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Differentiating the Types via the Tertiary Function: ENTP and INTP

The orientation of the tertiary function has been hotly debated (even Myers did not finally settle on one orientation), but for the sake of simplicity I will be using the Standard Model. So the tertiary function is extroverted if the dominant function is extroverted. Hence according to the Standard Model, an ENTP has Ne, Ti, Fe, Si.

Starting with John Beebe’s association of the tertiary function with the Child Archetype, the tertiary function has become known as the puerile function. I think this is a fair assessment but I prefer to think of the tertiary function as that which distinguishes sister types such as the INTP and ENTP, e.g., the ENTP’s Feeling and the INTP’s Sensing set them apart and give them distinguishing characteristics. This article will contain my observations on how the tertiary function distinguishes sister types.

Repressed Si in the ENTP makes them more flighty non-codifying thinkers. This can be their boon and their bane. In Wolfgang Pauli, whom according to CelebrityTypes is an ENTP, we see the advantage of a non-codifying heuristic. He carries no expectations of what physics should be based on prior expectations and this gives him an open-mind when approaching quantum mechanics and allows him to speculate freely whether the psychology of an observer can change quantum observations. The down-side to repressed Si is it can lead to a lack of consistency. As the writers at CelebrityTypes have said David Hume tries to say everything but one can pair two of his papers together and we find Hume contradicting himself amounting to nothing.

In the INTP, however, Si is not repressed. Instead it takes the tertiary position and we do find a codifying heuristic. This gives the INTP the ability to bring a large number of facts under an umbrella of principles that represents those facts as we find in Charles Darwin’s Adam Smith’s and Friedrich A. Hayek’s works. However, tertiary Si has a downside as well. It can be resistant to challenges to what has already been codified as is the case with Albert Einstein when he grew angry with the study of quantum mechanics.

Repressed Fe in the INTP gives them a distrust of expressive emotion. Again this can be good and bad. Take the philosopher Thales of Miletus. He very much disapproved of the melodrama of the gods (the melodrama being that Neptune would kill some sailors on a whim because their sacrifices were not sufficient or whatever). And so Thales becomes the systematizer and as Nietzsche says “has a chilly relationship with allegory and myth.” But in the INTP Fe can be a real thorn in his side. This video provides an example of Fe as the INTP Richard Dawkins’s Achilles heel. He gets very testy with the sympathies and laughter of the crowd even though it appears completely good-natured. This fear of expressive emotion is what can turn the INTPs off from debate. Look at by INTP Randall Munroe. It contains many comics that point out the ridiculousness of debate.

In the ENTP Fe is tertiary. As such, the ENTP is not averse to expressive sympathies and instead enthusiastically charges into debate. This example alone shows both good and bad in tertiary Fe. The ENTPs Socrates and Xenophanes go out and have intellectual brawls with the citizens of their time, leading to great philosophy. But this same debate is what got Socrates in trouble with Athens and ultimately killed him. This Socratic style in ENTPs is often misinterpreted as anger and given a cold treatment.


  • ABC TV: Richard Dawkins vs Cardinal George Pell on Q&A 2012
  • Beebe: Evolving the Eight-function Model Australian Psychological Type Review Vol. 8 No. 1 2006
  • CelebrityTypes: Jung, Einstein, Pauli, and Kant: Ti vs. Ni and Ne CelebrityTypes 2014
  • CelebrityTypes: The Difference Between INTP and ENTP CelebrityTypes 2013
  • Gerroir and Smith: Another Look at INTP CelebrityTypes 2015
  • Gregersen, Smith, and Arild: Function Models for Skeptics, Part 1 CelebrityTypes 2015
  • Nietzsche: Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks Regnery 1998

Published in John Barnes