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A Counterperspective to Arild’s Conception of Te and Ti

By Sam Levey

Concerning Sigurd Arild’s piece, An Illustration of Te and Ti, although I think the characterization of Te is quite accurate, I actually think that the description of Ti misses the mark a bit.

As I see it, Thinking concerns itself with the mechanical attributes of a thing, while Feeling concerns itself with its value attributes. So, while Thinking might determine how something works or how to accomplish a task, Feeling makes the determination of whether a task is good to do, or whether you should accomplish a task (with appropriate caveats that word choice and context matter a lot there).

So, given the situation of a dog barking, as laid out in Arild’s article, it ought to be Feeling that determines what the most appropriate course of action is to get the dog to stop barking. Once that’s decided, Thinking deals with how that problem works.

But with Arild’s description of Ti as dealing with the problem, “what rights must be balanced against each other,” that sounds a lot more like Feeling than Thinking: It is determining what should happen, what’s the most good thing. Feeling makes the decision that my right to silence outweighs her right ignore the dog.

Similarly, although “determining who is principally to blame” does sound like Ti to me, it glosses over the part where Feeling has made the decision that “who is to blame” matters. And Te might have something to say about that question too. (As a Te-type friend of mine is fond of saying, “didn’t your momma teach you nothin?!”)

I think if the agreed goal is “don’t hear the dog,” then Te would do as the article says, but Ti might be a bit different: Ti might be abstracting from the problem even more: Why is the dog making the noise, is there something about its current living situation? Or, why can I hear any noise from her property at all, and has the acoustical situation at my previous homes been this way?

Te seeks the expedient solution, but Ti is still seeking a solution. It will just tend to be the more ideal, theoretically perfect solution. The description of Ti in Arild’s article sounded more like it was trying to determine what the problem even was, which, as I said, I think is a question for Feeling. Feeling makes the decision that my right to silence outweighs her right ignore the dog, then Thinking decides how to put this in action. Or conversely, Feeling could decide that her right to ignore the dog outweighs my right to silence, and then Thinking would decide how best to achieve this alternate goal of ignoring or avoiding the sound.


  • Arild: An Illustration of Te and Ti Open Journal of Jungian Typology 2015

Published in Sam Levey