Determining Function Axes, Part 3

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

A facet of Jungian typology that CelebrityTypes has really brought to life, theoretically refined, and elaborated upon is the idea of Function Axes.

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.[1] 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.[2]

Fe: In Jungian typology, there can be no Ti without Fe and vice versa.[3] 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.


[1] Jung: Psychological Types §628

[2] Jung: Psychological Types §40 ff.

[3] Jung: Psychological Types §708


  1. This has to be the best article at explaining what TRULY connects Te/Fi and Ti/Fe on the rational function axes I have seen, hands down. Thanks for clarifying that shit! I can’t wait until the Ne/Si Se/Ni axes get similarly explained!

  2. Good stuff, particularly looking forward to Se/Ni vs. Si/Ne article too, presuming that there’s one coming up that is.

  3. I’m curious why you chose to approach it from a Ti vs Te perspective, and not an Fe vs Fi perspective. If you think about it, as humans, and as emotional creatures, that is probably more what drives us than logic, whether internal or external. Feeling types tend to be more aware of this than thinking types (who are driven more unconsciously by their feelings than they realize), so, IMO, it would be more helpful to thinking types to see that more than for feeling types to see the thinking perspective–just my opinion.

    Also, when reading about Ti vs. Te approach to facts, I see real parallels to the introverted feeling and extraverted feeling functions as well. I wonder if you could expand on this in regards to feeling. I have my own thoughts, but curious what yours would be.

  4. I agree, this is heavily focues on the perspective of the T functions. If you switched it to the F perspective it might read something like:

    Fe/Ti types live in a world where all objects have a communal shared value that is heavily focused on how the majority agree on the parameters of a single object. Understanding the data serves only to further the goals of the collective in achieving harmony.

    Fi/Te types live in a world where their inner individual ethics and values dictate how they pragmatically strive to satisfy their individual needs using objective data only as a means to an end.

  5. I’m curious if you guys (celebritytypes) are planning to develop a way to self-test and figure out which functional axis a person relates to more. Like which mental characteristics signify which functions a person uses and relates to more. I personally think the traditional 4 letter test has its limitations, this model seems like a more direct and valid approach to typology. Also, have you looked into the differences in temperament (EP, IJ, IP, EJ) in determining a persons type?

  6. At the moment we’re working on other tests. So no current plans. Thanks for your interest in our work.

  7. I think that perhaps dominant ti types would prefer not to subscribe to the view that “all our interests are aligned” in a similar way to how dominant fi types prefer not to subscribe to the view that “there is a hierarchisation of people”, indicating the respective inferior fe and te.

    Also again, the ti subjective logic is subjective but it’s deductive nature makes it, in their eyes definite and precise.

    It’s more purely mathematical in nature because mathematics is highly deductive in nature and it’s users seek to categorise and analyse theories, with facts to back up the theories, whereas te’s inductive nature makes it more scientific, since it looks for facts to make theories out of, and the facts I’m themselves interest them. That’s perhaps one way to tell the difference between the two.

    Would you guys be able to do a post detailing traits of all the inferior versions of each function? Is it also another way to determine type? :-)

  8. Are there other ways in which inferior ne, fe, ni and si can manifest themselves apart from that mentioned in Michael pierce’s articles?

    For example, could inferior ne manifest as overindulging in the fear of the worst possibilities, or guillability, being unable to connect ideas together.

    Moreover, with inferior se, would this be something that manifests in certain autistic patients since it involves “repetitive but narrow, deep focused” activities which autistic patients tend to show evidence of; perhaps this links more to the intj with their personality being somewhat linked to the schizotypal/autistic like personality.

    Are these points valid?

  9. Inferior Ne, yes.
    Inferior Se, not from our perspective.
    Look around in the articles; here’s some about inferior Fe and other stuff, IIRC.

  10. I have been curious about my own type, I seem unsure if I’m an istj, intj, entj or intp.

    On the function test, I tend to frequently score high on ni, ti and te, quite high on si and ne, and low on se and fe, though lower on se. I think I seem to lack the thoroughness of an istj, much to my annoyance (I’m often quite sloppy, particularly in my maths work). I’m quite cautious but not overly so; I’m not afraid to take on bold ideas and don’t let others’ opinions stop me.

    I seem to have had gullibility and imagining the worst sometimes, but I seemed to have bigger problems, when I was younger, with relating to others emotionally, and being around people and being outside of my house. I sometimes felt I had difficulty in controlling addictions to food/other things.

    I also am very ponderous and obsessive, particularly with maths and jungian typology, always wanting to know more about myself to get a definite answer. I also find I’m naturally very logical, and feel I often analyse things a lot, often too much.

    Would you be able to determine my type?

  11. Haha though I seem so obsessed with finding out who I really am, and that generally in life I naturally analyse things a lot, and strongly value honesty, integrity and things like that probably makes me an intp; pierces article helped that, thanks! :-)

  12. I have, repeatedly after much study from this source and others, typed my top 3 functions as Ne-Fi-Ti.

    I realize that this breaks the function axis system, but generally I find it to be a false dichotomy. For instance, taking the sentence above “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.”

    Frankly, I don’t find the second clause to be a derivative of the first clause whatsoever. In other words, I can easily imagine a hypothetical person who views people in the manner of abstract theoretical commonalities, but accept that this commonality ends well before their process of interest/value formulation.

    Likewise, for the second “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.” I can easily imagine a hypothetical person who views the world in the manner of concrete empirical certainties, and therefore decides that people must necessarily align their values in order to accomplish anything.

    I’ve always thought that the function axis model, and it’s prediction of the attitude of the tertiary function, is unjustified.

  13. “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.”

    Let’s replace ‘commonalities’ with ‘mutualities.’ The objects have a shared origin akin to Plato’s world-view. Since everything is in reality part of something greater under this mode of thought, it follows that conflict, etc. stem from ignorance rather than ill will. In reality, “we’re all in it together” (or so the subject will be prone to experience it). So it follows that conflict is unnatural. Not necessarily in everyday life, but in the highest ontological mode, i.e. if all ignorance could be eradicated:

    “The culmination of beauty … [is to] catch sight of something of unbelievable beauty … which gives meaning to all previous encounters. … [It is] something eternal; it doesn’t come-to-be or cease-to-be, and it doesn’t increase or diminish. … It [has] no physical place … [but is] in itself and by itself, constant and eternal … and every beautiful physical object somehow partakes in it, but in such a way that their coming-to-be and ceasing-to-be do not increase or diminish it at all, and it remains entirely unaffected. … [It is] beauty itself, in its perfect, immaculate purity – not beauty tainted by human flesh and coloring and all that mortal rubbish, but absolute beauty, divine and constant.” – Symposium §211a-e

    In the article, we’re trying to describe a psychological disposition that explains the postulated interconnection between Fe and Ti. We’re not trying to “think of something else,” because as Socrates so cheerfully demonstrated, one can always think of something else. I can also think of a person with two or more types, or a person who has no Jungian type at all. All such thought experiments may prove helpful in refining the model, but it seems to me that the most interesting direction in which to take it is one that maximizes its heuristic potential. As such, the most cogent approach (as far as I am concerned) is to point to actual (famous) people who ostensibly demonstrate Fi-Ti, or any other such “impossible” function combinations.

    A strong point for the alleged interconnection between e.g. Fe and Ti is that their tandem can be seen the most saliently in exactly the types that we would expect: The ones that repress neither (e.g. Plato and Socrates).

    But in a way you are correct with regard to the tertiary: Based on Jung himself, the function order could also be EEII (for extroverts) and IIEE (for introverts) rather than the EIEI / IEIE model that we use on the site. Fi and Ti in the same person violates the enantiodromia though, and would not be Jungian.

  14. “Since everything is in reality part of something greater under this mode of thought, it follows that conflict, etc. stem from ignorance rather than ill will”

    I’m afraid that I don’t understand this sentence. I do understand the one before it and I’m clear on the rest of the paragraph, but I lose you on how the view about conflict follows from the view on mutualities. Would you mind clarifying?

    I’m not denying that Fe/Ti, or Te/Fi, can work together to form a cogent worldview, which as best I can tell is the thesis of this article. However, the article and also your comment above seem to be implying that because these combinations make sense, there therefore aren’t any other combinations that make sense, which sort of obviously does not logically follow from the premise.

    “A strong point for the alleged interconnection between e.g. Fe and Ti is that their tandem can be seen the most saliently in exactly the types that we would expect: The ones that repress neither (e.g. Plato and Socrates).”

    I’d disagree here as well. If I were claiming that Fe and Ti never go together, then that would disprove my claim, but I’m not saying that at all. I am saying they can go together, but also Ti-Fi could as well. The existence of Fe/Ti doesn’t say anything about that at all, sort of like how the existence of white swans doesn’t tell you anything about the existence of black swans. (And not to mention that that assumes that you’ve typed people like Socrates, who’s been dead for thousands of years and wrote down nothing, correctly. Although that doesn’t even really matter.)

  15. re: Mutuality and the absence of conflict: Thich Nhat Hanh often uses the example that if we could see “the greater whole” we would see that conflicts are like one’s left hand accidentally banging the right over the fingers with a hammer. In our mundane view, we would be inclined to blame and seek retribution, but had we seen the common origin, we would realize how silly it was to crave revenge over another part of the cosmos, which is really part of ourselves. This, a priori, is the Fe-Ti axis. There may be all sorts of distorting factors along the way, which mean that this may not be a specific individual’s actual beliefs (just as Hanh is actually an Fi type himself), but that is the gist of the argument.

    We’re scarcely discussing the same thing, because I’m not talking about an Fe/Ti combination, but a continuum where they’re opposite ends of the spectrum. Like Extroversion is the opposite of Introversion, but it’s really the same thing; the orientation. That’s the enantiodromia. If you do away with that (as I said) you’re doing something that is at root different from Heraclitus-Jung-Plato. What you’re doing might even be _better_, but it depends on what you want to do.

    As I also said before, the article, like Jung’s typology in itself, is a piece of post hoc reasoning. It attempts to make sense of what we see. It is not a prescriptive argument, although of course the original choice of first principles (for any system!) always ends up having some prescriptive bias in the end.

    I agree that the example of the Fe/Ti interplay being especially obvious in people like Plato, Socrates, and Jung does not disprove the possibility of “impossible” function combinations out there at all. I don’t think I said that to begin with, though. I only meant that it could be taken as a clue, given from another direction, that there might be some interconnection.

    We don’t claim that people with “impossible” function arrangements don’t exist. Indeed in your own example with the black swans, before they were known to exist, one could not prove that they did *not* exist either. It is often very difficult to prove a negative.

    So yes — unless one is a Platonist, people who break the model could exist. Like ambiverts, 17th types, people with two types, etc. — it’s possible. We just don’t think we’ve ever seen such a case (which may of course have something to do with the first principles embedded in the system).

  16. “Since everything is in reality part of something greater under this mode of thought, it follows that conflict, etc. stem from ignorance rather than ill will. In reality, ‘we’re all in it together’ (or so the subject will be prone to experience it). So it follows that conflict is unnatural”.

    This idea, that all conflict is a result of ill will, is so obviously wrong that the only possible explanations are that Plato was a very poor philosopher (a la Nietzche) or that he was deliberately giving bad arguments in order to mislead the unsophisticated reader (a la Strauss). no matter their type, anyone with even a modicum of experience with human interaction, regardless of their type, knows that conflict stems, not from ignorance, but from mutually incompatible desires. In Economics, a field in which plenty of ti types have made important contributions, the crucial assumption is that competition (a nicer word for conflict) is inevitable because humans have unlimited desires but scarce resources.

  17. Furthermore, it was Darwin, a ti-fe type, who demonstrated conclusively that conflict is anything by “unnatural”. More basically, if conflict exists in nature, how can it be unnatural? Richard Dawkins, another ti-type, has given a very plausible argument that human motivations are rooted in the desire to pass on our genes, with cooperation a mere means to that end. Conflict therefore does not result from ignorance. It results from a situation in which conflict is a more effective method for passing on one’s genes than cooperation. What supposed truth do organisms ignore when they engage in biologically inevitable behavior? Under these circumstances, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Plato’s view has been scientifically refuted. If ti-fe types have a bias towards it, then in this regard they have a bias towards being wrong.

  18. It is wrong on the mundane level. Plato would not deny this. But then, the ladder of ontology goes beyond the mundane for him, as I’ve argued on the site. I do not believe that he was giving bad arguments on purpose at all (as Strauss would have it). For more on Strauss and Plato, see also:

    Certainly, conflicts are inevitable on the mundane level. And that is what all mundane science and social science describes. So the disagreement is really as to whether there is a higher mode of perception than mundane rationality. Plato says there is, but maybe there isn’t. I’m not sure that one can refute the metaphysics of primordial oneness. For example, there would be no duality of “your genes” and “my genes,” since they’re really the same according to this supra-mundane mode of perception.

    But at any rate, the point isn’t that individual Ti-Fe types need to subscribe to these metaphysics; it is that they tend to experience a psychological pull towards this mode of ontology (even if they are not explicitly aware of it themselves). Plato’s philosophy (and Pythagoras’ too) serve as examples of this psychological disposition, but the specific doctrines and specific allegiances of concrete individuals may vary.

    An interesting example of how a conflict-laden world view fuses with a personally agreeable nature is given in Pinker’s The Blank Slate.

  19. “I’m not sure that one can refute the metaphysics of primordial oneness”.

    Well, no. Just like you can’t “refute” Russell’s teapot. But we’ve been back and forth on nominalism before. I think there’s a much stronger objection to the a priori belief that all conflict results from ignorance, since it is, not just unsupported, but actually contradicted by science. Specifically, science tells us that humans, like most organisms, have evolved a capacity for conflict because it can be evolutionarily beneficial. Conflict (in the broad sense of the word) is part of human nature. So science gives one explanation for conflict (as an inevitable outcome of genetic competition), and Plato’s metaphysics gives another (as ignorance of a postulated “higher unity”. It seems we have very good reason to believe the scientific explanation (it is supported by the empirical evidence, and more in line with actual human experience). What reasons, if any, do we have to accept Plato’s explanation?

  20. Well, not really because as I said, the aim is to describe a psychological disposition using Plato as an example (just as Jung did in P.T.). It’s a descriptive undertaking which you then judge normatively. You can do that, of course, but it isn’t going to make the disposition going to go away. Also, by your own reasoning, a predilection for experiencing conflict as unnatural might serve evolutionary purposes as well. Mediatory, conciliatory, therapeutic, and the like.

  21. I’m not sure I’m understanding you. Surely the idea that “conflict stems from ignorance rather than ill will” is a claim about the world, not a “psychological disposition”. It is a descriptive statement that is either right or wrong. I’m not judging it “normatively” (I’m not saying Plato’s view is ethically wrong or even undesirable; I’m just saying it’s mistaken. It is out of step with everything we know, scientifically and anecdotally, about the sources of conflict. You seem to be psychologizing Plato so as to avoid addressing the question of whether he’s right or wrong; reducing a falsifiable claim (i.e. I we have counterexamples of conflicts stemming from ill will rather than ignorance) to a non-cognitivist matter of preference. This does seem to be a repeating pattern, i.e. the interpretation of Occam’s razor as a way to impose greater “simplicity preference” on people who don’t want it, rather than a method for pruning bad ideas. Rather than telling people their ideas are bad, the articles on the site often seem to try to avoid conflict by psychologizing analytical statements as a matter or opinion or preference. I put it down to what Scratch has identified as a distinct fe/ti bias in the site’s editorial stance.

  22. @AndrahilAdrian

    I don’t think your discussion is going to lead anywhere, because it seems to me like the difference between you both is actually the exact same thing talked about in the article. :)

    I think Adrian misunderstands (sorry if I’m wrong Adrian!) what you really mean by the different perceptions of conflict in Fe-Ti and Te-Fi types.

    Fe-Ti tends to see everything as pretty much the same, or at least existing together on the same scale. Introversion doesn’t make sense without the idea of extroversion; the number 100 doesn’t mean anything without the number one, etc. So in this view the only way to understand something is to contrast it with other things, and because of the mutual dependency of everything, nothing is truly in conflict.

    Te-Fi however, tends to see things as distinct things in themselves, different from other things. When they want to understand a thing they don’t look to other objects, but focus on finding out about that one thing on its own terms (how much does it weigh? What colour is it?). So this approach is naturally going to see things as being fundamentally in conflict.

    Someone brought up economics, and the fact that there are NTP economists that believe in conflict/competition. Well of course that’s true. :) But I think NTP economic theorists will tend to naturally see conflict as being something natural to human nature and shared by everyone (and therefore not really a conflict at all), while NTJ theorists will also see conflict as natural, but will see this as a reason to actually be competitive and to support a kind of “survival of the fittest” mentality.

    But maybe I’m the one who misunderstands. I’m not sure really. :)

  23. Strachan seems to get my meaning. :)


    (1) You have to distinguish between discussing the psychological side of the matter and the philosophical one. Right now they’re all jumbled together, which makes the points raised impossible to address, since the answers are going to be different for each discussion.

    Psychologically, as I said, Plato is just an example or prototype of a mindset. It doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong; what matters is whether it’s descriptive. And you don’t seem to argue that it’s not.

    Philosophically, as I also said, Plato’s claim is a branch of metaphysics, and metaphysics can’t really be disproven as such. Again you seem to imply that Plato is mistaken since empirical and mundane sciences point to the utility of conflict. But as I also-also said, Plato does not deny that this is the way it seems on the mundane, empirical level. So there’s no conflict at all.

    (2) I think Strachan’s point is indicative of not just this discussion, but many of our discussions in general: They rarely lead somewhere productive. I’m glad that you pinpointed my imprecision with regards to my critique of Homer, but a lot of the time, it seems to me we’re just untangling claims that were never quite made in the first place and the results of the discussion are rarely very fruitful. It’d be much cooler if you used your literary talents writing that article in defense of Homer that we talked about. Then you’d also be mitigating the problem you speak of, since such a piece would naturally assume the primacy of the Fi-Te axis :)

  24. (1) I agree that the problem is that the philosophical and pyschological sides of the matter are getting jumbled up, but I don’t think that’s something I’ve brought to the discussion; it’s been like that from the start. If you’ll bear with me, I think I can pinpoint the issue, and then we’ll have done something productive :). Here’s the quote from you that I first responded to:

    “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.”

    Let’s replace ‘commonalities’ with ‘mutualities.’ The objects have a shared origin akin to Plato’s world-view. Since everything is in reality part of something greater under this mode of thought, it follows that conflict, etc. stem from ignorance rather than ill will. In reality, “we’re all in it together” (or so the subject will be prone to experience it). So it follows that conflict is unnatural.

    What’s being said here, when you amend the first quote as you suggested, is that “Fe/Ti types live in a world of abstract, theoretical mutualities between objects, of which one unstated premise is that, deep down, our interests are all aligned.” That statement jumbles up questions of psychological disposition (how do fe/ti types think?) with a philosophical claim (our interests are all aligned). In addition to this claim, you attach a bunch of other philosophical baggage to the “mutualities between objects” as fe/ti types perceive them: a “mode of thought” in which all objects have a “shared origin”, “everything is in reality part of something greater” and “conflict, etc. stem from ignorance rather than ill will”. Plato’s ideas are tied, more or less explicitly, to the fe/ti axis. You make this jumbling of the philosophical and the pyschological really clear in your next comment: “In our mundane view, we would be inclined to blame and seek retribution, but had we seen the common origin, we would realize how silly it was to crave revenge over another part of the cosmos, which is really part of ourselves. This, a priori, is the Fe-Ti axis”. In other words, the philosophical idea that every part of the cosmos is really part of ourselves is explicitly identified with fe/ti psychology. This is what I mean when I talk about the psychologizing of philosophical statements. It seems to me to be a way to insulate them from criticism, because one of the unspoken assumptions around here is that all types and functions are of equal worth (even though such an assumption itself seems to privilege the fe mode of thought). So if ideas such as Plato’s are jumbled up with the psychological definition of the fe/ti axis, it becomes poor form to criticize them, which I object to because, in science and philosophy, all ideas should be open to criticism.

    2. I do hope to write the article in defense of Homer, but time commitments sometimes get in the way, as I’m sure you’ve experienced; I’ve been waiting almost two years for Beethoven, now :)

    I for one have a more positive view of our discussions; you did a good job on that last article linking Yogacara to what we were saying about Occam’s Razor. As to the question of fe/ti bias, I think the best I can do is point it out when I think it’s slipping in unawares; the so far mostly undefended assumption that all types and functions are equally worthy, for instance, or the subtle but ever present, and mostly unexplained, opposition to scientific reductionism and materialism.

  25. I would add that there’s nothing necessarily wrong with those positions – I even share both of them to certain degrees; but the fact that they’re often just assumed without argument seems problematic.

  26. I don’t see how it was jumbled up. Everything was said with the understanding that it’s an example or prototype of Fe/Ti. From the point of view of typology, Fe/Ti “made” Plato; not the other way around. Everything was said to illustrate a certain mindset, just like every major book on typology does when it talks about philosophers like this.

    Additionally, I really can’t think of any ideas that have been shielded from criticism on the site when they have been discussed as ideas (as opposed to illustrations of typology). In the philosophy threads (e.g. on Rand and Hume), which you have been active in yourself, I can’t find a single example of us refusing to weigh an argument as an argument where applicable, because there the questions were philosophical, not psychological. Tellingly, perhaps, I personally thought your contributions to those threads were much stronger than in the psychological ones, but then again, I’ve often thought that you approached typology from a mode of thought that was more like an analytical philosopher than that of a psychologist. Don’t get me wrong, I like analytical philosophy. But typology is often very far from that.

  27. @AndrahilAdrian

    I agree that the idea typology and philosophy shouldn’t be seen as influencing each other is a strange thing for the admin to say, as it seems to be a fundamental theme throughout the entire site. :) But I’m not sure he meant it in that way.

    I think all functions (or function axes) are of equal value, simply because without both our societies would have an extremely simplistic, one-sided view of the world. :) We need Te-Fi types to go out there and actually do the research, standardise known knowledge, recognise and appreciate our personal individuality, and to stand by their personal values no matter what the culture says. And we need Fe-Ti types to see and appreciate the commonalities among people, to standardise a system of ethics that is good for everyone, to figure out the underlying theories behind the facts (how the facts fit a larger model), and to have a profound respect for individual thought and new theories regardless of what society says.

    I think it’s pretty clear that both these perspectives are equally important in forming a full, nuanced worldview, and that we can all learn a lot from being open to seeing the world through the other viewpoint’s eyes.

    But then I am an ENFJ, so I guess that’s a predictable response. :)

  28. It seemed to me that you weren’t merely using Plato as an example of fe/ti, you were defining fe/ti in terms of his actual analytical positions. Like when you said that the idea that the cosmos is “really part of ourselves…a priori, is the Fe-Ti axis”. You also said that ti types “tend to experience a psychological pull towards this mode of ontology”, which seems to argue for a connection between pyschological type and analytical content, even if it’s just a tendency. But perhaps I misread you. It does seem to be at odds with your previous work on separating the two (i.e. the fact that the empiricists held the senses in high regard analytically is no evidence at all that they were S types feeling a “pull” towards a particular mode of ontology).

    I did not mean to imply that you shielded these ideas from criticism in the philosophical articles; it is much more prevalent in the psychological ones. Like in the Pythagoras article when you argued that ought/is is totally foreign to his approach and would therefore destroy it, which would be regrettable because it would introduce a bias against fe-types in science. That’s introducing a normative appeal to psychological pluralism into an analytic debate.

    I appreciate your feedback on my contributions. I have been trained in philosophy rather than psychology, so that’s bound to come out. Nevertheless, I think by far my best writing on the site is “the Psychological Aesthetics of INTJ”, which is entirely a psychological contribution. Then again, I may be a poor judge of my own work.

  29. @Hannah

    As a liberal and a romantic, I think it’s much more important to see the differences between people (which promotes freedom and cosmopolitanism) than to see the commonalities between them (which promotes conformity and paternalism – x is good for everyone, so lets make everyone x). But of course that’s just my opinion, and I’m cribbing much of this liberalism and romanticism from Mill, who had a ti/fe axis. My point isn’t so much that you/the admins are wrong that all functions and types are equally valuable, just that it’s a position that must be argued for; it cannot be simply assumed.

  30. @Adrian

    I don’t really see why you think that Fe-Ti would lead to more conformity than Te-Fi. Or why you think Te-Fi leads to a respect for freedom and cosmopolitanism (if cosmopolitanism isn’t the most Fe philosophy ever conceived, I don’t understand the system at all haha). It could just as easily be argued that being focused on the differences between people leads to a more segregated society where different laws apply to different classes of people.

  31. Well, if you stress the commonalities between people, you’re more likely to assume that the same lifestyles and goals will work for everyone, which seems to lead to conformity (if someone’s deviating from the norm, they’re making a mistake, because what works for most people will work for them because of commonality) and paternalism (if someone’s deviating from the norm they’re making a mistake, the common program should work for them too). In contrast, stressing the differences between people leads to freedom (if everyone’s different, there’s no one “right” or commonly accepted way to live, so people should be allowed to live how they want) and cosmopolitanism (we should respect the differences between people and not try to fit them all into a collective notion of the good).

  32. @Adrian

    I can see how that could work, and I can understand your logic. :) But I think if we’re honest with ourselves we’ll see that both perspectives could lead to positive or negative results depending on the circumstances. So I stand by both being equally important ways of seeing the world. :)

  33. I can see a lot has happened here since I last checked in, but I’d like to go back to this quote:

    “We’re scarcely discussing the same thing, because I’m not talking about an Fe/Ti combination, but a continuum where they’re opposite ends of the spectrum. Like Extroversion is the opposite of Introversion, but it’s really the same thing; the orientation. That’s the enantiodromia. If you do away with that (as I said) you’re doing something that is at root different from Heraclitus-Jung-Plato. What you’re doing might even be _better_, but it depends on what you want to do.”

    You’re quite right that that is not at all how I view typology. I prefer very much to think in examples as opposed to orientation. What I mean by that is, a single example of say ‘Thinking’ can either be Extroverted Thinking or Introverted Thinking and never both or neither, since they are mutually exclusive categories. The only room for continuum comes in how much a person uses one or the other over a time span.

    Whether or not this is what Jung intended…honestly it’s not clear to me. But I also don’t really care. I think it’s a better description of reality.

    Thinking in this basis, it seems illogical to demand of somebody who uses Ti that they also use Fe. Ti implies the existence of Fe as its opposite, and presents a good contrast by which we might understand the other. But if you think in the way I do, then you require some additional reasoning to posit that Ti and Fe are always favored by the same person. Whereas if you take the orientation/spectrum approach, it seems to be built right in.

  34. I’d just like to clarify what I mean by examples, in case it’s not obvious.

    I’ve seen Feeling roughly defined as “making a value judgment of a thing.” So an example of Feeling then, would be the actual act of looking at a thing and making a value judgment: here’s a clock, clocks are bad. Something like that.

    In my view, this is the core definition of Feeling, and any of the cognitive activities/worldviews/philosophies usually associated with Feeling are caused by that: they are a consequences of a person doing that repeatedly.

  35. tobias087: As before, I can only say that you can tamper with the first principles of any system until eventually, you get another system. Since you say that you don’t care what Jung et al. intended, I won’t take the time to provide more examples of how what you’re doing is outside the tradition of Jung-Hoop-Franz-Myers and this site.

    It’s not entirely clear what your goal in sharing this view is. If you want to make your own spin on typology, as others have done before you, that’s cool. But then it’s just a spinoff; another system. If you want to convince people who think as we do (and indeed, you seem to be saying that your goal is to achieve a “better description of reality”) then, as I said, the best example would be to point to people with “impossible” function combinations. But you don’t seem to do that.

    As I also said, this article discusses the benefits and drawbacks of thinking as Jung-Hoop-Franz-(Myers) did, versus thinking about typology in other ways:

    Finally, Hoop has a good critique of the “Feeling as value judgement” in one of his books, arguing that is much more synthetic and complex. We say something along the same lines in our article on Pythagoras (, but it might not be to your taste.

    Good luck with your system :)

  36. You’re right that I can’t point to specific people with “impossible” function stacks, but that’s more because I just don’t go around typing people. I can’t really point to people with “normal” function stacks either, for the same reason.

    But impossible functions is not really the main point of my “system,” it just happens to be where mine and the more traditional view butt heads most visibly. My main point is that mental orientations and philosophical worldviews (central in your view of typology) are caused by examples of reacting to information (central in my view of typology). And to make that argument doesn’t really require you to point to people, as much as it requires just some sequences of logic, which I can present if you are interested.

    The Pythagoras article sounds intriguing. I am currently having an issue with my login and can’t access it at the moment, but as soon as it is resolved I will take a look and perhaps return with thoughts.

    Thank you for the well wishes!! :)

  37. Re Pythagoras: in my interpretation of typology, it is certainly possible to develop a nuanced and complex philosophy like Pythagoras. My assertion is that such a mental orientation is a long-term result of many instances of moment-to-moment interactions with the world.

    That’s reflected in quotes like this, “Indeed, because his ethical teaching was presupposed in everything that he did,” and this one, ” With Pythagoras, the predisposition for benevolence was given in feeling and could never not be a coloring on the world as he saw it.” If one habitually goes around asking the question “how does what I’m seeing fit in with my value system,” then the worldview and philosophy you develop will ultimately be centered on that. With an exceptional mind, the resulting orientation may be very synthetic and sophisticated, but I don’t think it’s possible to reverse the causation: nobody develops their worldview before they interact with the world.

  38. @tobias

    “I am currently having an issue with my login and can’t access it at the moment”

    I often find I can’t view the member articles unless I clear all cookies from my browser, otherwise it throws up the login page again.

  39. For the Fe/Ti axis, the interests are all aligned, but that means clash right? We all desire the same things so we fight. Otherwise could you please tell me what did I get wrong?

  40. Another enlighting article, i have so much enjoyed the articles about function axes..Because i really do not have anything to add on a theoretical basis, i will try to give my opinion on an empirical level, i.e typology.

    Bill Nye-ISFJ.

    The way he cannot cope with eccentricity -when cooperate with De Grasse Tyson especially-look how he illustrates him many times when he’s “running his show”.
    And generally every time he gets to debate or explain something his style is -cannot cope with novelism.

    Another thing is that while he gets extremely extend at factual details (the difficulty of constructing a wooden ark at Noah’s time) he’s not bothering with how the abstract idea of Religion cannot or can cope with the real human condition, (like Sam Harris for instance)thus, showing Si.

    Cenk Uygur(The young Turks)-ESFP.

    While Cenk has said he is an atheist and the reasons about it, we often see him get defensive about Islam and protect it many times.When a Muslim defender as Reza Aslan gets to the panel, we see Cenk at a friendly -not have anything to split behavior,something which has bothered Sam Harris as he said when later being at TYT for the known interview.At this interview, Harris is making an explicit analysis of his ideas for Cenk.

    Cenk is showing to care(or understand) only for the practical differentiation Harris shows for other religions vs Islam, and he is heavily concern about practical associations with Harris’s idea, like a nuke strike for instance, while using numbers about ISIS followers–ISLAM believers percentage in a raw manner and as THE solution to the problem of Islamist violence culture, where Harris is trying to show the connection of certain sets of ideas to human conciousness and it’s practical associations.

    A lot of people therefore commenting on Cenk Uygur about being a pseudoatheist and trying to promote Islam.
    The same people however are pointing out the intellectual inferiority (and shallowness) of Cenk.Problem is that intellectual inferiority cannot exist together with the “intellectual bigotry” same people accuse him of being ridicusly obvious because intellectual ability is exactly the ability of handling the non abvious.

    So my opinion is Cenk Uygur is being honest about his atheistic approach, but is emotionaly attached to his priors in his life,(family-friends-nation beliefs)and he acts defensive about them in a very sincere and not-intellectual way, and therefore comes off putting to an intellectual observer.So…shallow.. with having factual numeric solutions (tertiary TE) and attached emotionaly to a certain set of group of people (as noted by admins at this site-an SFP habit of not liking critique of certain people-ideas).ESFP.

    I also have many other people’s types, which i would very much like to send at an email address of yours and know if you agree, knowing of course the heavy load of your work and your short time of dealing with your admirers as me,i only express my wish.Thank you.

  41. Okay.

    This is an AMAZINGLY GOOD article! :) The spelling is very well done and the author uses the longest words he can find to describe perfectly simple things in a complex way.

    And the Fi description is the best I’ve ever read — I can relate so much!!

    Overall… Brilliant! :)

  42. Could someone explain the difference between an Fi type with dependency issues vs an Fe type?

  43. Ventsy1,

    Well there are lots of differences, the two main ones being…

    Fi types are Fi types and Fe types are Fe types.

    Fi types with dependency issues have dependency issues.

  44. Hi Ventsy1 :)

    That is actually a very interesting question, and not quite as easy to answer as Rachel suggests. Though in essence she is right. :)

    On a superficial behavioral level, Fe types and people with the Dependent Style (for the sake of brevity I’ll call them Dependents) can look pretty similar. Both types are often very conflict avoidant, like doing things for other people, and willing to compromise, etc.

    But I think there are some important differences. (Which I will get back to once I have come back from eating my sandwich.) :)

  45. This is a good description of the Dependent style:

    While Extroverted Feeling is a perfectly healthy way of being, the Dependent style causes you to have some real problems in your life. So I’ll try to go through the points in that article and show how Fe differs. :)

    “Expressively Puerile (e.g., withdraws from adult responsibilities by acting helpless and seeking nurturance from others; is docile and passive, lacks functional competencies, and avoids self-assertion).”

    EFJs, in most cases, are among the most responsible people out there, and tend to have a sense of duty not seen so often in many other types. They are also rarely guilty of acting helpless and incompetent – they tend to be quite active, hardworking people. Confident EFJs are often quite happy to be assertive, though they will usually be assertive in a much gentler way than Te types.

    “Interpersonally Submissive (e.g., needs excessive advice and reassurance, as well as subordinates self to stronger, nurturing figure, without whom may feel anxiously alone and helpless; is compliant, conciliatory and placating, fearing being left to care for oneself).”

    Most EFJs are pretty confident people, and certainly don’t act like children needing to be told what to do and how to do it all the time. And though they do tend to love people, they enjoy getting plenty of alone time to read, watch movies etc. I don’t see any reason why EFJs would fear becoming independent more than any other types.

    Phenomenological Level

    “Cognitively Naive (e.g., rarely disagrees with others and is easily persuaded, unsuspicious and gullible; reveals a Pollyanna attitude toward interpersonal difficulties, watering down objective problems and smoothing over troubling events).”

    Although EFJs may appear to not disagree with others, that is not a true reflection of what is going on inside. These are Ti types after all, and they will be noticing contradictions in what people say and how they act constantly, trying to figure the person out – which they are naturally very gifted at doing. EFJs are not generally easy people to fool.

    “Inept Self-Image (e.g., views self as weak, fragile, and inadequate; exhibits lack of self-confidence by belittling own attitudes and competencies, and hence not capable of doing things on one’s own).”

    Though EFJs can be very modest about their strengths sometimes, what is being described here is a crippling lack of self-confidence. There’s no reason to believe a healthy EFJ would be less confident in themselves than other types.

    “Immature Contents (e.g., internalized representations are composed of infantile impressions of others, unsophisticated ideas, incomplete recollections, rudimentary drives and childlike impulses, as well as minimal competencies to manage and resolve stressors).”

    I don’t think I need to explain why this doesn’t describe a healthy person, of any type.

    Intrapsychic Level

    “Introjection Dynamics (e.g., is firmly devoted to another to strengthen the belief that an inseparable bond exists between them; jettisons independent views in favor of those of others to preclude conflicts and threats to relationship).”

    Of course EFJs are devoted to the people they love (though being Fe dominants they may not obsess over one individual at the expense of themselves or other people in their lives as much as IFPs). EFJs have just as independent a mind as anyone else, though they will probably not express their more controversial views to people they don’t know very well and trust.

    “Inchoate Architecture (e.g., owing to entrusting others with the responsibility to fulfill needs and to cope with adult tasks, there is both a deficient morphologic structure and a lack of diversity in internal regulatory controls, leaving a miscellany of relatively undeveloped and undifferentiated adaptive abilities, as well as an elementary system for functioning independently).”

    I think I’ve already been through this in a similar point.

    Biophysical Level

    “Pacific Mood (e.g., is characteristically warm, tender and noncompetitive; timidly avoids social tension and interpersonal conflicts).”

    This is where the two are similar, because EFJs generally do share these traits. :)

    Of course, EFJs can also be Dependents, but most are not. :)

  46. Hannah_S

    Great comment. :)

    Though every serious typologist knows EFJs are really brainless airheads with no will of their own, however much you try to deny it.

  47. Spot on Hannah_S… We need more of your contribution here :) There is a serious need to dispel notions of unintelligence in ESFxs – which is rampant on most forums to the point of ridiculousness. It almost feels that those people haven’t met an ESFx in real life.

  48. Scoop,

    I’m an ESFP. And blonde too. :D I don’t relate to any of the ESFP descriptions online because they make us look like complete idiots with less imagination than a tube of toothpaste. :)

  49. “I think that perhaps dominant ti types would prefer not to subscribe to the view that “all our interests are aligned” in a similar way to how dominant fi types prefer not to subscribe to the view that “there is a hierarchisation of people”, indicating the respective inferior fe and te.”

    Luke, I tend to agonize over definitions, and I think you just explained the Fe/Ti and Fi/Te axes here with the preceding paragraph so succinctly that I finally understand all the fuss over emphasizing axes. Thanks. :-)

  50. With HONESTLY no respect. As a muslim bearded INFP, thought to be like the Angel on your right shoulder telling you the right thing to do (although in Islam we believe the Angels on right and left record every deed we do and misdeed, no telling us, Allah is the only one who tells, Christians know him as Eloh-im im for respect). Islams infallible word is everyone takes care of himself and noone else does that for him, although right now there are though people who carry others burdens and share the ‘finite resorces’ as Te thinks, that is not undesired but brings bad or good influence on you due to associating yourself with losers (classical assholes). Paradoxically like the Native Indians story about the hummingbird where you have to ‘do your part however small it is in extingushing the fire in the forest’. Theres a similar story in Buddhism about a (colorful) Parrot whom dipped self in a lake and flew vainlessly courageously to the forest fire to drip the drops of water, the Gods saw that, and out of love and appreciation they made an exception to intervene in the worlds affirs. Buddhism is a mix of things. I stick to amongst others Indians and muslims.

    Everyone. Help you get from Ti/Fe is usually undeserved. You have done nothing to earn it. Are you children? Of course you are big babies. WTF is love then. It doesn’t exist (even according to Buddhism). FTW i say. Earn it. Allah is the only real God because He earns it as you clearly see (even if he is the creation of Prophets). Only children are busy with love and it is dangerous even if there is no (organized) revenge. Truth is Dominant and Love is auxilliary/side effect. Like the injections i get, they are dominantly painful/not loving and and as side effect doesn’t have a fucking effect at all (except pain). It humiliates you, repeatedly, until you break. But in fact as INFP i understand your pain, and I secondarily like possibly INFJ want to help you (you don’t deserve it), through putting you through rigorous training like the military O Men, the military creates men, responsible citizens. But don’t think i love you. Or hate you. You answer to Allah.

    Sometimes i think Allah is conservative. He does’t want to force you to painfully submit, that he is not radical. Buddhists says when the student is ready the teacher appears. But there is no teacher because life is empty.

  51. Haris, rationalism is not empirism, i might not have the rationality/communication skills to convey the message in one shot. But i have the experience as INFP whom is actively engaged by not following the stream. As INFP my Te is inferior, therefor i don’t have a grasp of organization. Don’t tell me to tell you everything i said in a better way, pick something and comment on it because empirically theres alot between the lines. Or NM.

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