Further clarification of T/F
Here’s my proposal for a definition of T/F (added to Personality Glossary):
Feeling (F): the judgment (decision-making) function that covers personal or interpersonal elements of life. According to Jung, it tells us “what [something] is worth”. This is possible from our state as emotional creatures affected by objects and events, which is the focus of the function.
A person’s “Feeling” function is their perspective of the human side of things, and their attention to and evaluation of things by emotions and values, and identification with other living beings.
A Feeling type is one whose primary rational outlook is looking at the world in terms of people or humanity, and the elements that makes them “subjects”, such as emotions and values; usually with a focus on goals such as individual or group harmony. They approach life in terms of being human first, and seeing others as humans to interact with, and objects are to be looked at and used from that perspective.
Thinking (T): the judgment (decision making) function that covers technical or “impersonal” elements of objects, such as “if-then” evaluations, regardless of affect on people. According to Jung, it is the function that gives it a name [i.e logically categorizes “what is”]. This is the function that captures our [personal] detachment from things evaluated.
A person’s “Thinking” function is their perspective of the technical side of things, and their attention to and evaluation of things by impersonal logic. It’s where we detach from things as simply other objects.
A Thinking type is one whose primary rational outlook is looking at the world in terms of objects and how they work (including people), often with a focus on goals such as efficiency.
I was leery of just going with the common association of F with “likes” (“values”), because I had seen this (and especially Fi) overgeneralized to the point that other types would not know what they like/want.
An ego will naturally go for what it “likes”, but that in itself is different from paying more attention to the properties of the subject. Like “this is really good for the soul” or “this will look nice to people”.
So I propose:
Unconscious F: just reacting to emotions or impulsively going for what’s “liked”
conscious F: looking at the emotion, or what is liked, and making a rational decision based on it.
(Everyone will do the former at times, but the difference is that the Feelers will be more likely to do the latter in normal circumstances).
Similarly, other functions:
Unconscious: just routinely experiencing sensations, dealing with a concepts or using logic as the situations come. Conscious: a stronger focus on the sensations, concepts or logic.
Objective vs subjective:
i draws on subjective standard or storehouse of data; abstracts what’s irrelevant to subject
e draws upon objective standard or emergent data, merges subject with object.
T focuses on the properties of impersonal objects for making judgments
F focuses on the properties of personal subjects for making judgments (i.e. emotions, values; what distinguishes us as humans).
This would sort out “subjective/objective”s role in both i/e and T/F. One is viewing subjects or objects as an observer, and the other deals with the subject or object as the ego’s own standard.
With this, I can now explain some of the confusing ambiguities regarding T/F
As a Thinking type, I look at things from a detached position, and evaluate or arrange them according to an internal standard. There may be an emotional attachment to the thing I’m looking at (like a nice symmetry) or the decision made based on it (like the satisfaction of arranging something like that) which indicates obvious personal value being assigned, but this is not the main judgment going on. It is in the background, and likely being taken for granted (Where a true Feeling type would pay more attention to that aspect of the evaluation). Even in the background, it is still “felt”, and not necessarily totally ignored, however.
Some people will be confused by this, recognizing their emotion, and thinking (based on common misconceptions) that a Thinking type shouldn’t feel or at least be at all aware of those emotions. (I certainly went through this years ago). T’s have been portrayed almost like robots or “vulcans”, but no real human is like that.
I’ve also heard “Many people think they are ‘analyzing’, when they’re really ‘valuing'”. But we’re really doing both. You cannot completely separate out the opposite function. It just falls to the background.
An example of tertiary Fi I was once given was buying some clothes or something a person saw that would make them feel good, when they should be using the money to pay bills. At first, it sounded like the typical “liking” description of Fi, and I projected my own assumption of impulsive behavior into it. That’s something any type could do on an impulse.
But looking over it again, this was likely more of a somewhat conscious, rational decision, and not completely an impulse. It’s one that might be regretted, but it was a weighing of “humane” importance. We need to live a little and try to make ourselves happy sometimes.
I normally resist that process, thinking of the problems that would result later, in which case I would not be able to “rest”, and which would cancel out any “good feeling” in the short term. If I were to do something like that, it would be from an impulse, likely from stress, and not thought out like that at all. Or, if I did consciously and rationally deal with it, it would be to think of how to squeeze the finances so that there wouldn’t be a problem.
In this case, the personal value is there, but either more in the background or unconsciously erupting, while the impersonal focus is what’s more conscious.
Likewise, every situation will have impersonal logical aspects to it, and these will usually fall into the background for a Feeling type evaluating the situation.
In the background, I’m thinking its attitude is less distinct.
So is the emotion I feel from Ti gratification distinctively Fe; while the same emotion an ETJ feels at the gratification of his Te has to be Fi? This is something that was always confusing, and in reading type descriptions (notably in Quenk’s Was That Really Me?) it looked like the same things were being attributed to both attitudes of F.
I would say that in such a case, the preferred attitude of the inferior is not as significant. It’s sort of like Jung’s concept of “concretistic” feeling or thinking (which remain bound to sensations). It’s not differentiated, and thus not oriented.
So this again shows the nature of four functions (not eight), with the attitudes assigned by the ego separately according to the situation.
It’s the complexes (inferiority or anima/animus) that really differentiate the attitudes, bringing a distinct [one-out-of-eight] function-attitude out of the background to the forefront.
If the ego or “hero” complex is doing its thing, making detached technical evaluations referencing its internal world, then the inferiority complex is not constellated at that point, so the background Feeling is not differentiated right then. It’s just there, almost out of sight, providing the emotional investment.
Now, when something occurs that constellates the hero’s diametric opposite inferior/anima/animus complex, then it will evaluate based on its preferred Feeling, and assigned external orientation. (You can also do a “right-brain” (P) function switch, or have the Daimonic complex constellated, which will also evaluate according to Feeling, but maintain the dominant attitude).