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Discussion Starter #1
I had to write a paper in my epistimology class, and my paper was about the role of creative and critical thinking in the creation of knowledge. While researching it I noticed something interesting about the role of intuition in our acquisition of knowledge according to various philosophers, specifically how various philosophers viewed different ways of information gathering and processing that we recognize as cognitive functions.

Basically, there were two views of intuition that I saw from the philosophers Immanuel Kant and Jules Henri Poincaré, and what I noticed was that they essentially boiled down to the two types of intuition, Ni and Ne.

The argument of Kant was that we have to intuitively conceive of some system by which we model the world to order the information we perceive. He says that our experiences must be subconsciously connected by intuition so that we can actually understand our world and have knowledge based on what we have perceived (otherwise our experiences would not be organized in our internal models of space and time). What is interesting to me is that, regardless of its accuracy, it is in essence the very definition of introverted intuition.

But it gets better from here, because one of Kant's successors, Poincaré, came to a different conclusion about intuition. He said that our minds intuitively conceive of an infinite number of possibilities, and our experiences dictate which is the accurate representation of the universe. For example, according to him, our minds can understand 2-dimensional, 3-dimensional, 4-dimensional, or any order of dimensions of space, but our perception tells us that space exists in 3 dimensions. And yes, that sort of possibility-driven insight sounds exactly like extraverted intuition.

Now that I think about it, a lot of cognitive functions seem to stem from this sort of thing. Se would describe our experience of the world, for example. Mathematical abstractions of concepts seems right up Ti's alley. I'm sure various philosophers have discussed topics that resemble Fi/Fe, too.

So what do you guys think? Are Jung's cognitive functions descriptive of greater methods that human beings use to understand and interact with the world? Could one philosopher be "right" about how these things work for every person, or could every person actually perceive and make judgments about the world differently, as the cognitive functions would imply? And if the answer to any of those is yes, what the heck does it have to do with any of that stuff I just rattled off?
 

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It seems clear to me that not everyone does perceive and make judgements about the world in the same way. Just the fact that you have two philosophers with such divergent viewpoints on the issue - well, if they reflect the way those philosophers themselves thought, it speaks for itself.

Overall, that is an interesting observation you made, though. If true, it seems like a point in favor of Jung's thinking that something along these lines would show up in this way.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It seems clear to me that not everyone does perceive and make judgements about the world in the same way. Just the fact that you have two philosophers with such divergent viewpoints on the issue - well, if they reflect the way those philosophers themselves thought, it speaks for itself.

Overall, that is an interesting observation you made, though. If true, it seems like a point in favor of Jung's thinking that something along these lines would show up in this way.
Yeah, that was what my inclination as well; that these two views on the interaction of intuition and experience and how they create knowledge is revealing of the ways each philosopher might actually have thought; something along the lines of Kant being an xNTJ and Poincaré a xNTP, for example. Obviously, I don't know, but I think it is a very intriguing possibility.
 

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I'd personally say that the cognitive functions show up in an astounding amount of material (or viewpoints can be traced back to them); we can look at these two philosophers as a great example of that, both of whom found what they believed to be the definition of intuition based on their own thoughts, and yet, we end up with very different (and function-related) differences. To me, this is another indicator of what the functions are trying to tell us: that people have fundamentally different ways of interacting with and processing the world, each of which feels entirely natural to its users. You have to find your own truth - people can only help you study for life's test; they can't give you the answers.
 

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Like in what? I'm really curious about this stuff.
I think the strongest Te argument I came across in my philosophy class was Turing's arguments for how to determine if machines can think, and also other philosophers who take externalistic views on how to evaluate whether or not someone knows something.

I'll explain the theory of knowledge stuff, because it's good studying for my upcoming exam. The topic started with Aristotle who came up with a conception of knowledge as justified true belief, plus an account. Later, a famous philosopher Gettier (whose only work was this one paper), showed that you can have justified true beliefs with accounts, but that aren't true for the reasons you think they are true. Other people tried to refine the definition of the required accounts, but people keep coming up with more Gettier cases proving that those descriptions aren't good enough. A different philosopher (I think it was Nozick, but I need to check) came up with the idea of requiring that a claim of knowledge accurately track objective reality. However, some people questioned whether he was totally changing the question. This created the idea of internalism vs externalism. Internalism wants to have knowledge in reference to a set of internal principles (which screams Ti) and externalism wants knowledge to be correctly related to objective truth (which screams Te).

However, subjective/objective reasoning shows up again and again, for example in Descartes, who takes a deeply subjective perspective on things. (He is known for "I think, therefore I am" but he didn't actually say that. Descarte's Meditations On First Philosophy is one of my favorite readings. I'm not sure if he's a Ti user or a Ni user though.) Descartes also takes an Ontological perspective with respect to his ability to know God, ie he thinks of God as something that he has direct access to internally and that he can know through his own internal reasoning, whereas St. Thomas Aquinas tries to prove God's existence by looking at the external world.

If you want to find some of these readings, or want more info, google it or search through Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think the strongest Te argument I came across in my philosophy class was Turing's arguments for how to determine if machines can think, and also other philosophers who take externalistic views on how to evaluate whether or not someone knows something.

I'll explain the theory of knowledge stuff, because it's good studying for my upcoming exam. The topic started with Aristotle who came up with a conception of knowledge as justified true belief, plus an account. Later, a famous philosopher Gettier (whose only work was this one paper), showed that you can have justified true beliefs with accounts, but that aren't true for the reasons you think they are true. Other people tried to refine the definition of the required accounts, but people keep coming up with more Gettier cases proving that those descriptions aren't good enough. A different philosopher (I think it was Nozick, but I need to check) came up with the idea of requiring that a claim of knowledge accurately track objective reality. However, some people questioned whether he was totally changing the question. This created the idea of internalism vs externalism. Internalism wants to have knowledge in reference to a set of internal principles (which screams Ti) and externalism wants knowledge to be correctly related to objective truth (which screams Te).

However, subjective/objective reasoning shows up again and again, for example in Descartes, who takes a deeply subjective perspective on things. (He is known for "I think, therefore I am" but he didn't actually say that. Descarte's Meditations On First Philosophy is one of my favorite readings. I'm not sure if he's a Ti user or a Ni user though.) Descartes also takes an Ontological perspective with respect to his ability to know God, ie he thinks of God as something that he has direct access to internally and that he can know through his own internal reasoning, whereas St. Thomas Aquinas tries to prove God's existence by looking at the external world.

If you want to find some of these readings, or want more info, google it or search through Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
I definitely thought I saw some shades of that with Descartes, yeah. He placed a lot of emphasis on the scientific method as reasoning from abstract concepts, which is very Ti, yeah. An empiricist like Hume would probably seem more about Se and Te.
 

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Ni = Plato, Nietzsche
Ne = ???
Si = Kierkegaard???
Se = Hume, Locke, Francis Bacon
Ti = Descartes, Kant
Te = Popper, Aristotle
Fi = Augustine
Fe = Marx
 

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Ni = Plato, Nietzsche
Ne = ???
Si = Kierkegaard???
Se = Hume, Locke, Francis Bacon
Ti = Descartes, Kant
Te = Popper, Aristotle
Fi = Augustine
Fe = Marx
Ne= Socrates?

Sorry I'm not really contributing to the discussion, my knowledge of philosophy isn't very substantial. I only recently found out about a Socratic statement, which seems very Ne. So there's my 2 cents.
 

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I definitely thought I saw some shades of that with Descartes, yeah. He placed a lot of emphasis on the scientific method as reasoning from abstract concepts, which is very Ti, yeah. An empiricist like Hume would probably seem more about Se and Te.
I went back and reread your post. I guess you've been studying this topic in philosophy a lot.

Descartes is listed as an INTP on one site, and he does seem to reason from principles. He wrote quite interestingly and compellingly in his Meditations, which I probably why I enjoyed it.

I can see Hume being an Se user.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I went back and reread your post. I guess you've been studying this topic in philosophy a lot.

Descartes is listed as an INTP on one site, and he does seem to reason from principles. He wrote quite interestingly and compellingly in his Meditations, which I probably why I enjoyed it.

I can see Hume being an Se user.
Actually, my philosophy class is actually just an epistemology class (called Theory of Knowledge...) and at my school it's reaaaaally not so great. We learned about perception, reason, emotion, and language as ways of knowing and knowledge as justified true belief and stuff but we only learned a base of how to use the language to write a paper and make a presentation. Doing research for my paper and presentation, I came across a lot of this stuff from philosophers and read up on it because it was interesting (and it really should have been taught in class).

This site is a great resource on all of this kind of stuff: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Ni = Plato, Nietzsche
Ne = ???
Si = Kierkegaard???
Se = Hume, Locke, Francis Bacon
Ti = Descartes, Kant
Te = Popper, Aristotle
Fi = Augustine
Fe = Marx
What you've written of those that I know seems pretty accurate; I should probably look into those other ones. And Marx as Fe? Hmmm... his theory of capitalism was actually based on a perfect market structure (and his analysis illustrated why even that system would be doomed to fail), which exists entirely in the abstract (Ti)... but I suppose its counterpart is Fe? And maybe his other writings dealt with Fe, in having sympathy for social classes? I would be more inclined to see other philosophers with points about ethics as Fe-based, though.

Ne= Socrates?

Sorry I'm not really contributing to the discussion, my knowledge of philosophy isn't very substantial. I only recently found out about a Socratic statement, which seems very Ne. So there's my 2 cents.
Hm... I suppose the Socratic method is based on going through "So could it then be said that ___" which could be construed as Ne, possibly? I have to wonder.
 
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Ne= Socrates?

Sorry I'm not really contributing to the discussion, my knowledge of philosophy isn't very substantial. I only recently found out about a Socratic statement, which seems very Ne. So there's my 2 cents.
I think Socrates was Ni because he spoke of having a personal daimon (spirit) speaking to him and other schizotypal traits that are common among Ni types. But that could be from his ideas coming to us via Plato, another Ni-Dom.
 

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This was quite an interesting read. I've always believe that ancient story creators/tellers (which I believe are our earliest type of philosophers) and philosophers were mostly N types. Just read any creation myths and you can tell story tellers were N types.
 

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Ni = Plato, Nietzsche
Ne = ???
Si = Kierkegaard???
Se = Hume, Locke, Francis Bacon
Ti = Descartes, Kant
Te = Popper, Aristotle
Fi = Augustine
Fe = Marx
I'd agree with Descartes as a Ti user, but I'm fairly certain that there is consensus on Kant and Marx both being INTJs and therefore Ni (most of the German idealists were). The best example of an Ne-dom in philosophy would be Foucault.

I can't speak for the others that you've listed because I haven't read them at any length.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
This was quite an interesting read. I've always believe that ancient story creators/tellers (which I believe are our earliest type of philosophers) and philosophers were mostly N types. Just read any creation myths and you can tell story tellers were N types.
Now I certainly find that interesting... I can find reasons for that argument for both Ni and Ne. In those times scientific understanding of the world was limited only to what we could perceive and what limited evidence we had; those that could make intuitive sense of what they had would be apt to create those sorts of explanations for things. An Ne could see the possibilities associated with what they know while an Ni could have an internal model of everything to fit those beliefs into. I'd buy that.
 

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I'd agree with Descartes as a Ti user, but I'm fairly certain that there is consensus on Kant and Marx both being INTJs and therefore Ni (most of the German idealists were). The best example of an Ne-dom in philosophy would be Foucault.

I can't speak for the others that you've listed because I haven't read them at any length.
Jung uses Kant as an example of a Ti-Dom, comparing him with Te-Dom Darwin, so Kant is almost certainly an INTP.

I got Marx being an Fe-Dom from here.

Considering I haven't really spoken much about Analytical Psychology for a while (as I'm writing a really massive article atm), I thought I would at least give a bit of hint of flavor on what the Types are like. These are the types I've found throughout Jung's various books in where he would provide small examples of those who would provide basis for certain functions. There are also examples found in the works of his close students and assistants. I will not be writing up a profile until much, much later.

For now, you can just google/research these guys to give you an idea of what Jung had in mind for definitions of the functions when he developed the Function-Types. (I highly recommend you do this since it will give you an idea from real people examples)

...

EF(N)* - Speculative Feelers

Feelers who uphold their values through visions and possibilities.

Karl Marx
Max Weber
Émile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
* ENFJ
 

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How about existentialist authors like Camus, Dostoyevsky, Kafka?.

I'm going with Ni, fe?; Ni, fe; Ne ti.
 
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Well, according to Kant, an intuition is a form of perceiving the world; what you would have left if you could take all empirical contents, which are contingent, out of the picture. Intuition is, for him, not something cognitive, but rather a condition for cognition to take place at all. It precedes one's psychology, one's neurology, one's biology; it is the condition for you to have anything at all in terms of knowledge or experiences, let alone complex arrangements thereof. So, I do not think that you can actually say he was talking about cognitive functions, and I think it would actually harm his whole philosophy if you would try to interpret him psychologically, since he attacks other philosophers exactly because they rely on psychology to explain how we come to knowledge (this is how he attempts to refute Hume, for example).

As to Poincaré, I have not read enough of him (or about him) to judge here, but I seriously doubt that he could be interpreted psychologically. Intuition in the foundations of mathematics and philosophy has a range of very specific (albeit related) meanings, and it would be unwise to think about intuition in this context while using psychological; let alone typological, conceptual schemes. This would probably be taking the word 'intuition' out of context and rendering it either useless or ambiguous; it is certainly very confusing.

Intuition in the sense that Kant, and possibly Poincaré, meant to use it is universal and accounts for the necessity of certain things and concepts; this necessity needs to be a necessity for all human beings for it to work, which is what Kant tried to demonstrate. Therefore, it cannot be but a contingent result of one's psychological make-up or neurological 'hard-wiring', since then the necessity would no longer be necessary for all, and thus it would be contingent rather than necessary. If our forms of perceiving, i.e. our intuitions, would be accidental, then they would no longer be intuitions in the Kantian sense of the word.

This is not to say that philosophers have nothing interesting to say about cognitive functions, but surely they need to be actually thinking and speaking about cognitive functions before we can take their words to mean anything useful with regard to cognitive functions, and Kant was not thinking and speaking about cognitive functions; he was only using the word 'intuition' - or actually he wasn't, since he does not use the word 'intuition' in the original German - to mean something else; something unrelated to cognitive functions (or anything among those lines).
 

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I think cognitive functions determine more of one's approach to philosophy then necessarily the epistemological content. I mean a Ne-dom could very much be a Platonist, even if Plato was Ni-dom for example. I think intuition in the psychological sense may have to be distinguished from intuition in the philosophical sense. This can be seen in Aristotle's claim that intuition is the first act of the mind, but this is related to the Intellect as the highest human faculty in the metaphysical realm. This is quite distinct from Kantian intuition IIRC.

Honestly I'm puzzled at Poincare being labeled Ne, since I always related to his intuitive approach of moving from mountain top to mountain top. *shrugs*
 
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