Parmenides Fragment 5

By Ryan Smith

5.1 It is the same to me,
5.2 From where I begin, for to there I shall come back again.

This fragment expands upon the meaning of fragments 2, 3, and 4. The assertion is that since the One is continuous and devoid of all partitions (8.4-6), there is no optimal “point” from which to start when setting out to describe it. Because there is no “other,” anything that is analyzed, cognized, or discoursed about is the One, i.e. a single undifferentiated stretch of being, synonymous with the entirety of the cosmos (4.2). Since there are no spatial partitions or dualisms, there cannot be any “points” when reality is viewed in accordance with the Way of Truth. Consequently, all “points” are equally suitable when setting out to describe the reality of transcendental being since ultimately all are equally false....

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Parmenides Stanzas: Piercing the Veil

1
LET ALL THINGS PERISH UTTERLY.

2
It is the same to me where I begin for to that place I shall return.

3
The ignorant call the two ways light and night. They are not. They are doxa and alatheia. Light and night are doxa; alatheia beyond both....

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Parmenides Fragment 4

By Ryan Smith

4.1 Gaze upon things which, though far off, are still firmly present to the mind
4.2 For you shall not sever being from holding fast to being
4.3 For it neither scatters itself everywhere, in every way throughout the cosmos,
4.4 Nor gathers itself together.

This fragment asserts that the primordial One is all-permeating, indivisible, and beyond all dualisms. The fragment finds a parallel in the Isha Upanishad, which likewise asserts that the true form of reality is a continuous stretch of absolute being, standing “far, yet near.”[1]...

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Parmenides Fragment 3

By Ryan Smith

3.1 For it is the same thing that can be thought of and that can be.

This fragment has traditionally been used to justify numerous accounts of Parmenides as a logician who dabbled in semiotics. One classical interpretation goes so far as to assert that Parmenides intended to bar us from speaking of things that have no empirical existence, but are purely objects of the imagination (such as unicorns and fairies).[1] In my opinion, it is not easy to see the philosophical value of such an assertion even if it had been Parmenides’ meaning (which it is not)....

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INTJ vs. INFJ

By Boye Akinwande

INTJs and INFJs share the function arrangement of dominant introverted intuition and inferior extroverted sensation. Both types are less cognizant of the momentary and immediately tangible aspects of reality than they are of questioning the ‘givens’ that exist at the root of reality. Indeed, as Isabel Myers has said of them, they “regard the immediate situation as a prison from which escape is urgently necessary.” They aim to effect this escape through some sweeping change in the mental perspectives which we have on the world.

In our own work on function axes, we have further developed the ideas of Myers and Jung. We’ve pointed out how the introverted intuition/extroverted sensation axis is in effect different from the extroverted intuition/introverted sensation axis, no matter where these functions are placed in the individual’s psyche. If one accepts these elaborations, one could also say that another common feature of the INTJ and INFJ types is that their mental operations aim at a kind of unconscious subjective synthesis – they brood and ponder for long periods of time in order to arrive at the singular, ideational perspectives that – in their eyes, at least – have the greatest potential for transforming how they and others view reality.

However, while INTJs and INFJs are alike because of their shared intuition/sensation axis, they are also different because their feeling/thinking axis diverges. INFJs prefer extroverted feeling and introverted thinking (in that order), while INTJs prefer extroverted thinking and introverted feeling (also in that order).

Now, for the INFJ’s part, this means that many INFJs can come off as heavily studious and intellectual, due to the coupling of dominant intuition with introverted thinking. Examples of such Ni-Ti INFJs with a studious bent include Plato and Jung.

Some typologists like to believe that if someone ideational appears to be leading with introverted intuition, then that person must be an INTJ. For example, to this day many Jungians and Jungian authors claim that Jung was INTJ (that is, an introverted intuitive with auxiliary extroverted thinking).

However, as we have just said, INFJs can equally well be “intellectual,” due to the presence of their tertiary Ti. It is therefore not enough to say that an introverted intuitive who is intellectual or philosophical must be INTJ. One must determine whether their thinking is extroverted or introverted in order to truly decide whether they are INFJ or INTJ.

Let’s look at bit at INTJs. As said, INTJs have auxiliary extroverted thinking. Since their thinking is directed outwards, they prefer for their judgments and plans to be orientated towards the actionable. While their ruminations and visions might be just as lofty as those of the INFJ, the concrete takeaways from their thought tend to be much easier to translate into practical reality. They want to construct a clear path from abstract vision to concrete reality; to shake the world with their thought in a way that makes the “impossible” possible.

If the INFJ’s combination of introverted intuition and introverted thinking tends to make them ivory tower-like, contemplative, and academic, the INTJ’s combination of introverted intuition and extroverted thinking makes them want to seek a more direct transformational impact on reality. INTJs tend to very much insist that their visions can be translated into concrete reality.

Now, INFJs, on the other hand, don’t look nearly as much to reality in terms of the development and direction of their own visions. Their external judgments tend to be centered around people, but as said, their intellectual contemplations tend to be more ivory tower-like. In a way, their intellectual contemplations are even less empirical than those of the ENTP and INTP types who, after all, take some stock of external reality through extroverted intuition. In another point of comparison, INFJs often resemble NTP types in the way they let impartial (and some would say: impractical) logical principles govern the entities of their cognition, but INFJs typically do not spend as much time and energy developing these principles to the highest possible level of unbiased impartiality. For INFJs, their introverted thinking principles tend to be looser, because the end goal of their cognition isn’t to adhere dispassionately to the principles themselves (as it often is with NTPs). No; with INFJs, the goal is rather to use these principles loosely; as buttresses that hold together an altogether more abstract (and as it were: pre-principled) vision fraught with personal meaning and archetypal implications. In other words, while it may look NTPish on the surface, the true structure of the thought of INFJs is often of a kind that goes beyond the bounds of rationality and legalistic logical deductions.

At this point, some readers may feel that we have given an undue amount of attention to introverted thinking in INFJs, and not enough to their extroverted feeling, which is after all superior to their thinking. So let’s look a bit more at their feeling.

With all of the F types, their thinking will often be subservient to their feeling, as Myers said. With FJ types, their preference for extroverted feeling tends to mean that they seek to align their sentiments with those of others. In intellectual matters, this means that the values of other people often exert a considerable influence on the internal visions and philosophies they build. This is one reason why INFJs are often able to bypass the strictures of mere logic in their thinking in order to unite seemingly contradictory sentiments and sympathies in the ideational realm. A good example of this disposition can be found in the work of the philosopher John Rawls, who manged to fuse together the seemingly contradictory values of liberty and (economic) equality. Rawls is commonly recognized as the greatest political philosopher of the 20th century, but as a system of principles, his work has often been criticized for being logically incoherent. For our purposes, the point is exactly that Rawls did not construct his philosophy by following the principles wherever they led him. Instead, he crafted a philosophy that articulated and united the conceptions of justice and fairness that most people held around him. Had he followed his own principles more strictly, he might have ended up in different philosophical territory altogether.

We have now spent quite some time exploring the thinking side of the INFJ. But what about the feeling side of INTJs? Indeed, just as INFJs have a prominent thinking side, so too the INTJ has a prominent feeling side. In INFJs, where extroverted feeling interacts with introverted intuition, there is a tendency for them to formulate a vision that takes on the character of a unified whole embracing all of humanity. Spinoza and Schopenhauer come to mind as good examples here.

In INTJs, however, their introverted intuition interacts not with extroverted, but with introverted feeling. Since their sense of value and sentiment is directed inwards, INTJs tend to hold more singularly and stubbornly on to their vision. They will often come across as more unyielding and hard-headed. With many INTJs, there is also a tendency for them to romanticize their vision, originality, and determination – to see themselves as the proud loner, rising against the narrow-mindedness and slave morality of the herd. Friedrich Nietzsche is by far the best example here, but one could also name Heraclitus as a classic example. In some cases, it is almost as if the INTJ sees the resistance and disagreement of others as confirmation that they are on to something, indeed that they are truly brilliant and must continue to hold fast to their vision, powering through any opposition in order to consummate the truth that they alone have seen. In this respect, they are often quite different from INFJs, who – even when they want to appear as proud loners – often cannot help but let their politeness and fellow-feeling get the better of them. In this way, even when INFJs are regarded as ‘proud loners’ by the public at large, they are often more like sphinxes – mysterious, sensitive spirits that have sealed their true natures off from the world – whereas the INTJ is more of a tenacious, singular seer, very confident of their own views and very determined that these should be heard by all the world and triumph.

Heraclitus Themes: Relativity

By Ryan Smith

In this article, I am going to continue our tour of themes in the thought of Heraclitus. As I mentioned in the prior installment, many of Heraclitus’ themes cannot be analyzed dispassionately, but must be entered into with all one’s being. To really understand Heraclitus, one must allow him to alter one’s consciousness, as it were. As such, Constantine Vamvacas said it best when he said that Heraclitus’ “meanings are not crystallized but inhere in integral images and visions, grasped as an indissoluble whole.”[1] It is not possible to critically analyze each theme, rejecting some and accepting others, and each theme can easily have more than one meaning. To understand Heraclitus, one must attune one’s mind to all the themes, experiencing them directly as faint refrains that recur gently in the deafening chaos of the torrential whole. That is to say, the map is not the territory and the themes are not the points themselves. They are entry-points and supports for entering into the fullness of the Heraclitean vision with one’s own being, and not textbook ideas to be approached with a critical stance.

Relativity...

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The Archetypes of Judgment

Lee Morgan is a contributing guest writer for CelebrityTypes. As always with guest writers on the site, Lee’s piece represents his own insights and type assessments and not necessarily those of the site.

 By Lee Morgan

When Nietzsche declared the death of God, what sort of statement was he making? What evidence did he have, and who was his muse? While we’re at it, how could Hume think the self is nothing but a bundle of perceptions? Wouldn’t everyone agree that they have a self, and that that self is real? Kierkegaard wrote lengthy discourses that make philosophers of language roll their eyes. And Wittgenstein believed his corpus contained earth-shattering insights. Was he wrong? How would we even determine that? Martin Luther King Jr. captivated the world with his cry for compassion. But was his dream just that – a dream? After all, studies in contemporary race relations turn many idealists cynical. So do those studies invalidate his speeches? Is it even possible to invalidate them?...

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Heraclitus Themes: Fire

By Ryan Smith

Heraclitus is arguably the most important philosopher with regards to Jungian typology.[1] At the very least, if one wishes to approach typology from a function-based perspective (as opposed to a trait, dichotomy, or temperament-based one), there is no getting around Heraclitus. In fact, a lot of the methodical errors surrounding the function-based approach to typology would (in my utrechtredo-copyopinion) seem to originate with people conceiving of functions as traits, as opposed to the Heraclitean structures they more properly are. The two greatest systematizers of modern trait theory knew this, and understood that it was a non-trivial difference:

“Jung proposed one of the first models of adult personality development. … Instead of traits, he described various functions or structures in the psyche that governed the flow of behavior and experience.” – Costa & McCrae: Personality in Adulthood (Guilford 2003)...

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Haidt’s Analysis of Contemporary Democratic Dynamics

With the events of 2015 and 2016, it is no exaggeration to say that the traditional political order of Western democracies is being shaken to its core.

Jonathan Haidt is a professor at New York University. With more than 30,000 citations from other scholars, he is arguably the most prominent social scientist at work in the world today.

In this article, we’re going to try and explain Haidt’s take on what’s happening in Western democracies. This article will take some of the commonly accepted findings from social science for granted, so there will be a few points (such as the fruitfulness of capitalism) that are not argued in this article, but merely assumed.

Haidt’s theory can be broken into five parts.

1: Successful capitalism creates prosperity.

While capitalism is a swear word to some, most social scientists agree that successful capitalism is the best engine of growth we know. That is not to say social scientists are libertarians, though, as the catch lies in the word successful: To many social scientists, successful capitalism not just a question of economic liberty, but also of efficient regulations, government-enforced market standards, and so on.

So while other countries around the world may have had unbridled capitalism, they have generally not succeeded in achieving the same standards of affluence and success as seen in Western democracies.

2: Prosperity attracts mass migration.

Setting aside the question of refugees from war zones, extremely affluent societies such as those in the West tend to attract migrants from poorer parts of the world. Many Western writers and thinkers like to say that third-world migrants come here seeking liberty and progressive values, but very often this is an assumption that is just made completely out of the blue, citing zero evidence in favor of this claim.

In fact, according to polls, most notably from the Pew Research Center, most third-world migrants are not liberal-minded at all, but hold staunchly conservative values. So why do people assume that third-world migrants come here with a fully-formed ‘Sex and the City’ mindset? Well, to some Westerners, especially on the left-wing, if you’re not into progressivism and liberal values, you’re not a good person. So if you don’t assume that migrants subscribe to liberal values, then that’s tantamount to implying that they’re bad people. In other words, these people let ideological considerations trump empirical evidence.

Haidt suggests that migrants come to the West seeking affluence and prosperity for themselves and their families back home — not because they want to give up their traditional culture, religion, and values.

There are other social science findings that paint a similar picture. A study by the Dutch sociologist Ruud Koopmans found that a majority of Muslims in Western Europe thought Sharia law should be above man-made law, even in Europe. That is to say, that white Europeans should eventually be made to live under Sharia law as well. Koopmans also found that European Muslims thought Muslims shouldn’t have gay friends, and lists many other examples of of European Muslims subscribing to anti-liberal values.

In many cases, migrants never said they would abandon their beliefs and start favoring Western liberal values once they got here. That was an assumption thrust upon them by city-dwelling, well-educated Westerners. Which brings us to the next point.

3: Prosperity shifts the urban elites of the West to favoring hyper-tolerance.

Studies in economics have generally found that as people’s level of affluence increases, their priorities start scaling the ladder of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as well. In other words, their priorities start gravitating from “need to haves” toward ever more elusive “nice to haves.” When you’re starving, you don’t care about pollution, but when your belly is full, you start wanting to live in a clean environment. Once your environment is clean, you start bemoaning the lack of a lovely neighbourhood park, and so on.

Never before in the history of the world have there been societies as prosperous as those we see in modern Western cities. The safety and affluence they provide mean that the needs and wants of Western elites have progressed so far that they are now off the charts in a global context. One part of the urban elites’ quest for self-realization is the need to formulate an ever-more cosmopolitan, multicultural and hyper-tolerant mindset that can be brandished among one’s peers as an emblem of social status. In other words, while there may be many reasons for adopting such a mindset, having a hyper-tolerant view of politics and morality is also a way for urban liberal elites to stand out among their peers, get attention, and reap prestige from representing an especially pure instance of the shared social values of one’s community.

Jonathan Haidt is known for his analysis of political morality, which according to him can be broken into six moral foundations: Care, Fairness, Authority, Purity, In-group Loyalty, and Liberty. If you don’t know about these foundations, you should watch our videos on them, which you can do here and here.

At any rate, all six of these moral foundations have traditionally been helpful to human survival. In less-developed societies, deference to authority and loyalty to the group helps the social order attain cohesion and function. Once again Western cities are unique in a global context when viewed through the prism of moral foundations. Being so affluent and prosperous, and presenting few threats to survival and the subsistence minimum, traditional moral values like Authority, Purity, In-group Loyalty tend to go out the window in favor of a political morality based almost solely on Fairness and Care.

According to this globally and historically unique view of morality and politics urban elites are not inclined to view migrants as threats, the way more disenfranchised communities normally do. Instead, urban elites start viewing immigrants as victims, which, in turn, means that support for immigration becomes tantamount to moral goodness and that others who speak ill of immigrants must be bad people.

Under this view, immigrants are seen as suffering victims and we in the West must take responsibility for relieving their suffering. If confronted with the fact that immigrants stand out in all the bad statistics such as not getting a job, committing crimes and so on, Westerners with this kind of morality are inclined to chalk that up to white people’s discrimination and racism – it must be because the third-world immigrants were not met with sufficient nurture and fairness by the host population when they got here. To put the blame on the migrants themselves would almost be tantamount to racism.

4: Immigrants plus the hyper-tolerance of the elites triggers authoritarians.

In Haidt’s understanding of the political landscape, he distinguishes between authoritarians and status-quo conservatives.

Authoritarians are people who think society runs best when citizens submit to strong leaders, have a low tolerance for minorities and foreigners, and want to preserve and adhere to the traditional values and beliefs of their country.

In almost all Western countries, authoritarians have been kept out of big league politics since World War 2. But with the recent influx of immigrants and the largesse of the Western elites, authoritarians have been spurred to mobilize more effectively. When they see the elites of their own countries espousing the aforementioned hyper-tolerant morality where migrants are never blamed for the troubles that empirically seem to follow in their wake, Western authoritarians feel betrayed. Having nothing in common with the urban elites of their own countries, they are triggered and spurred to mobilize.

Which brings us to the final point.

5: When authoritarians succeed in attracting status quo conservatives to their cause, they end up with a democratic majority.

Authoritarians want strong leaders, ethnic coherence and the preservation of traditional values and customs. Of these three points, status quo conservatives only support the final one, namely the preservation of traditional values and customs.

But if things get bad enough and the traditional parties fail to deliver a basic sense of stability, status quo conservatives will start looking around for other parties who will. In Western Europe, the continued mass immigration from non-Western countries is wildly unpopular with the voters, yet the traditional parties have not been able or willing to stem the tide to the degree that voters want. As a consequence, new and more extreme right-wing authoritarian parties are springing up in protest and many of them succeed in attracting ordinary voters who simply want stability and respect for national customs.

***

So if we have understood Haidt correctly, he is saying that Western democracies are being shook up by uncontrolled migration. Since the traditional parties and candidates have not been able or willing to address this point in a way that the voters find satisfactory, authoritarian right-wing parties have sprung up. These parties arose as a protest against the left-wing, urban, affluent liberal elite of Western countries who, viewing Muslims as victims, are more inclined to blame conservatives of their own ethnicity for the problems associated with mass migration than blaming the Muslims themselves. And without the support of less affluent voters, the urban elites are not numerous enough to ensure a democratic majority. The new authoritarian impulses in Western democracies will keep growing as long as the problem isn’t dealt with. In Europe, these parties have only gotten larger with each election. In America, Trump is an early representative of this phenomenon, and even if he loses, the anti-immigration sentiment that has lent him all his traction is much bigger than him, and what he has started will not end with him.

Illustrating Function Axes, Part 2: Fe/Ti

Boye Akinwande is a contributing guest writer for CelebrityTypes. As always with guest writers on the site, Akinwande’s own insights and assessments are his own and not necessarily the same as those of the site. In this article, Akinwande elaborates on the concept of function axes and how to illustrate their opposition, mirroring, and tension.

By Boye Akinwande

This is my second installment of a series attempting to illustrate all of the function axes. The initial remarks and disclaimers I made in Part 1 of this series are still in effect.

The Fe/Ti Axis

As I have argued in my article, Determining Function Axes Part 3, Fe/Ti ontology cares less about the empirical properties of objects and more about the ideational commonalities that unite them. This latter disposition is somewhat like Plato’s Theory of Forms where objects in the sensible world are but shadows of ideal ideational objects that exist as pure thought.

With Fe/Ti types, the empirical world, with its uncontrollable, sprawling mess of facts and things and particularities, is – without any effort on the subject’s part – condensed into ideal objects and cleaner principles in the mind.

Both my Ti and Fe diagrams aim to illustrate how a subject operating under this mode of cognition sees other individuals as expressions of the ideal category of ‘human being’ and therefore as extensions of themselves.

Ti

With my Ti diagram, since the Ti function is chiefly concerned with identifying and clarifying impartial principles, regarding human beings as principally the same leads to an internally consistent mental categorization where people are interchangeable building blocks in a fair and equal system. In the diagram, the solid lines leading from all three human beings back to the Ti type’s own
timind illustrate how all empirical manifestations of a category – in this case human beings – are regarded as belonging to the same order due to the Ti type’s tendency to group these instances in his mind by virtue of impartial principles and models. The dotted lines between the Ti type and other human beings represent how each concrete manifestation of man is grouped together by invisible ties to a principle in the mind and not on the emergent level or in the external world. The famed impartiality or impersonal nature of Ti types is here expressed by the complete non-discrimination concerning whether the particular instance of a man happens to be the Ti type themselves or another human being.

Fe

Turning now to my Fe diagram, we can see that Fe is the opposite of Ti (just as in Part 1, we saw how Fi is the opposite of Te): While the Ti type views himself and everyone else as extensions of the same impartial principle, the Fe type views others as extensions of himself (and vice versa) in a more fepersonalized manner. The Fe type’s efforts to build rapport with others on the basis of the shared sentiments and common goals they can identify between themselves and others form a totality which leaves an imprint on the psyche of the Fe type: Here, a multitude of sentiments, values, and reactions are added up to form an inclusive outlook, encompassing both self and others.

With Ti types, we saw how the impartial principle determined the status of particular individuals. With Fe, things are really the other way around: It is the sociality and reactions of particular individuals that determine the overall feeling-image in the Fe type’s mind. (This feeling-image could equally well be called a ‘principle,’ if not for the fact that it would be very confusing for people who are not well-versed in Jungian typology. That is to say, it can be called a principle on the phenomenological level).

However, there are still some differences to be noted here: Since the Ti type starts with the impartial principle, their representation of the commonalities between individuals will be impersonal, come what may. For this reason, they may seem robot-like and their rather inflexible approach may be too far removed from the actual sentiments of people. The Fe type tends to have the opposite problem: Starting with people as their cognitive nexus, and seeing people as the carriers of principles and values, the Fe type may at times be too beholden to the feedback and opinions of the people they encounter.

Hence, in my Fe diagram the subject is in much closer proximity to others than in my Ti diagram. The Ti type could not move closer to other people even if he wanted to, since the impersonal principle has determined a fixed distance between all. While Fe types have more means available to modulate the difference between themselves and others (such as withdrawing from social life and immersing themselves in impartial book knowledge for long periods of time), most Fe types will still feel an inclination to incorporate everyone’s differing perspectives into their own internal feeling-image, even if they disagree with what was voiced. My diagram therefore represents Fe types as being closer to others, since that is their foundational psychic tendency, even if reflective Fe types may draw away from it at times.

Conclusion

outer-worldBecause the Fe/Ti axis operates on the basis of commonalities, Fe/Ti types are typically less direct or decisive than Te types in arriving at and applying judgments to their environment. But on the other hand, they are often less inclined than Fi types to withdraw their judgments from the outer world altogether. Fe/Ti types are more likely to maintain that the same set of judgments must apply to all members of a given ideational category and could thus be said to strike a middle ground between the typical exterior judging attitude seen in Te and Fi types. In this respect we may say that the polarization between the ends of the Te/Fi axis is actually much stronger than the polarization between Fe and Ti.