Jung identified Newton as an S type

In 1941, 20 years after the publication of Psychological Types, Robert H. Loeb wrote a personal letter to Jung, postulating that if one were to make an analogy between the field of Psychology and the field of Physics, Freud would be like Newton and Jung would be like Einstein. To this comparison, Jung had the following to say:

“…Your comparison of Freud and myself [is quite correct]. Freud is essentially concretistic, like Newton, and I’m chiefly impressed by the relativity of psychological phenomena.” (Jung: Letters, vol. 1, Princeton University Press 1973, p. 301 – boldface added.)

Jung then goes on to on to explain to Robert Loeb how he now thinks that Freud is essentially an INFP who puts on an EST face when he theorizes. (Rather than Freud simply being an EST type, as Jung had thought at the time that he wrote Psychological Types.)

But what interests us here is that Jung tells Robert Loeb that “Freud is essentially concretistic, like Newton.” What does “concretistic” mean in Jung’s parlance? Jung gives us a definition at the end of Psychological Types:

“CONCRETISM. By this I mean a peculiarity of thinking and feeling which is the antithesis of abstraction. … Concretistic thinking operates exclusively with concrete concepts and percepts, and is constandy related to sensation. … Similarly, concretistic feeling is never segregated from its sensuous context. … Both of them depend on sensation and are only slightly differentiated from it. … In civilized man, concretistic thinking consists in the inability to conceive of anything except immediately obvious facts transmitted by the senses. … Concretism represents a fusion of thinking and feeling with sensation, so that the object of one is at the same time the object of the other. … This fusion prevents any differentiation of thinking and feeling and keeps them both within the sphere of sensation; they remain its servants and can never be developed into pure functions. The result is a predominance of the sensation factor in psychological orientation.” (Jung: Psychological Types §696 – 698 – boldface added.)

So, basically, someone who is concretistic is a Sensation-dominant type.

If Freud and Newton are “concretistic,” then, and concretism means “a predominance of the sensation factor in psychological orientation,” then Jung identified Newton as an S dominant type (ISTJ, ISFJ, ESTP, or ESFP).

***

Update: (After the comment by the user ‘Jungster’): As with Jung’s typing of Socrates, Jung expressed himself in a cagey manner, leaving multiple “trap doors” open to escape his own definition. The definition of “concretistic” that we cite is featured in a section of Psychological Types (§696 – 698) that is called “DEFINITIONS,” and as such, we defer to the “letter of the law” when we cite §696 – 698. Even more so, Jung himself felt that psychologists should use their terms with “fixity and precision,” (Psychological Types §674) so he would hardly be able to object to our reading.

But as ‘Jungster’ points out: By following the letter of the law, we may be doing justice to Jung’s formal definition, while failing to do justice to Jung’s meaning. This is probably the case with Jung’s typing of Socrates, where we follow a “letter of the law” reading, but where ‘Jungster’ is probably right that Jung was simply being promiscuous with his own terminology.

So are we betraying Jung’s meaning when we use his formal definition to say that he identified Newton as an S type? Is Jungster correct when he allows Jung a “longer leash” with regards to his own formal definitions? Quite possibly, he is. So scroll down and read the comment by ‘Jungster.’ :-)

45 Comments

  1. There is something very inconsistent about Jung. Newton was anything but concrete. Had it not been for Jung’s explanation, concretism would make the impression of being extroverted judging.

    Concerning Freud, is it possible he may have been something else than an ISTJ? His work could hardly be said to be concrete. Surely he used concrete evidence – evidence to him, at least – but one can’t make any conclusion based on that. Freud’s forté, namely interpretation, is generally regarded as an intuitive attribute, and especially as an attribute of introverted intuition, is it not?

  2. It’s certainly possible that Freud could have been something else, he was the hardest person on the entire site to type.

    What we’re certain of is that he has a Fi/Te axis. His lifestyle and writing style also indicate genuine introversion. So, according to our research, the only four possible types Freud could be are INTJ, ISTJ, INFP, or ISFP. We don’t, at present, see the case for INTJ. Viewed at a distance, Freud’s ideas can seem very NTJ-ish. He certainly had a power drive. But his methodology and manner of approaching his insights are extremely careful, even timid and modest in tone. And though he admits in a personal letter that the voluminous amounts of research that he did was not a source of joy to him, he never the less subjected himself to the tenets of other people’s research and used that – consciously – as a basis for his own research. INTJs tend to be more intuitive in this regard; in INTJs the use of predecessors tends to be unconscious and they tend to radically rework the findings of those predecessors that they use (whereas Freud was more faithful to his inspirations).

    In other words, Freud’s style and method is much more careful than the intellectual style of your typical INTJ. That does not make it impossible that he was INTJ, but unlikely.

  3. Jung used concretistic in a couple different ways in Psychological Types. He viewed the thinking of any non-T-dom as potentially “concretistic” to the extent that it was unconscious and therefore, to some degree, fused with sensation in the unconscious.

    But Jung most often described “concretistic” thinking and feeling as the type extraverts were prone to, because their extraverted focus on the physical world caused their thinking (and/or feeling) to be, to a significant degree, overly “embedded in the material transmitted by sense-perception” and therefore less capable of attaining the higher levels of abstraction that came naturally to introverts.

    The quintessential “concretistic thinkers,” to Jung, were Te-doms, and I’d be inclined to think it’s more likely Jung viewed Newton as a Te-dom than an S-dom.

  4. Hi, I was wondering if you could type George R.R. Martin. I admire his books a lot, and the complexity of his characters is well known for both fans and critics.
    Greetings from Peru.

  5. As far as I know, Freud’s theories usually started out as hunches which he drew from within. He then gathered data through other humans. Hunches and insights are part of the Ni definition. Also, his process of going from idea (from within) to observation sounds Ni-Te.

    While there of course are traits that correlate with type and functions, that Freud was meticulous implies little other than that he was meticulous. Any type can be meticulous, especially if their work requires them to.

    Freud at his time drew a lot of criticism (and still does) because of his controversial ideas. Furthermore, he has been criticised for his hunch derived theories. Doesn’t sound careful.

    He also was a tyrant of ideas; disagree with his ideas and be dismissed from his circle. Jung’s dissent from Freud’s autocracy was the end of their relationship. Exactly this sort of behaviour has been used as an argument pro INTJ on this site quite often.

    Two traits that relate to Ni and which are defining with Freud is interpretation and a sort of Machiavellian character. Ni sees things for what they “really” are. Ni interprets things beyond the superficial. It goes to the core, the essence. Which is essentially Freud. His many personalities and faces must of course have been a means for him to attain what he wanted, and a desire to never reveal his self to others.

    I thought of that too, Jungster. Concretistic sounds more like objective judging, i.e., extraverted judging. Newton clearly used Te. Freud, like Newton, used concretistic thinking to support his ideas.

    On a side note, is it possible to suggest individuals to type? I hope this is not a bother, but Chris Langan would be quite interesting. INTJ?

  6. Well as we said, it is a tricky matter.

    It is indeed true that “having hunches” is a widespread definition of Ni. Yet as you can see from our post “How to tell if you are INTJ or ISTJ,” this definition had misled many ISTJs to identify as INTJs. ISTJs have hunches too.

    A better definition would be to say that in INTJs, unconscious material suddenly wells up, while in ISTJs, consciousness itself adapts over time. So that is why it often makes more sense to say that ISTJs are more meticulous and careful than INTJs. (All other things being equal. – Intuition is, after all, a messy function.)

    Freud had a power drive, but so did Jung. In our estimation this has more to do with their narcissism than with their types (although INTJs are probably the most prone to be narcissists overall).

    When you say that Freud’s _ideas_ aren’t careful, you are right. It is his method, his approach, his manner of presentation that is careful. (For comparison, with Jung, we get both messy ideas and messy presentation.)

    Jung was the same kind of autocrat within his movement that Freud was. In the early days, Adler was the exception with his aspirations towards intellectual freedom in the psychoanalytic movement.

  7. As it happens, we have just done a good bit more research on Freud and added much to the More on Freud page. There are no reports of explosive Intuitive messiness and volatility, but many of him being calm, patient, resolute, dutiful, etc.

  8. I am inclined to comment on this comment of yours, admins (in agreement+addition): ” ISTJs have hunches too.”

    I think what’s going on here is that all irrational functions proceed without so-called reflection, that is, conscious deliberation, and what’s more, it seems there’s a conceptual similarity between *instinct* and *intuition* despite the great differences. Instinct seems to be what the sensation-doms appeal to in the form of hunches – a gut feeling of sorts on how to react to the experience they are involved in. I’m inclined to see intuition as different in that it is tied less to involved experience and more to the background processes used to synthesize ideas (before they’re structurally implemented in any particular way). I agree with van-der-Hoop’s slant on Jung that he was too willing to associate unconsciously arrived at contents to intuition. I think for example, when ISTJs go with “past experience,” it appears as a kind of instinct on how to approach the situation, one that can conflict with the rationalists.

  9. Yes, as others have noted, Jung (in all of his theories and not just typology) was not able/willing to stick to one frame. As soon as he had indicated a regimen, he would charge off to apply another regimen or a qualifier that should not be possible in light of a previous regimen. As such, Jung allowed for a great many dynamisms or exceptions to the rules he himself helped set up, and for the same reason he always stood in need of his “hermenauts” (as they are rather pompously called): Von Franz, van der Hoop, etc.

  10. Have you guys ever considered if part of this could be attributed to Jung being more (in something more similar to your preferred model) INTJ than INFJ (Te over Ti preferring)? As you might know by now, I don’t strictly use that model but have studied it too in some capacity..

    In socionics’ slant (ignoring whether their speculations on the functions/information elements outside the ego are true), the NiTe type is more likely to prefer a fluid framework where he “tells facts” roughly as they appear to his mind, as Jung purported to do, rather than focusing more on structural coherency — he seemed quite averse to the idea of pinning things down too much in a framework. I know you guys don’t use socionics, but just thought I’d put that out there… it seems to me the reasoning might apply to some people’s views of the MBTI functions as well, whether or not to your site’s view.
    Might perhaps also relate to Beebe’s type choice for Jung. Jung’s reason for this seemed to be that he wanted to remain “empirical” in the sense of directly reporting facts, but it clearly doesn’t seem to have been sensation-oriented empiricism.

  11. Of course we have considered the possibility of Jung being INTJ :) We don’t use Socionics at all on this site and so whatever they postulate will have no bearing on the type assessments found here. However, I must confess that I’m somewhat at a loss after reading what you just wrote: First you write several comments on the importance of staying close to Jung. Then you throw this notion from Socionics out there, which I read as almost the complete inverse of Jung’s idea of the Te type who lives his life according to an overarching formula, in accordance with the schemata he has dictated for himself and his environment on the basis of a few cherished practical and objective ideas.

    How we understand Te with N in the tradition of Jung-von Franz-van der Hoop and Myers may be gleaned from this article: https://www.idrlabs.com/articles/2013/12/why-aristotle-is-entj/

    As for Jung’s dubious idea that he was an empiricist, we have written about that here:
    https://www.idrlabs.com/articles/2014/11/how-indian-philosophy-influenced-jung/ and here: https://www.idrlabs.com/articles/2014/04/5-basic-facts-about-jung-and-types/

    This wonderful book of Eysenck’s also provides a clear-cut template for what we would take to be the prototype of an intellectual Te type on this site: https://goo.gl/qpv7Ub

  12. Well, as you might know by now, I don’t believe your site’s notions of NiTe, socionics’ NiTe, and Jung’s extraverted thinking type are really getting at the same thing at least to the level of detail I prefer looking into, so I think it’s perfectly possible to argue different types in different frameworks — the definitions involve overlap but are far from identical.
    I certainly wasn’t arguing my own view there, I tried to make it clear this isn’t a model I subscribe to, and that I’m arguing an alternate version of things :-)
    It looks like the socionics view is far from yours though, based on your reaction.

    In Jung’s own system I’m pretty fixed, I think he’s introverted intuition + introverted thinking.

  13. However, you should keep in mind I was talking of NiTe (with a socionics slant), and not Te-doms. Ni types are irrationals, and that’s where the fluidity was coming from. I just find some overlap from socionics, and was wondering if it would ring any bells.

  14. But there is a direct scholastic transmission from Jung’s original description of the Te function and the Te type to what Myers, von Franz, van der Hoop, and we say. There is fiddling with the system, and fiddling with a few details, but at the end of the day it’s still the rule rational, practical, externally oriented formula that is extended to oneself and one’s environment. In an Ni type, you might see more haphazard contradiction, but the cognitive tendency towards reductionism and black/white truths are still there. This is evident in Nietzsche and Heraclitus, for example. It is not evident in Jung, who does not reduce, but rather inflates until he has said both A and B. This is not just our opinion, but also the opinion of Jung scholars like Frank McLynn who said that Jung muddles his own arguments so that it’s hard to find out what he is really proposing except for some vague overall patterns.

    If Jung is an Ni-Ti type, I wonder where that would place Nietzsche. If he is an Ni-Ti type too, one must wonder at their considerable cognitive differences.

    Also, I thought we just agreed that Jung had no “system”?

  15. “If Jung is an Ni-Ti type, I wonder where that would place Nietzsche. If he is an Ni-Ti type too, one must wonder at their considerable cognitive differences.”

    Well of course they have differences. I think most frameworks are too coarse to capture all the differences between important thinkers — at the end of the day you’re cutting a pie into 16 slices, and there’s considerably more variation than that.

    What’s going on is the differences Jung wanted to emphasize, he made definitions in order to delineate those, and others make different systems emphasizing other conceptual differences.

    “Also, I thought we just agreed that Jung had no “system”?”

    Well in a manner of speaking yes – he was not one to aim for great consistency as a value, but certainly there are some ideas that remained consistently what he thought as far as I can trace in any writing of his I’ve read. Within the way he thought of type is what I meant by “system” — not to suggest any kind of rigidity or remarkable consistency.

  16. I mean, for that matter Myers originally thought INTJs had NiTeFeSe, and towards end of life she seems to have jumped on board the NiTeFiSe bandwagon. Embracing the Harold Grant model more thoroughly.

  17. Basically I *do* think there are some signature views that distinguish one typologist’s thoughts from others, even if they held shifting views (some more unforgivably shifting than others). One of Myers’ signatures is obviously this whole thing about dom and aux in opposite attitudes.

    And as I’ve expressed elsewhere, I think Jung’s concern in his version of the 4 functions remains in multiple ways (even if not all) quite clearly the same through life, even if his typings of people shift quite radically as he finds out more/has other thoughts.
    That is, e.g., what he thought the thinking function is, as distinguished from Myers’ T seems to involve fundamental differences that remained pretty consistent through time. Or, what he thought introversion is, as distinguished from Myers, and as distinguished from the most empirical instruments like the Big 5.

  18. No one said that the framework would be able to smooth out all differences. The relevant question is rather this: Given the framework, such as it is, what application of it will achieve the greatest, most consistent explanatory power?

    If we agree that the theory is a theory of consciousness and cognitive processes, such as Jung himself said it was, it would be easy to distinguish at least two types of cognitive arrangements, giving rise to two different “kinds” of Introverted Intuitive philosophers. In Jung’s view, though, these must all be Ni-Ti philosophers because, ostensibly by definition, all philosophers have a lot of Ti in Jung’s view. He doesn’t really provide a lot of groundwork for this assumption, he just says it is so. And from other, more falsifiable, contexts, we know that when Jung thought something was true “by definition,” it was often just wrong.

    If he had been more thorough in his groundwork, he might have discovered that one kind of Ni philosopher seems to be less aware of a logical contradiction when in the midst of exploring what lies “beyond” than another. And that this same kind of philosopher’s biography often states that he was agreeable and concerned with people whereas the other kind of philosopher tended to be more disagreeable and less concerned with people. In the same way, the first kind of philosopher (Schopenhauer) tended to be expansive, while the second kind tended to be reductive (Nietzsche). Thus, from three different parameters at once we are led to suggest that there might just be such a thing as an Ni philosopher who supports his Ni by way of F. And what we have to go against that is seemingly little more than an assumption that this cannot be the case, “just because.”

    ***

    As for your second-to-last comment, you seem to be quoting my own article to me (https://www.idrlabs.com/articles/2015/06/function-models-for-skeptics-part-1/); at least I am not aware of any other article putting the matter and all of that information in quite the same way. Do link me to it if such a piece exists.

  19. “No one said that the framework would be able to smooth out all differences. The relevant question is rather this: Given the framework, such as it is, what application of it will achieve the greatest, most consistent, explanatory power?”

    And nobody said that someone said the framework would be able to smooth out all differences: what I said is that on the contrary, it depends what important conceptual differences you want to target, and one framework/set of definitions/ideas may achieve one such end better.

    As a simple example, it is not my perspective that we need to let Myers’ N and T compete with Jung’s intuition and thinking for “the better” typology, because plainly Jung seems to have had his mind wrapped up in a different set of phenomena. Specifically, nothing in the MBTI test anywhere near approaches the unconscious to the degree Jung did, and his intuition seems to have been defined after observing multiple pretty mysterious/mystical phenomena, to try to understand what is going on.
    Myers defined N/S more along the idea/fact dichotomy.

    Is one better? I would certainly say there are cases where you want to be critical and call one better and one worse, but this case isn’t one of them — I’d say the idea-fact dichotomy is much more relevant to Myers’ aim of bringing typology to the wider population, but it fails at picking up fine differences Jung would’ve been interested in.

    “As for your second-to-last comment, you seem to be quoting my own article to me”

    You can find this in the Australian Peter Geyer’s writings, I think.

  20. ” because, ostensibly by definition, all philosophers have a lot of Ti in Jung’s view.”

    Well there’s a whole section describing how extraverted thinking type philosophers might be harder to recognize as extraverted thinking types, rather than introverted ones.

    From Jung:

    ” But in the case of a philosopher it is open to doubt, whenever the course of his thinking is directed towards ideas. In such a case, before deciding, we must further enquire whether these ideas are mere abstractions from objective experience, in which case they would merely represent higher collective concepts, comprising a sum of objective facts ; or whether (if they are clearly not abstractions from immediate experience) they may not be derived from tradition or borrowed from the intellectual atmosphere of the time. In the latter event, such ideas must also belong to the category of objective data, in which case this thinking should also be called extraverted.”

    I think what he thinks is philosophical reasoning is a property of the thinking function as he defined it, which I think is true by his own definitions where intuition isn’t related to intellectual phenomena and thinking/intellect is (really the same way Einstein used the terms – it’s just terminology). Of course there is the complication of whether the thinking is superior or inferior. As we know, Jung thought Freud used thinking in his scientific experiments, but was of the view that it was a forced type rather than the natural one for him.

  21. Regarding two “types” of Ni-oriented philosophers, I certainly agree with you that your site discusses meaningful and relevant differences that Jung’s typology did not pick up.
    But my approach has come to be to stop getting tied up in the fact that two theories use N, T, F, and S and thus must be on about the exact same things — they’re certainly intuitively similar, getting at related things.

    For example, I have read on your site some article saying “so much” for Keirsey’s view of INTJs as the rational masterminds, where you emphasize that INTJs are in fact intuitive introverts… these kinds of remarks baffle me, because they seem like blatantly not acknowledging that Keirsey didn’t even define his INTJ as an intuitive dom, and in fact was clear all NTs repress intuition in his Please Understand Me theory… in fact, that’s one reason he didn’t type Jung an NT, and instead as a NF.

    Certainly you can appreciate that there can be idea-oriented, abstract individuals who fit the INTJ mold using the MBTI instrument and Keirsey’s theory, but who don’t seem to be Jungian intuitive doms??

  22. Yes, we have written an article on the basis of that paragraph by Jung ourselves. The greater picture that emerges from P.T., however, and which is more indicative of Jung’s own mindset since chapter X was written by committee, is that almost anyone whom we would today call a philosopher is characterized as a Ti (subsequently Ni) type but Jung.

    Your observation on how Jung perceived Thinking is the same as I just said: He was basically just operating off a definition and ignoring observations that seemed to go against the definition. As a result, his theory comes closer in this place to being a behaviorist theory than a theory of psychic processes. Finally, it seems to me that if this was the correct way to go about measuring Thinking and Feeling (as opposed to the way we advocate on the site), then Jungian typology should have much more predictive power and/or empirical validity than is actually the case.

  23. It may be of historical interest to retain the Jungian framework and not allow any corrections or modifications to come in. But apart from that I don’t really agree that one couldn’t or shouldn’t attempt to compare arguments voiced within the same compatible scholarly traditions and ostensibly describing the same thing on account of them targeting different facets. Of course, one might pinpoint the differences as an important prelude to the actual comparison. But to take the differences themselves as the end point of one’s analysis, even though a comparison is possible, is the kind of operation that reeks of solipsism and special pleading. If one isn’t willing to engage with comparisons where applicable, and to let the better argument win, then there’s no need to partake in exchanges anyway.

    So can Myers be squared with Jung? This seems to be our point of disagreement. (1) Myers provides her definitions of the functions as she understands them and they’re practically all lifted from Jung. (2) Myers says that the auxiliary must be opposite of the dominant and cites Jung twice. Other Jung scholars (though not all) have reached the same conclusion as Myers. (3) Myers doesn’t talk a whole lot about the unconscious, that’s true. But she’s clear about the inferior function being a source of trouble and contaminating the conscious life of the type. So while she doesn’t say much about the psychodynamic conscious/unconscious framework, nor does she say much (or even anything) to contradict it. Hence her silence on the unconscious is not among the chief impediments that stand in the way of an attempted comparison.

    Against your own preference for keeping the typologies separate, Jung didn’t come up with *or define* Intuition, and at first, he seemed to think the idea of an N function was a bad idea. Nor was Jung ostensibly the one to figure out how Intuition should fit together with T/F. But in the end, he ended up fusing his own ideas with those other ideas that he had first rejected because he recognized that they were describing elements of the same things that he was trying to describe. The difference between Jung’s original ideas of typology and his “final” typology of 1921 are no greater than the differences between Jung and Myers, I’d say. Had he not allowed for these revisions — because all parties were trying to describe the same thing but from different angles — he wouldn’t have arrived at his own typology to begin with.

    I suspect we have a difference of temperament and intellectual style that is not going to be resolved however much we may try. Now I will stress that _I do not know whether the following applies to you_ but as a future article of ours will discuss there exists a particular segment of typologists who are very fond of Jung for whom the idea that Jung could be an F is for some reason quite odious. For this reason, they tend to engage in all kinds of creative intellectual gymnastics to avoid the conclusion that seems justified to almost everyone else. Now for their part, of course, these people may just as well claim that it is really the rest of us who don’t understand the true meaning of Jung’s typology, but if so that means that we will have to either (1) accept comparisons and corrections to Jung of other theorists working in the same tradition or (2) accept the impasse.

  24. What do you mean by observations going against a definition? I guess from my point of view, a definition is just a logical construct, and observations either fit inside it or not. E.g. you can define a triangle and then ask if a certain drawing fits that or not.

    I think observations can go against claims about a definition’s application to some empirical situation, and I can certainly appreciate there are valid criticisms of Jungian typology in that way.
    That doesn’t mean to me that you should change the definition so much as change what you claim empirically valid/true about a given application of it.

  25. “For example, I have read on your site some article saying “so much” for Keirsey’s view of INTJs as the rational masterminds, where you emphasize that INTJs are in fact intuitive introverts… these kinds of remarks baffle me, because they seem like blatantly not acknowledging that Keirsey didn’t even define his INTJ as an intuitive dom…”

    That article aims at correcting popular misunderstandings found on the internet and voiced by people with almost no understanding of typology. I can’t really see how you could fail to grasp that from the article since the title and everything else about it makes that very clear. Furthermore, the site also says in several places that Keirsey didn’t use the functions, e.g.: /infographic/different-approaches-to-type.php

    in fact was clear all NTs repress intuition in his Please Understand Me theory… in fact, that’s one reason he didn’t type Jung an NT, and instead as a NF.

    What does he say exactly? Are you sure he is talking about Intuition as it pertains to this system and not just its colloquial meaning? Furthermore, where does he lay out his reasoning concerning Jung as NF?

    Certainly you can appreciate that there can be idea-oriented, abstract individuals who fit the INTJ mold using the MBTI instrument and Keirsey’s theory, but who don’t seem to be Jungian intuitive doms??

    As we write on the site, even the MBTI’s proprietors say that the MBTI is an indicator, aimed at pinpointing the functions. So I don’t think this question is meaningful, since with the MBTI they’re talking about an Ni-Te-F-Se individual whereas Keirsey’s “INTJ” is basically a static portrait.

  26. Well, to use your own example, scholars and scientists often start off using clear-cut definitions and then tweaking their concepts away from that as more empirical data flows in. For example, someone might start out expecting to find perfect circles or triangles in nature. After some years of study, he then tweaks his concept away from the original definition to be in greater compliance with what he has observed. In this example: “Thinkers think and only Thinkers are philosophers” is the kind of claim that corresponds to a perfect triangle but the empirical observation of actual people seems to indicate otherwise.

  27. “So can Myers be squared with Jung? This seems to be our point of disagreement. (1) Myers provides her definitions of the functions as she understands them and they’re practically all lifted from Jung.”

    Myers’ dichotomies are definitely different from Jung’s functions in content, regardless of whether her functions are similar to Jung’s.

    “I don’t really agree that one couldn’t or shouldn’t attempt to compare arguments voiced within the same compatible scholarly traditions and ostensibly describing the same thing on account of them targeting different facets. ”

    I agree you should compare and contrast scholarly traditions, and I do so as much, but when you find different ideas that are intuitively similar in two traditions you need to create a theory with *both* those traditions’ ideas explained coherently if you want the most coherent explanation.

    Pretending Myersian-N and Jungian intuition are the same isn’t going to help that.
    You don’t end up with 16 neat types in the end of the day with my view of things, but you do explain where N and intuition and all these ideas fit in with each other.

  28. The point is you’re going the extreme I’m not willing to go — you’re attempting to portray my argument as if I’m imagining Myers and Jung on 100% different planets that are incomparable (solipsism??? really?). What I’m saying is much more balanced — it’s that there are points where Myers did something right that Jung did wrong, and points where Jung did something right that Myers did wrong, and points both missed, and also points where they are simply interested in describing different specific phenomena.

    The Myersian N dimension is a result of statistical clustering in respondents’ selections to the idea-fact and related items, and realistically that is not the same as the phenomenon of intuition Jung described when he described intuitive introverts and intuitive extraverts.

  29. It involves overlap though, and where the phenomena being described do overlap, you can compare the two theories, and I do find Myers’ theory accounts for some things better than Jung’s does. But you also have to acknowledge that there is far from 100% overlap between Myers’ *dichotomies* (NOT what she thought the functions were) and Jung’s functions.

  30. I lost the reply I had typed up for you. But anyway, the site already says that there is not a 100% overlap between Jung and Myers.

  31. “As we write on the site, even the MBTI’s proprietors say that the MBTI is an indicator, aimed at pinpointing the functions. So I don’t think this question is meaningful, since with the MBTI they’re talking about an Ni-Te-F-Se individual whereas Keirsey’s “INTJ” is basically a static portrait.”

    Yeah but the MBTI’s statistical dimensions do NOT predict Jung’s function-types. You seem to be disinterested in my point of view here just because it doesn’t adhere to what Myers’ original intent was.

    When Myers described her dichotomies, she was describing her findings. Sure, she pasted things like notes from Briggs on Jungian functions in Gifts Differing, but that doesn’t mean her indicator isn’t full of ideas of its own.

    “What does he say exactly? Are you sure he is talking about Intuition as it pertains to this system and not just its colloquial meaning? ”

    I should slightly amend that I don’t know of Keirsey’s discussions on Jung’s type, I just strongly suspect based on my reading of the PUM series, that his ideas on intuition overlap significantly with things Jung would view true about himself.

    I wouldn’t say it is precisely Jung’s view of intuition, but I would say it involves significant overlap.

    I’m not sure what you mean by colloquial, but my reading is it’s the same thing Einstein meant when he said the intuitive mind is the real gift, the rational intellect is the faithful servant. I’m reasonably sure Keirsey’s view of the NTs as the rationals parallels this idea of rational intellect, which I think is more or less Jung’s thinking types.

    Keirsey portrays the NFs as idealists, prizing intuition in the sense of pure ideational inspiration, that isn’t necessarily deduced through rational investigation. I think he gives perhaps Plato as an example. I’d think this is getting at the same thing your site is getting at in typing Plato as a Ni-dom.

  32. “I lost the reply I had typed up for you. But anyway, the site already says that there is not a 100% overlap between Jung and Myers.”

    See, I don’t see how you think I’m against comparing theories…when that seems to be all I’ve done in this discussion.
    But something has rung a bell — I think I see where our approaches differ:
    I think the difference is you guys keep the framework constant (the N, T, F, S) and want to decide what those should mean once and for all. Whereas for me, I view the exact contents as important — what did Jung mean by N, what did Myers mean by N — and then I add up all those ideas into a full theory that describes how they relate to one another.

  33. What you write about Myers was basically what I had written in the reply I lost: She added several new hypotheses to the theory that she had discovered by way of her instrument while leaving it open whether these findings were meant to supersede the existing corpus of theory. I think whatever she said that was compatible with a function-based approach, we have accepted on this site, and, like the proprietors of the MBTI, we contend that the functions are the meat of the theory, not the dichotomies (which are empirically questionable anyway).

    By colloquial, I mean a reference to “intuition” that does not pertain exactly to N as it is used within Jung’s typology. Jung himself ends P.T. with a chapter on definitions, suggesting that one cannot simply lift over the words from everyday to technical use.

    And by the way, Keirsey arrives at Einstein as an INTP so that would seem to contradict your understanding of his theory. But that is no matter to me, since we don’t use Keirsey’s theory, except for his separation of introversion from introspection.

  34. I don’t think it does contradict it — I think Jung and Keirsey referred to loosely the same things when they talked of intuition and rational intellect, but both typed Einstein as a rational. Jung said (as you document on your site) that Einstein was too much of a rational.

    If anything, I think my understanding of Keirsey and Jung is solid, and that it is THEY who need to explain why he’s a rational in their system, despite that quote of his that appears to contradict their own views.

  35. You’re almost there, only:
    (1) It’s the functions we keep constant, not the dichotomies.
    (2) We don’t pretend that we have discovered the meaning once and for all. We only contend that we have conducted a reasonable synthesis of Jung, von Franz, Hoop, Myers, and our own views (where noted and argued on the site). Later theorists will refine what is now known and discover new facets.
    (3) This approach really has nothing to do with not viewing the precise nuances of each theorist as important. But as I said it’s a prelude to the synthesis and not the end point in itself.

  36. Yeah, I am seeing more and more. The thing is the way I document what you view as problems with Jung’s function categories is I say I distinguish sharply between functions and function-TYPES. Functions are just processes of apprehending certain information. Types are characteristic attitudes people seem to have underneath their processes, driving how they access them.

    The difference is I abandoned N/T/F/S as a framework for types — I keep the original function definitions but don’t agree with Jung on how they arrange in typical ways.
    For instance, I totally agree feeling and intellectual knowledge are not exactly opposites, which you seem to as well in your typing many Jungian thinkers as Fs.

    Or to use my example, I still believe in triangles in a logical vacuum, and find them useful to talk of, but I don’t try to call non-triangular things triangular (that is, I differ on what is empirically true about the functions Jung defined).

  37. If I’m not much mistaken, that is what you mean by revising T to fit the empirical data better and thus abandoning that T = thinking in the Jungian view (aka intellect).

    In my case, I still want to know what IS true about Jung’s thinking function as a process… I just don’t submit it will necessarily fit into a NTFS framework, or that the best NTFS framework will necessarily include intellect as part of T.

  38. I do think there is a N/T/F/S framework for functions, i.e. where they are opposites as Jung says they are, in a purely philosophical and informational sense. But not in a psychological sense.

    There’s a difference between saying thinking function and feeling function are “opposite” kinds of information in a certain sense, and saying that *people* naturally tend towards those opposites. That would be true were feeling-thinking a psychological opposite, but it’s not a psychological opposite as far as I can see.

    So for me, unlike with you it seems, the task isn’t to find the most valid explanation of psychological differences where the types fit roughly into the relations of N/S and F/T Jung described, so much as to take the ideas behind Jung’s original function compass and discover the many psychological dimensions that affect it.

    It may well be that your site has the best (in some sense) function-based, psychodynamic, non-behavioral N/T/F/S model there is. I don’t have a way to evaluate that mostly since N/T/F/S aren’t psychological to me — they are more just informational.

  39. “This approach really has nothing to do with not viewing the precise nuances of each theorist as important. But as I said it’s a prelude to the synthesis and not the end point in itself.”

    I understand that you are also interested in taking the good from each theorist, and my point was that we seem to have a different “synthesis” as aim. Mine takes Jung’s 4 functions more or less as the default, and is willing to model types in a framework that does not any longer look like the N/S, F/T type of framework. You on the other hand appear to seek the best such framework, but are willing to move away from Jung’s function definitions to some degree.

    The basic issue is Jung’s ideas relate both to types of ideas and types of people, and his functions relate more to the former, and his (loose) model relates more to classifying people, so it would seem both your aim (which seems closer to Myers’ aim) and my own aim are pretty natural ones. Were there a clear match between the ideas-classification and people-classification component in Jung, this confusion would never arise.

    But obviously it has arisen, and we seem to have pretty much exactly the opposite approaches in how we solve it – although I’d not say opposite in the sense of conflicting so much as taking opposite directions that don’t meet apart from clarifying the main disparate facts out there.

  40. Of course this means that the sense in which I diagnose Jung as introverted intuition+introverted thinking is also in line with this view of diagnosing functions, but not postulating that they are the best way to diagnose psychological types of people.

    I guess some may not think so, but I found Jung’s original definition of the actual basic processes/consciousness great. What I found lacking and thoroughly unsatisfying was his N/S F/T framework, aka, how he asserts the functions interrelate and how types form out of those mental processes.

    If we have to call Jung’s original types “types” in any meaningful sense I’d agree heartily with Hillman that they em to be types of psychological ideas, not types of persons. Not sure I’d concur with Hillman that *Jung* intended this point of view or anything.

  41. For reference, let me go into a bit more detail on the Keirsey issue.. what Keirsey considers “intuition” likely is very related to his portrayal of the NFs as the idealists, which I think is in the idealism vs rationalism sense.

    My impression is philosophical idealism has a lot to do with what Jung presented as part of the introverted attitude (in fact, I think he probably even goes into this in one of the chapters), namely the idea of prioritizing knowledge of an a priori subjective form.
    Jung’s introversion and his intuition both had an intimate relation with the unconscious, hence with the archetypal world, which is reasonably similar in some respects to Platonic idealism.

    So, I think what Keirsey means by intuition relates to what Jung called abstract intuition, namely the immediate apprehension of ideational associations without rational deliberation, presumably in a perception of the archetypal realm.

    What Jung was often unclear about, which is very relevant to this article about Newton here of course, is precisely in what sense sensation relates to “facts” and extraversion relates to “facts”.. and similarly, with intuition/introversion and “ideas.” I have a sense of what’s going on myself here that I’ve worked out though, which I might mention at some point.

    Anyway, I think both Jung’s intuitive nature and many things he described in his notion of introversion would be things swaying Keirsey to call him a NF, based on Keirsey’s concept of idealism and intuition (which I think are related).

  42. He just meant that they’re undeveloped extraverts, not sensation types as developed sensation types are developed aesthetes and not merely those with concrete primary-sensory reasoning.

    “Abstraction is an activity belonging to psychological functions in general. There is a thinking which abstracts, just as there is abstracting feeling, sensation, and intuition, (v. these concepts). Abstracting – thinking brings into relief a content that is distinguished from other irrelevant elements by its intellectual, logical qualities. Abstracting- feeling does the same with a content characterized bfeeling; similarly with sensation and intuition. Hence, not only are there abstract thoughts but also abstract feelings, which latter are defined by Sully as intellectual, aesthetic, and moral. Nahlowsky adds the religious
    feelingtothese. Abstract feelings would, in my view, correspond with the higher or ideal feelings of Nahlowsky. I put abstract feelings on the same line as abstract thoughts. Abstract sensation would be aesthetic as distinguished from sensual sensation, and abstract intuition would be symbolical as opposed to
    phantastical intuition. […] I visualize the abstracting process, therefore, as a withdrawal of libido from the object, or as a backflow of value from the object to a subjective, abstract content. Thus, for me, abstraction has the meaning of an energic depreciation of the object. In other words, abstraction can be expressed as an introverting libido-movement.

    I call an attitude (v. Attitude) abstracting when it is both introverting and at the same time assimilates to already prepared abstract contents in the subject a certain essential portion of the object The more abstract a content the more unrepresentable it is. […] It is this abstraction which I term the idea. Conversely, an abstraction that still possesses representability or obviousness is a concrete concept.”

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