Imagining Function Axes: Si/Ne

Mary Arrington is a contributing guest writer for CelebrityTypes. As always with guest writers on the site, Arrington’s piece represents her own insights and assessments and not necessarily those of the site. In this piece, Arrington attempts a more informal and colloquial exposition of function axes theory than is usually seen. 

By Mary Arrington

Function axes are an interesting idea, but many of the descriptions are murky or overly theoretical. In this piece, I’m going to try and present the ideas of the “Determining Function Axes”-series more informally, in a way that is easier to understand and that people can relate to real life. Is it possible? We’ll soon see!

The Si/Ne Axis

Think of a library full of books, books on all kinds of subjects. At one end of the library, the librarian is carefully girlreadingcelebrityplacing returned books back on their correct shelves and in their proper alphabetical positions, so that they are easy to find. At the other end of the library, a young curious child is running around the library, picking up books on all kinds of subjects and putting them all on the floor in a big mess. He flicks between books quickly, looking for interesting bits.

The librarian is similar to Si. It’s about building a careful library of information, and keeping each piece of that information in its proper place. “The information on planets looks interesting next to the information on music? Stop messing around and put them back!”

The child making a mess is similar to Ne. It’s about looking through the big library of information and finding interesting connections between things. “Nobody’s noticed that this bit of information on hippos is similar to this piece of information on nuclear power? Seriously? But it’s awesome! And speaking of awesome, here’s another thing…”

To put it in a different way, Si is focused on retaining the information in the same context that it had when it was experienced. By itself, it isn’t about looking for connections or new possibilities outside of what’s already known. It takes in the information, studies it intensely, and then fits it into its internal library. In spite of the metaphor, this need not be book knowledge, but also impressions they have experienced, like how to make the perfect cup of tea, or what their grandpa’s house smelled like when they were little, and so on. Whether these impressions are absolutely realistic or not is not what’s important here – it’s that they have a deep effect on the Si type.

Ne, on the other hand, is focused on changing the information it gathers into something new. It has little interest in sticking to what’s already known. Boring! Instead, it’s constantly looking for interesting connections and surprising new ideas. “What would be the most amazing pet to have? Well, it would have the head of a tiger, no, the head of an owl, no, a tiger with the head of an owl…! What if an asteroid were heading towards the earth right now – what would everyone do? And what would be the most interesting pet to have if one were on that asteroid?” They are in short, crazy people, like racecars with no brakes.

All NP and SJ types have this axis as an element of their psyches. While ISJs and ENPs are at the most extreme ends of this axis, even in their cases one can still see the axis at play: Si types often take pains to have a plan in place in case of unexpected and surprising things that may happen, such as the water pipes bursting or the stock market crashing. And Ne types tend to unwittingly throw a lot of references around as to where the information was first encountered, even when “mixing and matching” off the bat.


Image in the article commissioned for this publication from artist Francesca Elettra.

Typology Lessons from von Franz

Marie-Louise von Franz (1915 – 1998) was a Jungian psychologist and close associate of Jung. In her book, C.G. Jung: His Myth in Our Time, von Franz lays out some general principles of Jungian typology as she sees them, which we reiterate below. All quotations are from the Inner City Books 1998 edition of the book.

von franz jung1: As Jolande Jacobi also reported Jung to have said, Intuition is not synonymous with Imagination, Fantasy, or Creativity:

“Intuition is not identical with fantasy which Jung regards as a human capacity independent of the functions.” – Von Franz:  C.G. Jung: His Myth in Our Time p. 47

“Fantasy can find expression via thinking, feeling, intuition and [sensation] and is therefore probably an ability sui generis, with deep roots in the unconscious.” – Von Franz:  C.G. Jung: His Myth in Our Time p. 47n30

“[Jung] rejects the usual notion that artistic inspiration is limited to the intuitive type. … Fantasy is indeed the source of all creative inspiration, but it is a gift that can come to any of the four [function] types.” – Jolande Jacobi: The Psychology of C.G. Jung (Yale University Press 1973) p. 24

2: Jung’s Typology Is a System of Four Functions (Each with Two Orientations), Not of Eight Functions:

“… when Jung … studied the way in which individuals adapt to their environment … he discovered that one could divide these attempts at adaptation into four basic forms of psychic activity or psychological functions. … [These] four functions provide a sort of basic orientation for the ego in the chaos of appearances.” – Von Franz:  C.G. Jung: His Myth in Our Time pp. 46-47

3: The Fourth (Inferior) Function Is “Nearly Always” Unconscious:

“[The fourth function] nearly always remains largely unconscious, for which reason Jung calls it the ‘inferior function.’ Here the light of ego-consciousness turns into twilight. Our attempts to adapt with the fourth function are to a large extent uncontrolled and often fall under the influence of … the unconscious personality. … The fourth function … will be primitive, spontaneously arbitrary, intense, undisciplined and archaic. Moreover, it behaves somewhat in the fashion of the opposite attitude type, which means that, for example, the feeling of an introverted thinking type is extraverted, bound to the object, and the sensation of an extraverted intuitive will be introverted, etc.” – Von Franz:  C.G. Jung: His Myth in Our Time p. 48&n34

4: According to von Franz, Freud Had Inferior Te:

“Freud’s thinking corresponded to an extraverted approach to scientific research. … The evaluation of Freud’s thinking as extraverted does not mean that Freud, as a man, was himself extraverted. In my opinion he was an introverted feeling type and his thinking was accordingly extraverted.” – Von Franz:  C.G. Jung: His Myth in Our Time p. 61&n36

5: Jung’s Typology Cannot Be Understood without Reference to Heraclitean Logic:

“[In Jung’s typology] the differentiation between subject and object, between inner and outer, gradually takes place. This contribution of Jung’s to the psychology of consciousness … received almost no recognition in the wider field of philosophic-academic psychology, because it is concerned with a description of ego-consciousness which cannot be understood without experience of its mirror-world, the unconscious.” – Von Franz:  C.G. Jung: His Myth in Our Time p. 46n28

6: Bonus Lesson: On Parmenides’ Cosmic Sphere:

“…as early as the school of Parmenides the structural image of a sphere … as the form of the ultimate basic principle of the cosmos, emerged. The natural philosophers probably took this image from the older pantheistic Orphism, in which the godhead was thought of as an all-embracing presence with cyclical or spherical form, encompassing beginning, middle and end. The same image appears again in Empedocles. In his view, when the cosmos is under the dominion of Eros, it is “on all sides like to himself and everywhere without end, Sphaeros, the sphere-shaped, above the loneliness prevailing all around, filled with joyful pride.” In Anaximander’s case the world-principle is the Apeiron (the limitless), but at the center of the world there is a ‘sphere which firmly encircles the cosmos.’ For Xenophanes the cosmic god is limited and spherical, ‘always and everywhere homogeneous,’ ‘shaking the universe … by the thought-power of his spirit.'” – Von Franz:  C.G. Jung: His Myth in Our Time p. 142, cf. Dietrich Mahnke: Unendliche Sphäre und Allmittelpunkt (Günther Holzboog 1966) pp. 243-244


Image of von Franz in the article commissioned for this publication from artist Georgios Magkakis.

On Kanye West and the ISFJ Type

By Boye Akinwande, with additions by Eva Gregersen

As I’m sure may currently be the case for many of you, I was quite skeptical of CelebrityTypes’ type assessment of Kanye West as an ISFJ when I first came across it. At the time of this writing, there appears to be no 1035x672-111913-kanye-west-1800-1384897712“default” assessment of West’s type, but ISFJ almost seems like the result one would arrive at if one’s intent was sarcasm. I imagine that my issue, like yours, stemmed from the fact that I took more of a behaviorist approach to typology wherein the concrete behavioral traits, interests, ideas, and skills of an individual are thought to presuppose that individual’s functions. According to this view, since West’s behavior is characterized by recurrent social faux pas and a seemingly unapologetic vanity that stands worlds apart from the considerate and self-effacing demeanor that is typically associated with ISFJs, any attempt to type him as one is quite plainly ludicrous. End of story, right?

Not quite. In accordance with the psychodynamic approach to typology employed by CelebrityTypes, the articles on the site can often be seen to caution skeptics (such as my former self) not to mistake the contents of cognition for the psychic functions themselves. In other words, while there are certainly correlations between type and such contents (behavioral traits, interests, ideas, skills, etc.), they cannot be taken as the direct constituents of a person’s type, the way 90% of the internet does. For a simple explanation as to why, consider how the existence of such contents in an individual’s psyche is often more a function of time and place (the culture in which he is situated, for instance).

Jungian typology is really a theory about the nature of conscious attention (and inattention) that an individual directs towards the contents of consciousness. According to the psychodynamic approach, the functions exist as meta-perspectives that, in theory, are divorced from psychic contents. Rather, they operate as lenses that fundamentally bias the way we conceive of, structure, and relate to information in the psyche. In West’s case, understanding the psychodynamic approach is paramount to understanding why CelebrityTypes assesses his type to be ISFJ.

Styles and Types

As previously covered on the site, a person’s psychological type does not exhaust everything about his personality. However, since many practitioners of Jungian typology are not well-acquainted with other domains of personality studies, they tend to construe everything they observe about that person’s personality as having to do with his type. In the case of Kanye West, most people seem to construe the factors of his Narcissistic personality style as having to do with Fi. However, I would argue that this is a category mistake.

At its base, the distinction between Fe and Fi (or Fe/Ti and Fi/Te) says little about the value judgments (contents) that the individual will hold. Rather, the distinction has to do with how one goes about forming judgments, deriving them from either objective (Fe) or subjective (Fi) sentiments (from the function point of view) or on the basis of one’s ontological predispositions (from the axial point of view), seeing humans as being either more similar to each other (Fe/Ti) or more divergent from one another (Fi/Te).

Hence, as it should, the psychodynamic approach to typology places us more in line with the consciousness of the individual and avoids making too many assumptions that are tied to behaviorist modes of personality studies or the non-constant (but invariably influential) culture and zeitgeist that the individual finds himself in. Doing so lifts us out of a behavioral (or Aristotelian) mindset like “Fe types evince group-oriented behavior” to a more psychodynamic mindset like “Fe types are prone to form object representations where they see other individuals as extensions or variations of themselves.”

Next, returning to the question of personality styles, it is my impression that the specific behaviors that are often coupled with the ISFJ type under the behaviorist point of view are really the behaviors of the Dependent personality style, an adaptation that is indeed overrepresented among ISFJs. Like the conjunction that often arises between INTJs and the Narcissistic personality style, it is not hard to see how Dependency could more easily converge with the psychic disposition of the ISFJ type than that of other types.

Defiance and Standards in ISFJs

Before we get to West, it is worth calling attention to another ISFJ who has famously caused a ruckus with her defiance and the championing of her own standards, namely the civil rights activist Rosa Parks. Parks was an African-American woman who was riding the bus and refused to stand up so as to give up her seat for a white person. In refusing, not only was Parks defying social convention, she was also breaking the law, and hence, though most people view her behavior in a more favorable light than they do West, Parks was actually more defiant than West, even though lacking a noticeable Narcissistic disposition. Hence, contrary to a stereotype that many hold of ISFJs, they do have it in them to take a stand that goes against the dominant mores of the group, even if doing so is controversial and even if it aggravates the people around them.

Indeed, since they are in general far more meticulous in their handling of facts than other, non-Si, types, it is not illogical that ISFJs may often draw attention to standards and factual inaccuracies that may more easily elude the awareness of other types. By way of their greater receptivity towards facts and their handling of these, the conscious attention of ISFJs may often be directed towards more minute observations specific to their immediate realities. By way of this adaptation, ISFJs may often be seen to have especially concentrated and raw emotional attachments to the people or experiences from their personal lives.

As Jung said in Psychological Types §650, Si is amongst the most irrational functions. But because most Si types do not possess any facility whereby their Si can be expressed directly, the true nature of Si is rarely seen and Si is consequently mistaken for a wholly passive process, without machinations or designs of its own. West, being an unusually Narcissistic ISFJ, divulges more of these typically inexpressible Si machinations to the world than does your usual ISFJ. However, his sense of injustice appears too confined to his own lot and life experiences and consequently too hard for others to relate to. Too often, the end result is that his outbursts and defiance land him on an island, too remote to be reached by the sympathies of others.

By contrast, though a higher incidence of the Narcissistic personality style may readily be seen among the NFJ types, the more holistic disposition of their Ni-Fe combination often serves to mitigate the disagreeable and self-absorbed elements of that style. In West’s case, the preponderance of Si, rather than Ni, has the unfortunate consequence of making the actual standards and values that he is fighting for more specific to his situation and therefore less relatable.

West’s Abrasiveness at Award Shows

INTERVIEWER: “What are some of the things you’ve learned about yourself since becoming a family man?”
KANYE WEST: “You know, I can’t pinpoint that. I don’t have the answer right on me. I got to think about it and give you a really good answer. I got a lock and loaded amount of information that I like to express on a very wide scale. But if you ask me a question like that and I go back and think on it, maybe I’ll have the answer for you in a couple of days.” – West: Kanye West meets Zane Lowe BBC 2015

As I mentioned before, the view of West that predominates in the public eye is that he has an abrasive and erratic personality; a personality that seems a far cry from your stereotypical ISFJ indeed. The above exchange, however, appears to suggest something quite different about West. All else being equal, the above exchange would seem to suggest introversion and/or introverted perception over their opposites. Furthermore, even between the two introverted perception functions, the Ni type is still characterized by immoderation, since the Ni types have inferior Se (as well as because of the more ideational and less empirical nature of N over S in general).[1]

Another consideration here is that, all else being equal, Ni types would be inclined to care less about truly doing justice to questions that have no noumenal implications (Psychological Types §659). In fact, of all the types, it is on balance the Si type who is the most discerning with regards to doing justice to wordly information on the granular level, carefully processing and accounting for every detail in their striving for empirical precision.[2]

Among the moments most responsible for West’s infamy have been his public disapprovals concerning the outcomes of award shows. He has expressed frustration about not getting the accolades he felt he deserved, storming out of the 2004 American Music Awards when he discovered that he was not the recipient of an award that he felt he deserved. Likewise, West has famously come to Beyonce’s defense when he felt that she too had been cheated out of an award that he felt should have been hers. And though far less publicized, West has also publicly criticized the decision to award him certain accolades that he did not feel that he had deserved. In fact, West has done so on at least four occasions.[3]

Though public discourse seems to content itself with discussing what Kanye West has done on these occasions, the present endeavor of this article calls for something more than that. As psychological typologists, we must also ask why West has repeatedly behaved in this way, and what psychological motivations may lie behind it.

As I hope to show in the following paragraphs, my own foray into the matter has suggested to me that West has meticulously processed the empirical facts pertaining to each of the decisions that he rose to protest. He absorbs and processes the facts, weighing each of the artists carefully in his mind; yet being an Si type, the underlying perceptions (as opposed to the resulting judgments) are profoundly personal and not directly perceivable by others. As Myers says of them, Si types are characterized by “vivid private reactions” to the thing sensed; reactions that are rarely discernible or comprehensible to others.[4]

The theme that runs through most of West’s outbursts at award shows appears to be that West truly cares about standards of fairness and justice in relation to the awards: He takes a serious interest in whether each award is truly bestowed upon the artist whom he perceives to deserve it the most. Understood from his own perspective, West’s abrasive outbursts are really efforts to uphold the integrity of award shows as an institution for artists and musicians. Like other ISFJs before him, West will not stand for what he perceives to be arbitrariness or injustice, except in his case he is focused on something that others have a hard time seeing as worthy of such exacting moral attention, namely the proper bestowal of awards.

INTERVIEWER: “How about the Grammy? You received one, but didn’t attend the ceremony…”
MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN: “I think the Grammys are nothing more than some gigantic promotional machine for the music industry. … They don’t honor the arts or the artist for what he created. … [But having won one] why should we refuse it? … If our record company and the music business want to have a party, why should we spoil it for them? … Just because we don’t like it, why ruin it for them?” – Keenan: Interview with Maynard Keenan of Tool NY Rock Magazine 2002

While the Fi type may more easily withdraw his personal sentiments from such external metrics (such as with Maynard James Keenan as quoted above), West’s cognitive loci are closer to what we would expect of an SFJ type: To West, the externalized and empirical metric matters and the formalized stamp of recognition of the peer group should be awarded to the proper person. As opposed to those more cynical takes on award shows as having more to do with advertisement and lobbying than talent, West accepts the institution of the award show at face value: Given that there is a winner, that winner should also be the right winner. And given that the winners are supposedly decided on the basis of their contributions, we are obligated to conduct a proper and careful estimation of what they may be – to ensure that every fact is “fully and fairly sifted” as the Duke of Wellington said.

When asked in a recent interview about his rationale for speaking out in such instances, West likened being unjustly “defeated” at music awards to when he tried out for his school basketball team and did not make the team even though he made all the shots.[5] His analogy captures an oft-expressed nightmare for ISJs, who, because they repress Ne, often do not like to enter situations where the rules that regulate them cannot be known with certainty. As the Si type Woodrow Wilson said, we should be able to recognize the everyday impressions of our world in even the most ceremonious retelling and evaluation of what has taken place: We cannot have one version of reality for the real world and another for the history books, and according to West, nor can we have one evaluation of an artist’s contributions in the real world and another at the award shows. As he has said:

KANYE WEST: “I don’t want [award shows] to rewrite history right in front of us. At least, not on my clock. I really appreciate the moments that I was able to win rap album of the year or whatever. But after a while, it’s like: ‘Wait a second; this isn’t fair. This is a setup.’” – West: Behind Kanye’s Mask The New York Times 2013

Because Si types repress Ne, they may sometimes fail to consider how different perspectives may not only be desirable, but indeed sometimes necessary, in different contexts. Because they are primarily orientated towards their own repository of thoroughgoing, yet at times also overly personalized and specific knowledge of the facts, Si types can sometimes react with incredulity and defiance when their tightly-clutched impressions of the facts do not match up with the “official” or “authoritative” discernment of the same facts. In this respect, the Si type is not different from the Ni type who sees his own perspective and how his own idea must be true to the exclusion of all others; only the Ni type deals more with possibilities where the Si type deals more with facts.[6]

The Unseen Relations of Si

As Jung, von Franz, and Myers have remarked, Si is usually private, unseen, poorly understood, and mistaken for an introverted version of the Si type’s auxiliary function.[7] Jung and von Franz have contended that sometimes, on a few rare occasions, it will be possible to catch a glimpse of the “inner irrationality” of the Si type, such as for example if the Si type is an artist.[8] What they do not say (but what I shall add) is that if the Si type is beset by Narcissistic traits, it will also frequently (but not always) be possible to see more of the Si type’s inner life.

In Kanye West’s case, it is my impression that there is an interaction between his Si function and his Narcissistic personality style, where the Narcissism provides the brazenness for dragging the rest of the world into the narrowly focused and heavily personalized perceptions of Si. It also appears that, intrapsychically, there is an interaction between the two where past impressions and factual accomplishments continually reinforce the grandiose self-image that West cannot help but portray.

While all Narcissistic personalities rely on past successes to “keep themselves warm,” West’s grandiosity is often grounded in statements that are uniquely factual and impression-based, in contradistinction to the more flighty and ideational cognitive style that is seen in most Narcissists (even S type Narcissists).[9] For example, as he says in his First MTV Interview from 2002:

“If you’re taught you can’t do anything, you won’t do anything. I was taught I could do everything.”

“It was instilled in me to just go out and get it.”

West is noted for making outrageously grandiose statements (such as: “My greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live.”). An argument that is often seen against the possibility of Fe, or ISFJ, is that such outrageous, off-the-wall, and “self-interested” statements must bear witness to an Ne-Fi (NFP) disposition. However, as opposed to personality systems like the Big Five, Jungian typology is not so much about the ‘what’ as it is about the ‘why.’ Reverse-engineering West’s behavior to the most suitable functions of consciousness is the ‘what’: It is an extrovertive approach to personality studies. Trying to interpret the cognitive processes and motivations that underlie the person’s behavior is the ‘why.’

The Narcissistic Adaptation

As a pattern of consciousness, one of Si’s dispositions is to absorb and reinforce the lessons taught by experience, forming accurate, deep, and rich impressions of the way in which reality was brought to bear on the Si type. Since a child’s caregivers and role models will often be central components of the person’s reality in childhood, one may often see Si types referring to the lessons imparted to them by their role models as, by comparison, Si types are uniquely suited to pay attention and hold on to those lessons from early childhood on.

In West’s case, he had quite an unusual mother who instilled in him from an early age that he was uniquely talented and destined for greatness. As she recounts in her memoir:

“Everyone prays for their child to be healthy. … I prayed for my child to be healthy and brilliant. [When he was seven months old] I knew my prayers had been answered – beyond my wildest imagination. I never imagined that I would be the mother of someone quite as unique as Kanye West, someone God had chosen to do something very special in the world.” – Donda West: Raising Kanye (Gallery Books 2009) p. 2

As Donda West continues to make clear in her memoir, she raised West with the constant reinforcement of the notion that he was special and that he would (indeed: must) grow up to do special things. Thus she fostered what psychologists would call the “grandiose self” and sowed the seeds for the development of his Narcissistic style.

Interestingly, she also encouraged him to think for himself and to speak his mind:

“One of the biggest challenges for me … was how to discipline Kanye without killing his spirit … give him boundaries that would keep him within the parameters of what is appropriate. You may laugh and ask, ‘Kanye, appropriate?’ And to that I would reply, ‘Yes, appropriate.’ To me, being appropriate does not always mean conforming. Often it means just the opposite. Sometimes, refusing to conform and even confronting is not only appropriate but necessary to change the world for the better.” – Donda West: Raising Kanye p. 8

Not only did West’s mother encourage him to speak out, she instilled an equivalence in him between acting appropriately and acting defiantly, going against the predominating mores when the situation called for it.

It is furthermore worth noting that Donda West describes her son’s temperament as naturally conforming and obedient:

“Rarely did I tell Kanye no. I gave him most everything he asked for. … Why? Because Kanye earned it. … He was a good kid. Had he not been, things would have been different. Had he talked back to me and refused to do what I asked of him, I would not have rewarded him. To do so would have been to enable a brat, not raise a child.” – Donda West: Raising Kanye p. 9

Donda West’s description comes close to how von Franz and van der Hoop describe the default disposition of the Si type in childhood as being passive and receptive, and West himself has stressed on countless occasions how he always looked up to his mother and took his cues from her.[10] Again the analysis leads us to the conclusion that the grandiose and intemperate facade is a functional, adapted layer of the personality, whereas the deeper-lying structural properties of West’s personality are quite different.

Hence, rather than expecting ISFJs to align themselves with convention and always act appropriately, it would be more reasonable to expect ISFJs to align themselves with what they subjectively associate with these values. In West’s case, he was taught to trust in his own judgments and to speak out against perceived unfairness, even if others did not.

This approach still isn’t perfect, as a person’s values are still mental contents. But it’s certainly better than the trait-based arguments that are usually given for West as an Fi type. In fact, when attempting to pay more attention to the functions themselves, one may often come across mental processes in West that bear witness to an Fe/Ti configuration:

“The idea is more important than our personal well-being. That’s the reason why a lot of time I’ll say things that are not for my personal well-being. For people to create for their personal well-being is a very selfish way to create … creating to make your life better, as opposed to creating to make everyone’s life better.” – West: You Have to Take the Lashes of Backlash Bloomberg Television 2014

Grandiosity and Redemption Themes in African-American Culture

Finally, I will end this piece by calling attention to certain properties and themes of contemporary African-American culture. As I said in the beginning, the non-constant culture and zeitgeist that the individual finds himself in will often influence his mental contents to a strong degree – a premise that will invariably grow in cogency when dealing with the Si type. Hence, to make sure that we are understanding the individual in relation to his culture, and not mistaking the culture for the type, we should understand a few sociological facts about African-American culture.

While some have contended that West’s demonstrations of self-love and extravagance are mere examples of personal vanity, there is evidence to suggest that this is not the whole story. Indeed, to some African-American community leaders, self-love may well be a political act, aimed at redeeming the African-American community from its downtrodden history through unapologetic self-affirmation.[11]  Within this cultural prism, flaunting one’s success, and reveling in one’s own awesomeness, is seen as a way to counteract the past marginalization of the African-American community – exploding the burden of black stereotypes by turning them on their head and portraying oneself as akin to a “human, all too human” Greek god: Shamelessly self-indulgent and self-accepting, while at the same time being resplendently above it all.

For his part, West has given a number of remarks to indicate that his acts are at least partially influenced by this tradition of African-American grandiosity and “Greek god” dandyism and that they could be seen as one reason for his behavioral extravagance. In an interview with Bloomberg Television, he said: “Black people are allowed to wear big chains and name [the brands of clothing] they have on, to say out loud what [their] stuff costs.”[12] Or, in an interview with The New York Times, he said: “That’s how I was raised. I am in the lineage of Gil Scott-Heron, great activist-type artists. But I’m also in the lineage of a Miles Davis – you know, that liked nice things also.” And further: “I think that’s a responsibility that I have, to push possibilities, to show people: ‘This is the level that things could be at.’ … The passion is for the 18-year-old version of myself. The passion is for the kids at my shows. I need to do more. I need to be able to give people more of what they want that currently is behind a glass [to them].”[13]


[1] Von Franz: Psychotherapy (Shambhala 1993) pp. 68-69

[2] Myers: Gifts Differing (Davies Black 1995) p. 80

[3] Trammell: All the Times Kanye West Gave His Own Awards to Someone Else (Fader Magazine 2015)

[4] Myers: Gifts Differing p. 80

[5] West, quoted in Carnamanica: Behind Kanye’s Mask (The New York Times 2013)

[6] Stepping out of the argument, if I may be allowed a personal aside, the same pattern may also be observed in West’s own stated mentality concerning his recent attempts to break into the fashion industry: “I have put in my 10,000 hours,” he said in reference to a commonly-known regimen for success introduced in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers. West’s foray into fashion has been met with a mixed reception, and in interviews, his reactions betray a struggle to come to terms with the opacity of the “rules” for achieving success in that field. He seems eager to subject all his knowledge to a predictable regimen and becomes frustrated when he is not able to do so. Having a hard time disengaging from his personalized and deeply-keeled sense impressions, he struggles to reconcile the diligence and thoroughness that he knows he has put into the effort with its apparent lack of success.

[7] Von Franz: Lectures on Jung’s Typology (Spring 1971) p. 27

[8] Jung: Psychological Types §650

[9] Millon & Grossman:  Overcoming Resistant Personality Disorders (Wiley 2007) p. 135

[10] Kanye West: Foreword to Raising Kanye (Gallery Books 2009), cf. Van der Hoop: Conscious Orientation p. 31, and von Franz: Lectures on Jung’s Typology p. 27

[11] Miller: Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity (Duke University Press 2009)

[12] West: You Have to Take the Lashes of Backlash Bloomberg Television 2014

[13] West, quoted in Carnamanica: Behind Kanye’s Mask (The New York Times 2013)

Hume’s Conception of Society

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

By Torben Mark Pedersen, Ph.D.

David Hume was arguably the greatest thinker of the Scottish Enlightenment. According to Hume, society is not hume“planned from above” according to the whims of some central architect (or group of architects), but has in fact “emerged from below” by the gradual transmission of customs and moral habits particular to that society to each new generation. In this way, the customs and mores of a given society contain a “hidden rationality” that supersede the comprehension of any single individual. In other words, according to Hume, the underpinnings – the true workings of society – are not planned or designed (nor are they the result of any “original social contract,” as Hobbes and Locke had said). Instead, society has gradually ordered itself by way of a centuries-long evolutionary process wherein best practices have been discovered and disseminated over time as individual groups learned that they could achieve more of their aims through cooperation than through conflict. Thus, one famous motto of the Scottish enlightenment is that “society is the result of human action but not of human design.”...

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Determining Function Axes, Part 7

By Ryan Smith

In this installment, I intend to discuss the Fi/Te axis as it appears in Homeric psychology. My discussion will be celetiphomerconducted on the basis of A.W.H. Adkins’s exposition of the Homeric mindset, as it appears in his book From the Many to the One.[1]

I will first attempt a general outline of the Homeric psychology:...

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Introduction to Heraclitus

Shawn Daniels is a Ph.D. of classical studies and contributing guest writer for CelebrityTypes. As always with guest writers on the site, Daniels’ piece represents his own insights and assessments and not necessarily those of the site.

By Shawn Daniels, Ph.D.

Among the pre-Socratic philosophers, Heraclitus is amongst the most famous, if not the most famous. Diogenes Laertius is the earliest author to describe his life and philosophy at length, but all of the biographical details are likely to be apocryphal, if not complete fabrications. The problems of his biography are further complicated by the extremely fragmentary character of his work, On Nature....

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The Defense Mechanisms of Personality Styles

By Eva Gregersen

The notion of defense mechanisms is central to the field of psychodynamic theory as a whole. Their discovery is widely credited to Freud and seen as among his most important discoveries (although as others have noted, Nietzsche really beat Freud to many of these realizations). In this overview, I list 15 different defense mechanisms and offer examples of how they play out in practice.

I also specify which personality styles are linked to each defense mechanism. We all draw on a variety of different defense mechanisms when our worldview is threatened, however, there tends to be a relation between one’s preferred mode of defense and one’s personality style....

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Determining Function Axes, Part 6

“… many are the afflictions that burst in and blunt their thinking. In their lives, they see a meagre portion of life … trusting only in whatever each has encountered as he was driven here and there, yet he falsely claims to have discovered the whole. … Mortal minds have no more power than this.” – Empedocles: Fragment BK31 B2

“People are seldom impartial where ultimate things, the great problems of science and life, are concerned. Each of us is governed in such cases by deep-rooted internal prejudices, into whose hands our speculation unwittingly plays.” – Freud: Beyond the Pleasure Principle (SE 18:59)

By Ryan Smith...

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Reviewing the Assessments of Jung’s Type: 2000-2012

By Ryan Smith

In preparation for our own piece on why Jung is INFJ, we will recap some of the previous discussions of his type. This article will review the assessments offered in major books and articles between 2000 and 2012.

Ann Casement (2001): Carl Gustav Jung...

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Determining Function Axes, Part 5

Boye Akinwande is a contributing guest writer for CelebrityTypes and Ryan Smith is one of the admins of CelebrityTypes. In this article, Akinwande and Smith elaborate on the duality of type-triads, both across, as well as along, the function axes.

By Boye Akinwande and Ryan Smith

In this article we are going to elaborate on the idea of commonalities and divergence between the types who share both their function axes, as explored with Smith in the previous installment of this series. Besides the framework posited by Gregersen and Smith (Determining Function Axes, 2012), we are also going to be drawing upon Oliver Bryant’s idea of the functions’ affinity with Bayesian and Frequentist modes of reasoning, which he coined in 2011, but which has to our knowledge not been described in public until this piece was published on CelebrityTypes earlier in 2015....

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