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The “Two Is Still One” Problem (modern translation)

Katami Fukie 2023/2/21 14:27

This page is the first of a series revising the “Strawberry Thesis Statements” I had written five years ago. I no longer have any interest in typology itself, so please treat these articles less as “edits” and more as “translations.” My current thoughts on the article will be appended at the bottom.

Something that has always bugged me about the cognitive functions is how they were originally only supposed to be four functions, but an supposedly extraverted and supposedly introverted attitude has since been contrived out of them. These divergent attitudes are not actually related to extraversion or introversion as has been defined, but both “extraversion” in the function context and “extraversion” as a separate concept are conflated with one another. Instead of resolving this conflict, typology theorists tend to syncretize both definitions under an umbrella “extraversion” or “introversion.” They will treat their syncretic definition as though it were a true, essential form of the original concepts, and yet will be unable to define it without illustrating how it manifests in type. “Extraverted feeling” for example is not a cross between “extraversion” and “feeling,” but instead something that varies in definition based on what archetype has it. You’ll find this even between types you would expect to be similar (INFJ vs. ENFJ). The definitions of the cognitive functions are unique enough within their respective archetypes that it may be more fair to say that the archetype is more clearly defined than the cognitive functions as standalone concepts.

If you think I’m wrong, I challenge you to prove it. (You’re not supposed to be able to.)

Introverted sensing usually is defined by ideas like valuing the familiar over the new, being duty-bound, and liking tradition. If sensing simultaneously is a perceiving function (the process of taking in information without any processing), then why does it sound an awful lot like a judging function (the process of making decisions based on information)? It doesn’t make sense why an introverted function would be focused on external things either, like holding to tradition, if it’s truly an introverted function.

Extraverted feeling is usually described as harmonious, ignoring personal values in groups and trying to get along. Introverted feeling is the opposite, and usually has something in it about standing up for your own morals. Why does it sound like the introverted function is boldly taking a stand while the extraverted function wants no trouble? MBTI Step II has a contained/expressive scale that contradicts the extraversion and introversion we see here. How do we reckon with that?

But where’s “feeling” here, anyway? What does having a personal moral system (introverted feeling) have anything to do with Myers-Briggs “feeling”? MBTI “feeling” is defined by showing care, compassion, and tact instead of being blunt. Maybe people who relate to introverted feeling won’t necessarily relate to MBTI “thinking,” but “feeling” isn’t really a part of this equation.

Author notes: I think Lily Ives Gossamer might have had a point or two, but it sounds a lot like she’s trying to talk about very specific examples that I as a reader have no point of reference for. Speak clearly! Writing abstractly does not make your writing more rigorous!
Also, I find it kind of funny that I didn’t clearly spell out my conclusion. Just in case it’s unclear, I wanted to show that cognitive function theory is not actually about the cognitive functions but instead the sixteen archetypes.

Read the original here: