|The Functions, in essence|
posted by strawberry crisis on August 5, 2018, 10:51 pm
For a long time, I sought to fix the very-obviously-incorrect function stack model that everyone used. As an ENFP, I realized that I found it difficult to relate to Fi as I began to trace most of my behaviors and characteristics back to Fe instead. As I began noticing discrepancies between stacks and the people who were meant to fit them, my solution was to change the stack so that it allowed for more room with the other functions; then it eventually became all eight of the functions ordered in a way that made enough sense to correspond to certain types; then it became a more holisitc view of how strongly each function can be identified in any person; then I realized these functions weren't defined any certain way to begin with and that the "essence" of the definitions of these functions I sought didn't exist; then I let go of The Functions.
But this was all a misunderstanding. All I had to do was look more carefully, and I encourage everyone else to do so as well, because the fact remains: there aren't any good definitions of the functions out there, and I—an extremely informed, well-read and knowledgeable typologist—finally have a set at hand. If you disagree, you need to either a) look more closely b) read into other systems more to gain perspective c) understand how other typing systems justify "discrepancies" between person and type d) read more about typology and others' findings e) need to be a neuroscientist like Dario Nardi, Ph.D. or f) sound more right than me.
An important thing to understand is that The Functions only make up the sum of a much greater "whole," whichever four they might be. The brain is a complex organ that cannot be easily divided or categorized into different states, areas, regions, or modes of cognition, hence why typing can be such a difficult matter that few can be aware enough to wrap around themselves in an accurate manner. Taking long strings and bullet points of "traits" or "mannerisms" and applying them to someone as though they functioned binarily is exactly the wrong approach to discerning the Four Valued Functions; we must instead speak conceptually about the essence of what these functions mean and how they relate back to the entire type. If it were so easy that we could simply judge whether or not a bullet point was something someone could relate to, tests relating to tangible details about The Functions would be accurate and no one would have any trouble with others' typings unless there was a misunderstanding of the person who was being typed. In other words, superficial typing doesn't work with a system as intuitive and nuanced as The Functions. It's just like speaking a language, where you communicate meaning as opposed to the literal words that make the sentences up; type using the concept of the Function, not the details that are attibuted to it.
The Functions represent exactly what they are named after: intuition, sensation, thinking, and feeling. Imagine everything related to sensation and wrap your head around what relates to its externalities, internalities, and how if you recognize the presence of an internality when you are sure that they relate to it only in its externalized context, you are either mistaking the internality for something else that mimics it or taking note of unusual and uncharacteric brain development. Try this with all of the Functions and try relating it back to someone you know.
In summary, to truly understand The Functions, you must:
1) recognize the greater type connected to all its Four Valued Functions
2) notice the fluidity of how the Functions embody themselves in one's cognition
3) be aware of mimicry
4) be able to look deeper and deeper to justify your assessment
5) understand that the only true boundaries exist where the following are defined: sensation, intuition, thinking, feeling, and the models that tie these together in the most infinite way possible
But instead of pretending to create True Syncretism, it may be better to designate all this into its own system. I'm just an ordinary person with only the barebones of an Earth-shattering theory to work with, so I haven't yet figured out the extent to which this cognitive model can be embodied, scrutinized, and further analyzed in people.
My first proposal is to create four quadras, to each in which four types belong:
Type 1 (formerly known as ENFP)
Type 2 (formerly known as ENTP)
Type 3 (formerly known as ENFJ)
Type 4 (formerly known as ENTJ)
Type 5 (formerly known as INFP)
Type 6 (formerly known as INTP)
Type 7 (formerly known as INFJ)
Type 8 (formerly known as INTJ)
Type 9 (formerly known as ESFP)
Type 10 (formerly known as ESTP)
Type 11 (formerly known as ESFJ)
Type 12 (formerly known as ESTJ)
Type 13 (formerly known as ISFP)
Type 14 (formerly known as ISTP)
Type 15 (formerly known as ISFJ)
Type 16 (formerly known as ISTJ)
What these quadras and types mean will be illuminated as we venture into the essence of these types, as they are greater than our own understanding of them.