Boye Akinwande is a contributing guest writer for CelebrityTypes. In this article, Akinwande elaborates on the concept of function axes and how to determine them, expanding on Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.
By Boye Akinwande
Ti: With regards to the perception of external reality, Ti tends to perceive the facts as being of secondary importance to the abstract idea that they are attempting to clarify in their minds. In other words, the Ti type perceives facts as governed by ideas, whereas the Te type perceives ideas as things that should ideally amend themselves to the facts.
One consequence of Ti’s tendency to abstract from external reality is that the individual will be more preoccupied with discovering ideal structures in his mind than in actually making sense of the messy multitude of facts as these were handed down to him through external reality. A consequence of this idealistic bias is that objects are viewed as being more similar in nature than a Te type would perceive them.
Fe: In Jungian typology, there can be no Ti without Fe and vice versa. Though Ti and Fe polarize each other in consciousness, the Ti/Fe axis itself still primes the consciousness of the individual to view the human being as another such “ideal” object, where many of the properties of the particular individual can be stripped away in order to form the ideal object ‘human being’ (Ti). Here the unstated premise will be that humans are structured similarly and that our desires and goals must therefore also be aligned on some level (Fe).
Te: Whereas Ti has a tendency to remove the individual a bit from reality and its current affairs, Te rather tends to place the individual as an active participant in the current state of reality. In this mode, we must be concerned with the specific properties of reality as these are presented to us, because it will not do to sit on the sidelines, mourning that reality could or should be different. On the contrary, Te flings our consciousness directly into an uncooperative world and reminds us that only we are responsible for leveraging whatever we have got to get what we want out of that world.
Fi: In the Te mindset, our world is disobliging and resources finite. My triumph may very easily turn out to be your downfall and vice versa. I don’t owe you anything, what you want is not necessarily what I want, and again, vice versa. Such a mode of consciousness creates the backdrop for a species of relativism, and it is here that Te meets the Fi perspective to form the Te/Fi axis; an axis that identifies goals on the basis of actual and personal relevance, rather than on the basis of abstract and communal ideals.
So to put it simply:
- Fe/Ti types live in a world of abstract, theoretical commonalities between objects, of which one unstated premise is that, deep down, our interests are all aligned.
- Fi/Te types live in a world of concrete, empirical certainties of objects, of which one unstated premise is that we have our own interests at heart.
Want even more? The series continues with Determining Function Axes, Part 4.
 Jung: Psychological Types §628
 Jung: Psychological Types §40 ff.
 Jung: Psychological Types §708