An Aristotelian View of Personality Types

By Ryan Smith

I once knew an INTJ. He was amongst the five best people I’ve ever known when it comes to determining other people’s types. For the most part, we were in complete agreement as to people’s types, but once in a while, in complex or atypical cases, we disagreed on how to operationalize or interpret Jung’s typology, and we ended up having heated arguments.

ARISTOTLEThe reason we could never resolve these arguments, I now see, is that Jungian typology has a Platonic bias. Yet my friend, being an empiricist, could not accept the otherworldly or purely deductive principles of Jungian typology. He was an Aristotelian, so to speak – he wanted Jungian typology to make sense in conjunction with science as a whole. He was convinced that typology could be operationalized in a way that would make it empirically valid. ...

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