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[Jungian Cognitive Functions] Psychological Types

How do you rate this book?


  • Total voters
    14

highlander

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Psychological Types is the original book from the inventor of the system upon which all the other stuff is based. I read this on a balcony in Cancun, overlooking a rather large pool and the Atlantic Ocean, which was what I enjoyed most about the experience. Jung provides some historical perspectives on type, explaining different systems that have been used in the past or at least perspectives from various leading theorists. The core material is in chapter 10 (Roman Numeral X) which is a general description of the types. With chapters like "The Type Problem in Poetry", "The Type Problem In Modern Philosophy" and "The Type Problem In Biography", I found this book to be quite tedious to get through. It's highly theoretical nature and Jung's preponderous and meandering writing style were painful for me to tolerate. I forced myself to read it all because people speak so highly about the book. Yeah I know it's a classic and a lot of people revere the guy but I really didn't enjoy reading this.

I give it two stars.
 

INTP

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Best book on typology that everyone should attempt to read(and understand, that means reading it many times over the years), but its quite a heavy read and most people will never understand what Jung means with many of the stuff in it, no matter how many times they read it. I think S and Te types will most likely have the most problems reading the book, since its full of TiNe with some(pretty poor :D ) attempts of making it somewhat believable for Te folks/academia.

10/10 for me, but for someone who doesent tolerate theory, is a bit soft in the head, havent studied psychology, doesent want to process the information that they read or doesent want to connect over 9000 dots to get the big picture, i cant recommend the book for. The book is not made for a layman or for the regular internet age typology hobbyist, so it shouldnt be rated based on whether some people with no background on analytical psychology can understand it or not. The deal is that the subject that the book covers(typology) is so complex that writing about it(in some other way than using some stereotypes) requires complex ideas to be explained, and trying to simplify it too much will just result in poor understanding of the subject for the reader.
 
G

Ginkgo

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I read this after I found that so many online type theorists differ in how they define functions and type. I wanted to get to the root of the matter, both historically and etymologically. That said, it was painful to read, but not the most grueling of his works IMO. While most of his books exemplify the mindset of a pedantic, prejudiced old codger, they also reveal a level of general gloom about human nature not so easily stomached. For some this would be poison, for others an antidote. I'll admit that it brought me closer where other sources repeatedly failed me, but not necessarily because I agreed with Jung's perspectives.

The authority Jung exercises while attempting to type historical figures and the reasoning he uses left me contemplating about various typings I previously took for granted. A reminder of how feeble and inconsistent the typing process can be, even if you're Jung himself.

It's a good time if your curiosity proceeds you, or if you're doing enough recreational drugs. :shrug:
 
0

011235813

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This book was a fucking snoozefest. No, seriously, each time I tried to read it I literally fell asleep.
 

Forever_Jung

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I think that's why a lot of people think Jung was a 9, because his books amble along, like an old man on an afternoon stroll. If only Freud could have written Jung's ideas for him. I know they were estranged by that point, I'm just playing the TypoC equivalent to that game that tweenaged girls like to play: Imagine X's face on that Y's body.

Imagine Jung's ideas, expressed through Freud's more economical writing style. Aw baby...I'm getting all hot and bothered just thinking about it.
 

Verona

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A bit of a tedious read and some of it I disagree with like where he says extraverted feeling is found exclusively in women. If you can get through it I think it is a good foundation to have but if you can't there are other books where the functions are explained in a more understandable manner.
 
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I skipped the earlier chapters to go directly to read chapter 10: General Description of the Types. Although I found the book hard to read, i recommend reading it for a serious student of typology, For someone who wants to understand 8 basic psychological function. Some says the book is suitable only for specialist in psychology/psychiatry. However, I would rather read math book than this book.
 

lunalum

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I'll get around to this eventually. So far I've just some of the sections describing each type. Well, read the sections multiple times. I'm a big fan of some of the ways the types were originally defined.... but no kidding even just those parts were a challenge to make sense of.
 

Pionart

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I'll get around to this eventually. So far I've just some of the sections describing each type. Well, read the sections multiple times. I'm a big fan of some of the ways the types were originally defined.... but no kidding even just those parts were a challenge to make sense of.

Yeah his wording is quite obscure.

That's one reason why I get annoyed when people go on about how "we have to stick to Jung's original definitions!". I mean, what even were his definitions? I know he does have a section in the book giving just brief definitions, but the elaborations, while probably rather insightful, are just hard to tie in with concrete experience.

Nowadays we have definitions and explanations that are anchorable in every day thought and experience, so it would seem foolish to stick only to Jung and ignore everything that came afterwards, even if a lot of the further developments were wrong or shaky. Jung pioneered it, but we've come a long way since then.
 

Kephalos

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It has a strange structure.

It's like two books, the first book doesn't quite develop the theory explicitly but inside interpretations of religious, literary, philosophical and historical texts, and presents the theory as he probably developed it and his sources, and the second book develops the theory without any references, more like an outline.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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Where is [MENTION=3325]Mole[/MENTION] and his four star rating?
 

Vendrah

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I voted but I forgot which option I vote.

I had finished reading almost totally a few weeks ago. I skipped some boring paragraphs analyzing myths and all that stuff... And I had read chapter X like 3 times.

I didn't vote 5 stars as I remember. I like Jung theory, but I don't like how he writes. I am with those who thinks he is a Ni-dom, because in several parts of the book it is as if he is speaking an ancient language. I am a 100% sure that text would look obscure even on my own native language. But after I had cracked it, things went way more clear. A lot of things that look subjective and "prior to interpretation" are not that subjective, but the writing is really hard to understand and figure. Jung looks quite vague at the beginning, while he is actually making an effort to NOT be vague, while some people after him are vague on purpose... I also don't like the order of the chapters. For anyone starting the reading, I would recommend chapter XI of definitions first, chapter X and than the other chapters. Start reading it from the beginning just makes it more confusing since he starts to talk about stuff before giving clear definitions, to only proper define the types in the end of the book: I think he should introduce the definitions first (chapter XI), the types after that (chapter X) and only then the other parts (liking or not they are bonus, even though it is on these parts where E/I gets deep; Jung E/I is quite deep). Also, some versions have extra additions of articles at the end, and, actually, the articles are worth reading first because some of them works as a good general introduction, that is more straight to the point and more clear.

The obscurity of Jung's writing is partially the reason why people carry many different post-Jung interactions and definitions that starts not to evolve, but to derail it, specially when people ignore any data or evidence so whatever they say will be a truth. A lot of post-Jung stuff went against Jung partially because of a lack of understanding.
 

Indigo Rodent

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A bit of a tedious read and some of it I disagree with like where he says extraverted feeling is found exclusively in women. If you can get through it I think it is a good foundation to have but if you can't there are other books where the functions are explained in a more understandable manner.
It's basically tainted by his sexist ideology and also shows that he couldn't type people.
 

Tennessee Jed

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For years I've been meaning to post an opinion on "Psychological Types" in this thread. But I needed to put together an essay to explain my opinion, and I never found time for that. However, this morning I poked through the abstract that @Kephalos linked above, it reminded me of the book in detail, and finally I took a few minutes and put together some thoughts on the book:

Anyway, there is a lot of historical background to "Psychological Types" that Jung didn't really provide. So readers often have a difficult time even figuring out what the book is about. But in many ways the book encapsulates why Freud and Jung split up, and it's Jung's way of proclaiming his independence from Freud.

Here's some of the background:

Jung & Freud collaborated during 1907-1913, that is, for six years. They had very different training and background, and there were frictions between them right from the start. But Freud was the big guru, and Jung swallowed his pride for some time.

One area of contention: Freud was an extravert, and Freud was of the opinion that extraversion was healthy whereas introversion was unhealthy or pathological. Jung went along with this theory for a while (even though he himself was an introvert). In 1912 Jung himself described introversion as "an archaic and regressive phenomenon, i.e., as a relapse into a primitive mode of functioning."

Meanwhile a psychologist named Alfred Adler had split from Freud's circle in 1911 and was proposing competing psychological theories that seemed to suggest that introversion could be healthy. (Adler himself was apparently an introvert.)

By 1913 Jung and Freud were drifting apart. Also, Jung was increasingly of the opinion that introversion and extraversion were both equally healthy. In a 1913 lecture, Jung gave an early presentation on "Psychological Types" (provided in the book as an Appendix at the end under the name "A Contribution to the Study of Psychological Types"). Jung said at the end of the presentation that Freudian psychology is extraverted and emotional while Adlerian psychology is introverted and thinking. A footnote states that this presentation was the last time Freud and Jung ever met. (p. 499)

From 1913 to 1921 Jung went through what he called a "fallow period," but he was clearly working on "Psychological Types." In a 1917 essay "On the Psychology of the Unconscious," he talks at length about the Freud-vs-Adler dichotomy. For example:

"We are certainly not entitled to discard one in favour of the other, however convenient this expedient might be. For, if we examine the two theories without prejudice, we cannot deny that both contain significant truths, and, contradictory as these are, they should not be regarded as mutually exclusive. The Freudian theory is attractively simple, so much so that it almost pains one if anybody drives in the wedge of a contrary assertion. But the same is true of Adler's theory. It too is of illuminating simplicity and explains just as much as the Freudian theory. No wonder, then, that the adherents of both schools obstinately cling to their one-sided truths. For humanly understandable reasons they are unwilling to give up a beautiful, rounded theory in exchange for a paradox, or, worse still, lose themselves in the confusion of contradictory points of view.

"Now, since both theories are in a large measure correct - that is to say, since they both appear to explain their material - it follows that a neurosis must have two opposite aspects, one of which is grasped by the Freudian, the other by the Adlerian theory. But how comes it that each investigator sees only one side, and why does each maintain that he has the only valid view? It must come from the fact that, owing to his psychological peculiarity, each investigator most readily sees that factor in the neurosis which corresponds to his peculiarity. It cannot be assumed that the cases of neurosis seen by Adler are totally different from those seen by Freud. Both are obviously working with the same material; but because of personal peculiarities they each see things from a different angle, and thus they evolve fundamentally different views and theories."


And so on. In fact, Jung kind of made it his mission to reconcile the Freudian and Adlerian schools and explain how both could be right at the same time.

And that is basically the background for "Psychological Types," which was published four years later in 1921. "Psychological Types" is a grand survey of history showing how all the big academic disputes and debates throughout much of human history basically boiled down to an introverted point of view competing with an extraverted point of view. And both views captured a part of the truth but rarely all of the truth.

In "Psychological Types" itself, Jung didn't bother to go into a long explanation of the Freud-vs-Adler dichotomy and the background of the book. (Freud and Adler are only mentioned in passing around pages 60-62.) But the book wasn't written for laymen. The intended audience was professional psychologists, and they would have been well aware of the Freud-Adler split and would have recognized "Psychological Types" as Jung's attempt to explain that split. They already knew the background.

Also, "Psychological Types" was written for intellectuals with education in the classics. Readers of the book in 1921 would have understood the historical references like Tertullian and Origen, the Gnostics, the early Church fathers, Schiller, etc.

So it's perfectly understandable that modern readers in 2021 are going to have difficulty reading a technical psychological manual written for intellectuals in 1921. Especially when Jung didn't even bother to explain why he wrote the book in the first place (that is, he didn't explain the Freud-vs-Adler dichotomy as the starting point for the book).

But Jung is clear enough about the book's message in the Introduction (pages 3-7). He comes right out and says it: It's about Extraversion vs Introversion. And basically that's it: Just a survey of Extraversion vs Introversion throughout the ages. Meantime, the cognitive functions appear as kind of a footnote, to explain why introversion or extraversion in one person can appear very different from introversion or extraversion in another person: It's because there are four different types of introversion (Ni, Si, Ti, Fi) and also four different types of extraversion (Ne, Se, Te, and Fe). And furthermore, we all can switch from introverted to extraverted or vice versa by virtue of switching from our Dominant function to our Auxiliary function.

But that's basically the entire book: Extraversion vs Introversion. It's a very boring read for most laymen today. But it was important at the time. Just by virtue of the sheer scope of the book, it pretty much laid the issue of Extraversion vs Introversion to rest once and for all. And it also marked Jung's full independence from Freud and his emergence as an original thinker in his own right. Jung was trying to be respectful of both Freud and Adler and the work they had done, but Jung was kind of setting himself up as judge over the two of them and proclaiming that henceforth he would be calling his own shots and represent a third major voice in psychology.

If you want to read more on the Freud-vs-Adler conflict and Jung's role in resolving it, see the Wikipedia article on "Psychological Types," and go down to the section entitled "Historical Context." Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_Types#Historical_context

Anyway, I'm giving the book two stars. "Psychological Types" was an important book at the time it was published, but it's practically unreadable today. To anyone reading it today, I would say: Read the introduction (pages 3-7) and then chapters 6-9 (which are less historical and more about modern concepts of psychology). And then of course chapter 10, which goes into the cognitive functions. But unless you have a classical education, avoid chapters 1-5 like the plague: That will save you 270 pages of material about obscure, unfathomable historical academic debates.
 
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Vendrah

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@Tennessee Jed In some ways, maybe typology helps us to be aware of our own bias.

which goes into the cognitive functions
He never used the term "cognitive functions". Chapter X are already types. But yeah, most of the book is about extraversion or introversion anyway.
 

Lazinc

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For years I've been meaning to post an opinion on "Psychological Types" in this thread. But I needed to put together an essay to explain my opinion, and I never found time for that. However, this morning I poked through the abstract that @Kephalos linked above, it reminded me of the book in detail, and finally I took a few minutes and put together some thoughts on the book:

Anyway, there is a lot of historical background to "Psychological Types" that Jung didn't really provide. So readers often have a difficult time even figuring out what the book is about. But in many ways the book encapsulates why Freud and Jung split up, and it's Jung's way of proclaiming his independence from Freud.

Here's some of the background:

Jung & Freud collaborated during 1907-1913, that is, for six years. They had very different training and background, and there were frictions between them right from the start. But Freud was the big guru, and Jung swallowed his pride for some time.

One area of contention: Freud was an extravert, and Freud was of the opinion that extraversion was healthy whereas introversion was unhealthy or pathological. Jung went along with this theory for a while (even though he himself was an introvert). In 1912 Jung himself described introversion as "an archaic and regressive phenomenon, i.e., as a relapse into a primitive mode of functioning."

Meanwhile a psychologist named Alfred Adler had split from Freud's circle in 1911 and was proposing competing psychological theories that seemed to suggest that introversion could be healthy. (Adler himself was apparently an introvert.)

By 1913 Jung and Freud were drifting apart. Also, Jung was increasingly of the opinion that introversion and extraversion were both equally healthy. In a 1913 lecture, Jung gave an early presentation on "Psychological Types" (provided in the book as an Appendix at the end under the name "A Contribution to the Study of Psychological Types"). Jung said at the end of the presentation that Freudian psychology is extraverted and emotional while Adlerian psychology is introverted and thinking. A footnote states that this presentation was the last time Freud and Jung ever met. (p. 499)

From 1913 to 1921 Jung went through what he called a "fallow period," but he was clearly working on "Psychological Types." In a 1917 essay "On the Psychology of the Unconscious," he talks at length about the Freud-vs-Adler dichotomy. For example:

"We are certainly not entitled to discard one in favour of the other, however convenient this expedient might be. For, if we examine the two theories without prejudice, we cannot deny that both contain significant truths, and, contradictory as these are, they should not be regarded as mutually exclusive. The Freudian theory is attractively simple, so much so that it almost pains one if anybody drives in the wedge of a contrary assertion. But the same is true of Adler's theory. It too is of illuminating simplicity and explains just as much as the Freudian theory. No wonder, then, that the adherents of both schools obstinately cling to their one-sided truths. For humanly understandable reasons they are unwilling to give up a beautiful, rounded theory in exchange for a paradox, or, worse still, lose themselves in the confusion of contradictory points of view.

"Now, since both theories are in a large measure correct - that is to say, since they both appear to explain their material - it follows that a neurosis must have two opposite aspects, one of which is grasped by the Freudian, the other by the Adlerian theory. But how comes it that each investigator sees only one side, and why does each maintain that he has the only valid view? It must come from the fact that, owing to his psychological peculiarity, each investigator most readily sees that factor in the neurosis which corresponds to his peculiarity. It cannot be assumed that the cases of neurosis seen by Adler are totally different from those seen by Freud. Both are obviously working with the same material; but because of personal peculiarities they each see things from a different angle, and thus they evolve fundamentally different views and theories."


And so on. In fact, Jung kind of made it his mission to reconcile the Freudian and Adlerian schools and explain how both could be right at the same time.

And that is basically the background for "Psychological Types," which was published four years later in 1921. "Psychological Types" is a grand survey of history showing how all the big academic disputes and debates throughout much of human history basically boiled down to an introverted point of view competing with an extraverted point of view. And both views captured a part of the truth but rarely all of the truth.

In "Psychological Types" itself, Jung didn't bother to go into a long explanation of the Freud-vs-Adler dichotomy and the background of the book. (Freud and Adler are only mentioned in passing around pages 60-62.) But the book wasn't written for laymen. The intended audience was professional psychologists, and they would have been well aware of the Freud-Adler split and would have recognized "Psychological Types" as Jung's attempt to explain that split. They already knew the background.

Also, "Psychological Types" was written for intellectuals with education in the classics. Readers of the book in 1921 would have understood the historical references like Tertullian and Origen, the Gnostics, the early Church fathers, Schiller, etc.

So it's perfectly understandable that modern readers in 2021 are going to have difficulty reading a technical psychological manual written for intellectuals in 1921. Especially when Jung didn't even bother to explain why he wrote the book in the first place (that is, he didn't explain the Freud-vs-Adler dichotomy as the starting point for the book).

But Jung is clear enough about the book's message in the Introduction (pages 3-7). He comes right out and says it: It's about Extraversion vs Introversion. And basically that's it: Just a survey of Extraversion vs Introversion throughout the ages. Meantime, the cognitive functions appear as kind of a footnote, to explain why introversion or extraversion in one person can appear very different from introversion or extraversion in another person: It's because there are four different types of introversion (Ni, Si, Ti, Fi) and also four different types of extraversion (Ne, Se, Te, and Fe). And furthermore, we all can switch from introverted to extraverted or vice versa by virtue of switching from our Dominant function to our Auxiliary function.

But that's basically the entire book: Extraversion vs Introversion. It's a very boring read for most laymen today. But it was important at the time. Just by virtue of the sheer scope of the book, it pretty much laid the issue of Extraversion vs Introversion to rest once and for all. And it also marked Jung's full independence from Freud and his emergence as an original thinker in his own right. Jung was trying to be respectful of both Freud and Adler and the work they had done, but Jung was kind of setting himself up as judge over the two of them and proclaiming that henceforth he would be calling his own shots and represent a third major voice in psychology.

If you want to read more on the Freud-vs-Adler conflict and Jung's role in resolving it, see the Wikipedia article on "Psychological Types," and go down to the section entitled "Historical Context." Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_Types#Historical_context

Anyway, I'm giving the book two stars. "Psychological Types" was an important book at the time it was published, but it's practically unreadable today. To anyone reading it today, I would say: Read the introduction (pages 3-7) and then chapters 6-9 (which are less historical and more about modern concepts of psychology). And then of course chapter 10, which goes into the cognitive functions. But unless you have a classical education, avoid chapters 1-5 like the plague: That will save you 270 pages of material about obscure, unfathomable historical academic debates.
Jung did not say that Freud's person was extroverted, but his ideas. Years later he said that Freud was an introverted feeling type, Marie louise von franz also said so.
 
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