NTP/NFJ vs. NTJ/NFP Ontology

NTJ/NFP: The insides are the insides.

NTP/NFJ: The outsides are the insides.

NTJ/NFP: The outsides are the outer layers around the insides.

NTP/NFJ: The outsides are the outer layers around yet more outsides.

NTJ/NFP: It is the insides that determine a thing’s true nature and worth.

NTP/NFJ: It is the outsides that determine a thing’s relative nature and worth.

NTJ/NFP: The outside is impractical convention, to be disregarded in the name of authenticity.

NTP/NFJ: The inside is impractical crookedness, to be straightened in the name of harmony.

NTP: I trust the outsides because they form predictable patterns.

NFJ: I trust the outsides because they are shared with others.

NTJ: I trust the insides because the insides are the source of the outsides.

NFP: I trust the insides because I must be my true self.

NTJ/NFP: The insides are the essences; the outsides lead people astray.

NTP/NFJ: There are no essences; believing so leads people astray.

NTJ/NFP: The core is the core. It is the experience of ourselves in the world. It is the true heart of existence.

NTP/NFJ: The core is that there is no core. There is only an oceanic feeling where the boundaries between subject and object are lost.


  1. I may have to contemplate on this one a bit more, but I think perhaps this may need a little work, or at least should be elaborated on a little bit more.

    Are “outsides” the physicality of things, and “insides” some abstract nature? For example, Plato’s Forms, which are ideas and the source of true knowledge about the nature of reality, are immaterial, although objects do resemble the Forms and so their outsides reflect their true nature.

    But according to this, I should see the outsides as being the same as the insides — but in what context? If I assess a person’s worth, for example, it’s typically based on their character, motivations and intents.

    For instance, a person may be unfailingly polite, but beneath this meretricious veneer their adherence to propriety may not reflect their true nature. If a person is only acting polite to improve their standing among members of the group but is inauthentic, it matters little, or is even outright deplorable. Is it done for show, or does they have a real sense of conviction? Do they care about justice, fairness and equality? How about compassion, understanding and altruism? Would they defy the group to protect such ideals, fighting for the greater welfare of others at their own expense?

    So if a person obeys rules of etiquette, is this their ‘outsides’? If so, would this make their character their ‘insides’? If something is done for the sake of maintaining harmony of the group but at the expense of justice and equality, then I would say this person is in essence a craven whose outsides are incoherent with the essence of virtue.

  2. Ok, for example, with Plato’s Forms, compare it with Aristotle’s essences (insides). In Plato, things have no essences, but rather an “outside” invisible bond to the true form (which is not an essence but the highest expression of each thing.) So, for example, a beautiful girl has no intrinsic existence, but is merely an impure pointer to the pure form that exists outside of her.

    So the post should be seen in an ontological context, and not a psychological one.

  3. It’s slightly confusing for me. Types are defined by their psychological processes, and so this subject is how a type’s psychology will give rise to an ontological mindset. But yes, I can see what you mean there. The Forms are an external idea, an ideological mold, and objects range from crude effigies to near facsimiles of this paragon.

    I may need to brush up on my Greek philosophy a bit, but as far as I remember Aristotle saw objects as nothing more than their morphological shape and their physical constituents. So I suppose this is what you mean by insides being insides? So then what are the NTJ/NFP “outsides”? (Apologies for being obtuse.)

  4. This subject is how a type’s psychology will give rise to an ontological mindset.

    Yes, exactly. Sort of what Jung was trying to get at in P.T.

    According to Aristotle, things also have essences, which is a sort of Form in the object. So that’s why an Oak acorn doesn’t suddenly grow into a Birch tree. Whereas to Plato, the Oak-Form that is outside of all objects decides to manifest an imperfect version version of itself in the world. Why it would do that, however, is quite unclear in Plato, which is why the Neo-Platonists developed the idea of ‘Overflowing’. The Perfect is so Perfect that it overflows from itself and creates less perfect versions of itself on the lower levels of reality.

  5. “The Perfect is so Perfect that it overflows from itself and creates less perfect versions of itself on the lower levels of reality.”
    Sounds like a self-referential object, a fractal, if you will.

  6. The whole argument about Plato’s truest highest form and Aristotle’s essence “form inside the form” is pretty much one in the same. The only real difference I can recognize is that Plato’s truest highest form is common to all (like the unity of the universe beyond external forms) and Aristotle’s essence is relative to the external form. Sounds like Aristotle was talking about DNA and Plato about consciousness itself, and that makes sense since Aristotle’s Te-Ni-Se-Fi is much more pragmatic than the all encompassing and theorizing Ni-Fe-Ti-Se of Plato.

  7. This is good stuff though, I’m an INFJ who’s blessed with having Intuitives of each type in my life and this is definitely congruent with how each type views their existence once they are mature. ENTP and INTP’s only know themselves through collaborating with others and recognizing the patterns of human existence. ENFJ and INFJ’s only know themselves through others by intuitively recreating other’s mental-emotional states in themselves. ENTJ and INTJ’s only know themselves through projecting their inner state upon the “object” of their consciousness. ENFP and INFP’s know themselves by staying true to their inner beliefs.

  8. Thanks, we’re glad you like it.
    As for Plato and Aristotle, the thoughts are similar insofar as Aristotle burrowed in his master’s shaft, but (in our opinion) dissimilar for the reasons noted above, as well as in our Plato/Aristotle infographic.

  9. My best friend from childhood is an ENTJ and we kinda have an Aristotle-Plato type relationship. I’m always trying to help him be more understanding of people and their ways and he’s always trying to fix me to be more pragmatic and logical. I have noticed that my sense of humor when i’m with him takes a more sinister twist lol…

  10. This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen on the entire website. What happened to the standards I see on the rest of the posts?

  11. This post is an interesting statement of the approach each might take to viewing the nature of things. It seems, to me, to be a kind of Fi versus Fe analysis.

    Are people their actions in the moment — which determine their value, but which do not stem from anything unchanging and essential, meaning that people can be taken for who they are now, but who can also change and be different in the next moments if they so choose?

    Or are people their internal nature and potential — which may not be acted out in the moment, but can be brought to light (for good or bad), meaning that people can become better versions of themselves, and cannot necessarily be judged by what you see on the outside, except as a manifestation of what potential might lie within?

    Optimists from both perspectives might agree that a person cannot be condemned outright, except for different reasons — the Fe view says that they can still change; the Fi view says that they may still have a good nature in them that can be brought out. Or pessimists might condemn for different reasons — Fe, for the damage they’re doing now, which is what matters; Fi, for the essential, core badness that that damage provides evidence for.

    As much as I’m interested by this post, though, this line doesn’t seem to be a fair, deep portrayal of NFP:

    “NFP: I trust the insides because I must be my true self.”

    All other perspectives have how and why they trust the insides or outsides of other people and objects, and NFP is portrayed as just sitting in the corner crooning “me me me,” to itself? For all the others, you can make them more specific to a topic and retain meaning — as an example, I’ll use the president (not any specific one).

    “NTP: I trust the outsides [behaviors of the president] because they form predictable patterns [they allow me to predict the president’s future behavior].

    NFJ: I trust the outsides [behaviors of the president] because they are shared with others [they demonstrate values that are shared with others].

    NTJ: I trust the insides [essential nature of the president] because the insides are the source of the outsides [that essential nature is the source of external behaviors, good or bad].”

    But for NFP…

    “NFP: I trust the insides [essential nature of the president] because I must be my true self [because my feelings say I like him so I have to be true to liking him???].”

    What about something like “NFP: I trust the insides because they are essential and therefore reliable.” It is much more general, and captures an attention to the inside and core of *all* things (not just the individual NFP themselves). So for instance, the NFP might say, “I trust the essential nature of the president because that essential nature is the best variable for predicting future potential and behavior, good or bad.”

    As a way of showing some symmetry, we have Ji finding value in external behavior (“it forms predictable behavior”), or Je finding value in internals (“it generates the outside behavior”). We also have Je finding value in the externals for themselves (“they are shared”), and Ji finding value in the internals for themselves (“they are essential”).


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