More clarification on function definitions
Based on Jung’s definitions of Sensation as telling you “what it is”, iNtuition tells you “where it’s going”, Thinking “gives it a name” (i.e. categorizes it), and Feeling tells us what it’s worth.
Sometimes Thinking would be cited as “what it is” as well. I saw a parallel there, and then it would figure that both iNtuition and Feeling would also bear a parallel in dealing with more than simply “what is”. When I first learned about Interaction Styles, I noticed that S and T together were always “directive” or task (rather than people) focused. N and J together were also, but N+J indicated the function-attitude of introverted iNtuition, and it makes sense that that function would be directive, compared with its “light and airy” extraverted counterpart.
But what was it about S and T that seemed to add up to a consistent directiveness? I only needed to remember back to my ISTJ parents always telling me in their trite fashion “life is what it is”, where I wanted more possibilities to be open. Also, in different function descriptions, you could see “facts” associated with either S or T.
So it’s N and F that deal more with “meanings”, whether the possibilities or symbols behind something, or the value we assign to it (when we value something, we often say “this means something to me”). This would explain why the NF temperament would be described as so “idealistic”. (The “mirror temperament” of ST is often called “the empiricist”). The introverted attitudes of both functions (Ni, Fi) are also described as the most “deep”, and the hardest to understand or explain.
So this parallels them according to “is” vs “meaning”, to highlight how they differ from each other:
Sensation: observation that a thing is
Thinking: assessment of what the thing is
iNtuition: observation THAT the thing means something
Feeling: assessment of WHAT the thing means
Products of the functions (NOT what they ARE)
S physical sensation
T impersonal aspects of objects
F personal relating to people and events
In terms of DOMAINS:
S the tangible world
N concepts, ideas and possibilities
(rational assessments, decision-making)
T the properties of objects and how they work
F living souls and their inner states –properties of subjects
e objective orientation
i subjective orientation
Se: Sees the tangible world from an external orientation (emergent experience).
Si: Sees the tangible world from an internal orientation (storehouse of facts/experience)
Ne: Sees the world through concepts from an external orientation (meanings/possibilities inherent in the object)
Ni: Sees the world through concepts from an internal orientation (storehouse of patterns and meanings)
Te: assessment based on objective standard of properties of objects (orders according to outer world efficiency)
Ti: assessment based on subjective standard of properties of objects (orders according inner world efficiency)
Fe: assessment based on objective standard of properties of subjects (orders according to outer world’s human needs)
Fi: assessment based on subjective standard of properties of subjects (orders according to inner world’s human needs)
The four functions look at a field of grass:
S seeing the grass and its color for what it is
(e: just takes it for what it is in the moment; i: stores this and compares from it)
T recognizing it as a green object (categorizing; this is what Allen L. Hammer said at a recent presentation).
(e: we should plant more grass, because green is known to be relaxing; i: ponder on some aspect of it, like the color, species, etc)
N Recognizing green’s significance (e. g. it’s alive)
(e: perhaps this area is well irrigated or fertilized; i: draw a symbolic meaning)
F seeing the color as pretty
(e: this would look nice for inviting people over; i: this makes me happy. I should enjoy and share with others)
All types will go through that same four step process (And both attitudes will be at least implicit).
I would say that inasmuch as every instance of processing we do will include all four, but will focus on only one or two (in one attitude or the other), the unfocused ones could be the basic “unconscious” or “undifferentiated” version of the functions.