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The Facts of Personality – In Tribute to Ludwig Wittgenstein

By Lee Morgan

(1)    The functional atom is the simple object. Its form is shown and its temperament is said.

(2)    The function is the logical category. It contains the simple objects.

(3)    That the functional atom is paired with its opposite is the logical structure.

(4)    By opposite, I mean those functional atoms that show the same form but speak in different senses. The logical category is the sense.

(5)    The function axis is the complex idea.

(6)    The form of the function axis contains the form of its parts. The function axis is silent.

(7)    The function axis is not its parts. It is emergent.

(8)    The axis class is the super-category. It contains the complex ideas.

(9)    The Complex ideas are paired. That they are paired shows that they are dissimilar.

(10)  The state of affairs is the personality.

Elucidating the Facts

(1)    By functional atom I mean any cognitive function that is understood to have a temperament. For instance, extroverted intuition is a functional atom.

(2)    By function I mean any class of cognitive function. For example, intuition is a function. This is an essential distinction. Hitherto, typology has mistaken the function for an object. It is not. Rather, the function is a class of objects. Whether the function is separate object is debatable, but irrelevant to the present discussion. Eliminating this category mistake removes a great deal of typological ambiguity, as will hopefully become apparent.

(3)    Jung borrows this sentiment from Heraclitus.

(4)    Let me draw a comparison. In Spinoza’s metaphysics, simple objects, or finite things, are specific modifications of God, expressed under a specific attribute. For example, a physical chair, which is perhaps not the best example of a simple object, though it will do, is a modification of God, under the attribute of extension, or physicality, such that its sense is that of a physical chair. In a different sense, we can conceive of the idea of a chair. Unlike the physical chair, the idea of the chair is a modification of God, under the attribute of thought, or mind, such that its sense is that of the idea of a chair. Both simple objects show the same form, that is a chair, but speak of, or communicate the form, in different, or, as defined above, opposite, senses. Bringing matters back to Jung’s typology, opposite functional atoms, for instance, introverted sensing and extroverted intuition, denote the same form, which I will discuss below, but communicate this form in different senses, that is, sensation and intuition, respectively. The difference between the objects compared is that of the difference between Parmenides and Democritus.

(5)    Drawing on the last elucidation, if we were to take both the physical chair, and the idea of the chair, an emergent, complex idea, would unveil itself. This emergent “chair-ness” is a platonic conception of a chair that contains within itself the quiddity, or “chair-ness,” of the chair. It is common to all senses of “chair-ness,” and reveals itself whenever any two senses are paired together. My thesis is that the function axis is analogous to this emergent quiddity. Each function axis possess its own quiddity, but more to that later.

(6)    The above elucidation should clarify the meaning of the first sentence. Regarding the second sentence, the complex idea, or function axis, has no sense and, therefore, cannot communicate anything. Any attempt to do so will yield a tautology. To prod at the quiddity of the complex idea, we may only state facts about the simple ideas that it subsists in. For example, introverted thinking is deductive and extroverted feeling is inclusive.

(7)    Again, this much should be obvious.

(8)    By axis class, I mean the category of sets that contain function axes. For example, perception is an axis class, containing two members.

(9)    Functional atoms are discrete objects whose form defines a cognitive preference. With this in mind, it should be clear why a person cannot posses every function axis. To say that a person prefers to do (x) over (y) does not imply that person cannot do (y), only that that person prefers (x). The so-called “eight-function model,” though well intended, falls prey to this distinction. Now, considering the previous elucidation, we can see that any given person will have one of each class of complex ideas. Anything otherwise would be absurd. Q.E.D.

(10)  Our personalities are sets of relationships between complex objects. That is to say that they cannot be reduced to their constituent parts. That is why I cannot accept statements to the effect of “Introverted Intuition goes from the one to the many,” as it is senseless to discuss any given functional atom without reference to those that surround it. Concerning that particular example, I sense that the person, or people, that inspired its utterance were INTJs, as its dialectical mode of perception could not be further removed from the pessimistic subsistence of an Arthur Schopenhauer. That said, I understand the necessity of such definitions, and will, therefore, conclude this paper with a set that I feel to be adequate.

Defining the Forms of Function Axes

(1)    The Quiddity Perception Axis (Se and Ni): the form of this axis is the cognitive preference to perceive objects in terms of their quiddity. This preference expresses itself in two distinct senses: appearance, which is the specialty of extroverted sensing, and the thing-in-itself, which is the specialty of introverted intuition.

(2)    The Abstraction Perception Axis (Si and Ne): the form of this axis is the cognitive preference to perceive objects in terms of the abstractions that they evoke. This preference expresses itself in two distinct senses: simile, that is to say that something is like something else, which is the specialty of introverted sensing, and possibility, that is to say that such and such can be done with this, which is the specialty of extroverted intuition.

(3)    The Rounded Judgment Axis (Fe and Ti): the form of this axis is the cognitive preference to judge objects in a qualified manner. Imagine a circle. Would you say that it has no angles, or an infinite number of angles? Regardless of your answer, intellectual responsibility urges us to acknowledge the legitimacy of the contrary position. This preference expresses itself in two distinct senses: courtesy, or the validation of the judgments of others, which is the specialty of extroverted feeling, and qualification, or the doubting of one’s own judgments, which is the specialty of introverted thinking.

(4)    The Angular Judgment Axis (Fi and Te): the form of this axis is the cognitive preference to judge objects in a definite manner. Imagine a square. Few would deny that it has four, right angles; some may even define the shape in terms of them. Judgments of this sort beget no qualification. This preference expresses itself in two distinct senses: sincerity, or the assertion of one’s own judgments, which is the specialty of introverted feeling, and factualness, or the assertion of the judgments of others, which is the specialty of extroverted thinking.

Final Thoughts

(1)    Another way to conceive of the thinking functions is in terms of propositions. The extroverted thinker prefers to think in terms of content, whereas the introverted thinker prefers structure. It is from this distinction that the typical facts derive.

(2)    I must praise the author of that epigram that states that, regarding the logic of the thinking function, “the logic is the same [regardless of temperament.] I have tried to show its truthfulness throughout my definitions. I would also like to add to it, stating that, with respect to the feeling function, the values are the same; what differs with temperament is their source. The introverted feeler’s preference for authenticity shows the same underlying mechanism that the adaptive extroverted feeler does. Both feeling types are compelled towards honoring their values; what differs is the source of their values. In a sense, a person cannot be termed phony for adapting to values of others, provided that they are disposed to do so, and, that they honor said values.

(3)    I sincerely hope that these elucidations, though unsayable, will help to do away the nastiness and nonsense of our community’s present problems.

Published in Lee Morgan