NTP Knowing vs. NTJ Willing

By Sigurd Arild and Ryan Smith

Here on the site we often tell our readers that Jungian functions are about cognitive processes and not specific contents of consciousness. Content can be understood as any entity of consciousness, be it a thought, feeling, sensation, or belief, i.e. anything that is contained in consciousness. The content need not be consciousness of a physical object, in fact, it need not even be true (for example, a man may have as a content of his consciousness the belief that his girlfriend has never cheated on him when in fact she has). The basic idea when dealing with the contents of consciousness is that there is cognitive attention directed at something and that it is this attention that distinguishes between conscious and unconscious mental contents. Attention to the entities of consciousness is common to all of the functions; what differs is the way in which each function interacts with the contents given.

In this article we will talk about Knowing and Willing as prima facie modes of attending to the entities of consciousness – modes that are especially applicable to NTPs and NTJs. For our purposes, we postulate that there are two modes of relation between consciousness and content (in reality there are more, but we have not discovered them all yet). ...

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