Personality Cafe banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
447 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Classes just started this week for me- and this happened:

In my Philosophy: Moral Questions (undergrad GE) class, the professor wrote the details of the class on the board, as well as "INFP" (was on top) and "ESFP" (below, directly under INFP). I was watching him the entire time, and I recognized them immediately- hoping that I was in the right classroom. He began is "Intro to this class" speech- he was very energetic and entertaining. He asked the class if anyone knew what these letters were, and after waiting a while, I raised my hand and gave him an answer. He then told a very amusing and very brilliant story about how he is INFP, and his brother is ESFP. He then said, "I'm telling you all this so you can understand how I grade. I wouldn't be like my brother and give you a four-page handout on what you must do to get an A. I can't tell you exactly what makes an A paper- but when I see it, I know it. Write me a smart paper."

What do you think an INFP would like to see in a philosophy paper? Is there anything that I should avoid? I figured that he let us know his MBTI type so that we could benefit from it, and I don't know of any other INFPs to question. I also haven't researched in-depth about INFPs. Any advice would be extremely helpful! Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
841 Posts
I think he would want you to just express how you feel about a certain prompt, and back it up with over-looked evidence. That's how I would grade a paper if I was a professor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
Well, my dad is also an INFP professor! And I took one of his classes. And since I'm an INFP too, I guess I would say just don't bull shit it. He's obviously a smart INFP if he's a professor, and I think they have less tolerance bull shit papers even more than some other types. Write a sincere paper, one that you actually researched and have backed up your well-founded claimes with. Take a stance and act like you really are interested in backing it up. I don't know.. He seemed to explain it well by just saying" write a smart paper", haha. I probalby would have said the same thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
hehe aw, but that's the point: we INFPs sometimes can't write you a list of all the things that we'd prefer or like to see. my guess is that he gave you his MBTI type because that's the type of professor he is and generally, that's the most in terms of "guidelines" that you're going to get from him. my guess is that your papers will either click with him or not. what defines that click is harder to pin down -- I mean, I couldn't say because I don't know him at all, and he clearly can't say either! as an INFP, I interpret his comment about a "smart" paper as a paper that is unique, that is fresh, and that is solidly written. I know those are generally very vague adjectives (see below though) but I'm afraid I can't help anymore than that right now. if it makes you feel any better, I usually do pretty badly on the first papers that I write for a new professor. it takes a while for me to get a feel of what the professor is looking for -- or for you, as a thinking type, I imagine it will take a while for you to qualify the exact criteria he's looking for. don't give up!

as a general rule on writing philosophy papers though (I took three semesters of philosophy and I absolutely love it even though I can't fit anymore classes into my schedule), a good paper is not limited to but is always, always always clear, tight, and well-supported. what I mean by "clear" is that it is clearly written, and it shouldn't be hard for the reader to follow your argument. avoid ambiguity, and pin down exactly what you want to say. lay it out for the reader. what I mean by "tight" is that your argument should be sound -- that is, there should be no logical fallacies in it, no counter examples, and ideally, you also presuppose and address some counter arguments that can be made against. and finally, it should be well-supported in the sense that you back up your arguments with plenty of evidence, or examples that prove your point. if you're reading philosophical texts, make sure that you tie your argument back to those. of course, that's just the bare minimum for a paper -- there's also the quality of your argument, perhaps the originality or the particular relevance to today's issues or something, that is just as important as your presentation of it! this might all be a little daunting if this is going to be your first philosophy paper, but trust me, taking philosophy classes has changed my worldview so so much and the writing skills I've developed have helped everything from my lab reports to my history thesis.

in terms of what an INFP specifically would like to see -- no idea. I think the most that can be said about INFPs is that our personality type predisposes us to liking philosophy... but not more than that. but if he's a good professor, he's not going to give you a good grade just because he personally agrees with your opinion, anyway. so as long as you have a well-written, "smart" paper, I think you'll be fine. if anything, solidly challenging his own views might be exactly what he's looking for!

let me know if you need any more help writing your paper!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
If i was an INFP and grading philosophy papers... the one thing i would look for is sincerity. Believe everything you write, and don't borrow ideas from anyone. He probably wants to hear something that comes completely from you, and that's relevant to you. You can never express someone else's thoughts and really mean it, and i think a lot of philosophy falls into this trap. Building on something because it's accepted or provable isn't good enough... if you don't believe that what you're writing is true he will know immediately. Since he used the word "smart" specifically, coming up with a new perspective or idea that's still "tight", as the previous poster said, would probably be the most impressive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Make your points. Don't frill it up for space. A lot of typical professors would say you had to have a certain amount of pages and this that and the other thing. But most likely he's just going to tell you what subject matter and what points to cover, how you do it is gonna be up to you. As an INFP student I've always had trouble with A typical professors, mostly I've ended up going to them before a dead line to have them give me more to talk about buz they'd ask for a 5 page paper and I'd have 3 and a half. I'd cover my points and be done with it.

I admire him a lot. When I was going to couples counseling with my ex the counselor gave me an article about a man that was just up front with his coworkers about his personality type, mostly to help them help him deal with them. I've thought often about being the same way.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Angel1412kaitou

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,242 Posts
He's looking for original brilliance & geniusness, from you. He wants to see what's inside your mind, by what you choose to write about. He wants to learn from you. Above all... he's looking for a *smart paper*.

How creative of him to leave it up to you. How very P of him. Tell him you admire his Pness, next time you see him.

On 2nd thought, better not mention the Pness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,999 Posts
My INTP philosopher professor was very into the idea that generally, we should choose our words carefully, and try to use the fewest, most apt, best defined, and least ambiguous words when we wrote out answers to his questions, prompts, etc. On the first few papers, I scored 70-80s, but I quickly figured out how to word things properly for him and started getting As, and I ended up getting an A in the class overall.

An INFP philosopher might be similar, but probably wouldn't begrudge you if your personal feelings about an issue were included, so long as you recognized them as such. *shrugs*

Now that I think about it, he's probably looking for you to assert a philosophical viewpoint which is... more well-thought out and more original and out of most people's "safe zone" - my INTP professor really liked it when I started getting interested in the intersection of game theory and the philosophical "state of nature".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
447 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Wow! All of these responses are amazing! I am so glad I posted my question to this forum- I was very unsure about it at first. I didn't think I'd get many replies at all.

Everyone's reply has helped me so much already. Even though today was just the first day, I am already forming plans about how I should write my essay later in the semester.

I admire him a lot. When I was going to couples counseling with my ex the counselor gave me an article about a man that was just up front with his coworkers about his personality type, mostly to help them help him deal with them. I've thought often about being the same way.
I cannot even begin to explain how impressed I was! I am certain that the rest of the class will not use the information at all, but I know that knowing his type (as well as all of the wonderful info you all have given me) will definitely help me while in his class.

Again, thank you all for the imput! I will be processing this information and using it in every class session. :D
 

·
MOTM February 2014
Joined
·
4,787 Posts
It seems like you have plenty of good answers already, but I wanted to chime in, too.

Clarity is most important. I wouldn't even say research/evidence is very important; obviously, as a college student, you know to back up your statements with proof. But clarity... yes, make sure your essays are easily understandable. We tend to see too many possibilities into different words (or at least I do, because a word can sometimes have like ten definitions/meanings).

But I think what you really want to show him is that you can think for yourself. There's several ways to do this and it depends on what type of teacher he is and what assignments he hands out. It seems to me like he'd be the type to get a kick out of someone doing a paper/project a different way from everyone else while still fulfilling the basic requirements. Another way, and more pertinent to the essay, is to make sure you explain why you're arguing your point. It doesn't matter which way you go, which belief/decision you defend (I'm assuming you'd be debating morals), but don't be like everyone else. The other students won't always know why they're defending something, just that it's right because society or their parents say it is. So don't be like the other students. Think for yourself and examine if your beliefs are correct and why they are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
One thing I need to warn you is don't assume that INPFs are really fluffly and vague and anything really will do. We have amazingly high standards. I remember I helped someone I worked with with an assignment for university and even though i was really polite to not hurt her feelings, I thought her work was horrifically poor and badly researched. I corrected all her spelling and grammar, which was awful and I was surprised she got a really good mark. I honestly thought it was not going to be good enough. i have to admit that I tend to think the same about my work, and I've always got really good marks.

If he is a professor, he will have enough experience to have set an acceptable standard of work that suits the majority of students, not him, but don't assume a few opinions and some fluffly ideas are enough! I would personally appreciate too things like how much effort it has been put into and if the student seems to be improving etc, rather than just a perfectly correct paper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,161 Posts
I guess it'd be cool to see something novel rather than without much reflection/thought. Of course one may not have original ideas but might find something novel/interesting when they put in the effort in really trying to understand something, drawing upon the examples and work of thinkers to make something cohesive that expresses what they really think on an issue.
When you really think about something, I think you don't run out of content to explore.
Something I really enjoy which is captured in expressing your own viewpoint is that it is asserted strongly, not weakly in terms of ignoring expected and common criticisms but really fighting against them to argue one's point as the best one can think of.
It's not something one's indifferent to, but is really trying to solve and the limitations of certain views aren't satisfactory so you assert something which seems to express the best position or properly synthesize aspects of what is relatively true in the different positions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,734 Posts
I look for honesty, self expression, thoughts that are personal to the individual, and facts, plus examples to explain the facts/ideas.

There's this misconception that INFPs can't do facts. Sure INTJs memorise facts a lot easier, whereas as an INFP I tend to memorise stuff using Si (facts backed up by examples. This is why my posts contain toooons of examples. Personal experiences = impact Si = get engraved in my cells).

Whenever I thank posts on PerC or give thumbs up on youtube videos (which are my equivalents to grading papers) I don't do that just because I agree with the person. I "like" and thumbs up plenty of content that I disagree with. Why? Because I enjoy being exposed to well articulated ideas that make me think deeply about an issue I hadn't considered before. Subconsciously, I pay more attention to the "well articulated" part, which is to me is the "smart" part, cause how you organize your speech is completely up to you, and I dislike stuff that has been regurgitated. So many times I see people saying a lot of facts, but to me that's just regurgitation. It shows that they just memorised stuff, and they just accept the stuff as true without thinking. I value critical thinking, the person's own thoughts mixed with the facts, if this makes sense. I will "like" their stuff if it's well written and follows a logical sequence that I can see how they got to that conclusion, plus gives me examples to illustrate facts.
I don't value being told "This is what I think, pim pam poom", I always ask Why, How did you get there, you need to tell me the whole logical sequence, Ti style.

I'm looking to learn something new from people. So teach me something. Just cause he's the professor, doesn't mean he's not also a student, if you know what I mean.
 
  • Like
Reactions: neutralchaotic

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,041 Posts
It has been suggested that Søren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher, was INFP. Perhaps familiarizing yourself with his writings might provide some insight? I would suggest Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing as a good starting point, being one of his less-lengthy works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Honestly, I am an INFP, and while I see where he is coming from, this would drive me mad if I was his student. I don't think it's fair to students who may be more reliant on instructions to not give them anything to hold on to at all. It assumes people can divine what he values in an essay. And it gives students nothing at all to refer to when they disagree with a grade.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,242 Posts
He's looking for original brilliance & geniusness, from you. He wants to see what's inside your mind, by what you choose to write about. He wants to learn from you. Above all... he's looking for a *smart paper*.

How creative of him to leave it up to you. How very P of him. Tell him you admire his Pness, next time you see him.

On 2nd thought, better not mention the Pness.
I wrote that in 2010 and just wanted to add -- I :heart: the open-ended questions and threads here at PerCafe. I love that professor! If I were a teacher, I could see myself making those kids work in the same way.

I love being given a question here, at PerCafe, and being able to run with it, mess with the answer, make stuff up, color outside the lines, be as Sily as I can be, with the invitation to add my own answers.

An example is the recent "robot" thread. There have been loads of questions here, in that vein, but that is the latest I can think of -- "What would you say if you were a robot?" ...... and then you just take off from that point. About a zillion ways to answer that question -- absolutely no wrong way to answer it. How funny, how creative can you be, with your answer? Show us your mind. ;-) How boring is it? (my clichéd answer did make me laugh, but brought back great memories).

It's been 8 years since you spoke of that professor. Wonder what he's been up to, since that time. What other *exercises* he has given his students.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top