of the batter coming up, the distance we can probably slide, the actions of the other players."
p. 287: "When we use (Introverted Thinking), we're not structuring experience before it actually exists. We're engaged by conditions here and now, and we're adjusting to them in light of their impact on our goal."
Perhaps in these passages Lenore is describing Ti as something other than a Dominant Function. My own experience is not one of seeking goals. Seeking a goal usually seems to me unpleasant, going against the grain of things. My own experience, and I think what most ITPs report, is more an attempt to coax something out, to give form to some idea that I won't fully understand until it's been given form. A goal known in advance of this process would interfere with the process; it would corrupt the idea so that what emerges wouldn't be pure.
EXTPs do not seek goals either, not in the TJ sense. I recognise opportunities. My goal then is to exploit them, but I often meander because of what I discover along the way (or because of sheer laziness). I have an idea of what I want, but that idea is very flexible, and I go where emerging discoveries and circumstances take me.
I'd correct the p. 287 quote to say that by adjusting ourselves to the conditions in the here and now, we also adjust our goals.
Semiotically Disoriented in dominant-Ti style
p. 293: "Unless the man had direct involvement in the unfolding process and could exert some effect on its logical outcome, he didn't know how to relate to it."
As a Language of Ego Orientation
As a Dominant Function, Ti leads ITPs to follow a quest of figuring out the workings of the world firsthand. ITPs want the world to make sense. If they lack the power to command nature to follow its own harmony and rules, at least they can make sure that their actions make sense (at least to themselves). Whether their actions please anyone else, or follow social custom is simply irrelevant. Social rules usually appear arbitrary and meaningless to ITPs, because the goal of those rules is to meet human needs, not to follow the principles of how the ITP thinks the world should work. For ITPs, the world is a set of systems that are governed by certain underlying rules and principles (physics is an example of such a system). ITPs seek to grasp an inductive understanding of the system as a whole though firsthand observation. For an ITP, humans (even oneself) are simply represented as another set of variables in the system.
As a Secondary Function, Ti helps ETPs find some order and continuity in their quests for sensory or mental stimulus. Ti also helps them figure out how to get whatever Se or Ne impels them to want. need more...
As a Tertiary Function, Ti leads IFJs to.... ?
...."advise others on the wisdom of their choices"(edited from Lenorep.231 on INFJs.) vis a vis Ti as a primary attribute. Also, tertiary Ti leads to an important emphasis on personal experience. Yet unlike dominant and secondary Ti, tertiary Ti can often lead sweeping generalizations induced from sparse evidence. Tertiary Ti leads can lead to a narcissistic focus on your own experience, or the experience of people who stand with you. If someone disagrees with you, then they must be naive. This kind of narrow view is often used defensively. Especially when combined with dominant Ni, tertiary Ti can be used to defend bizarre theories that are completely unfalsifiable.
As an Inferior Function, Ti typically causes EFJs to aspire to behavioural standards that aren't defined by typical social norms. EFJs with low confidence may reject or even demonize Ti, preferring to instead go along with the observable expectations that others place on them. Because it is so adverse to the standpoint of Extraverted Feeling, Ti may sometimes seem too cold or emotionally detached, and thus EFJs might avoid it out of fear of losing their sense of self in the community. EFJs who can accept an introverted stance will realize that things don't have to be determined by what can be observed, and that they don't always have to agree with others just to get along; they can introduce their own ideas, think with their own minds, and determine how the world works through their own subjective perceptions. -- VagrantFarce
As an Ethical Perspective
As an ethical perspective, Ti leads you to do the best for the system regardless of your relationship to it.
Take, for example, this anecdote from an interview with Vince Vaughan, who played "Trent" in the movie Swingers.
Vaughn: The teachers thought I was crazy. I was sort of a wild kid. But I always felt like, if a kid is getting up to give a speech and he's starting to cry, he's gotta go to school with us for the rest of the year, and your f***in' with him, making him stand up there. I'd tell the kid to sit down. And they'd say, "You can't tell him that, it's my class." And I'd say, “Give him a break on the speech, he just f***in’ cried in front of you." What do you want? He's gotta go and hang out, he's gotta go to school for the rest of the day. You want him to sit up there the whole period and cry? And then when high school comes around he's the guy who cried forever? So I would get in a lot of trouble for that kind of stuff. I was always confident enough to say, "This is f***in' crazy."
Vaughan is probably motivated by introverted feeling also, but his justification of his actions clearly demonstrates introverted thinking. It makes no sense that someone should have to give a speech when they are crying. Vaughan doesn't only employ pathos, but he appeals to the long-term consequences that the teacher's arbitrary use of power would cause on the kid, such being made fun of. In doing so, he violates the rules of extraverted judgement that students should not question teachers. From his standpoint, there is nothing wrong with doing so, because he is appealing to principles that are much larger than arbitrary classroom rules and transcend the social roles of "student" and "teacher."
...but doesn't 'transcend' the roles of student and other students, since his reasoning is that he thinks people will make fun of the kid? Is it innately good or bad to cry while giving a speech? Does the kid want to give said speech or not? Vaughn doesn't seem to care.
On another note, another great example of dominant Ti would be the character (an ISTP) Dustin Hoffman plays in "Tootsie" in fact that whole film is a Ti-Fe theme movie basically. And the clearest dominant Ti moment was probably the first arguement that Dustin Hoffman's character has with his (extraverted thinking?) agent.
A similar simple example of the Ti approach to ethics would be a student correcting a teacher when they get something wrong. Of course, from the standpoint of Je, correcting a teacher is not acceptable because it subverts the authority of the teacher. Yet from the standpoint of Ti, the teacher only holds authority to the extent that they are true to the material. Hence, by correcting a teacher, you aren't subverting their authority, but rather showing that their authority is an illusion in the first place. Your loyalty is to the material being taught, not to the teacher.
Another example: Suppose a new theory in biology says that rape behavior in humans is an evolutionary product which ensured that the losing males can pass on their genes. If you're not oriented to Ti and you have feminist leanings, you would probably object angrily to this theory because it views rape as natural. If you're oriented to Ti, you would judge this theory only according to the objective evidence. Whether the theory attacks your position is irrelevant; if the evidence is good then you have to accept it.