By Ryan Smith and Eva Gregersen
“I referred to Heraclitus, and [Jung] said Heraclitus knew a lot and he had got the notion of the enantiodromia [i.e. “law of running counter to”] from him. [He said] it was important to have a philosophic background to know the theories of cognition.” – E.A. Bennet: Meetings with Jung (Daimon 1985) p. 27
Fe/Ti vs. Fi/Te
If a person has an Fe/Ti axis, then, all other things being equal, he will tend to see all men as being essentially “cut from the same cloth” (Fe), while all observations pertaining to Thinking will unconsciously be seen as universally accessible, regardless of who made them (Ti).
To give an example of what we mean, take the following characterization of the philosopher Immanuel Kant:
“Kant … was much bothered by the common opinion that philosophy is only for the few … because of this opinion’s moral implications.”
That is to say, according to Kant’s natural preference, all men should be capable of accessing and understanding the points of philosophy (even though they plainly are not). And Kant was also “bothered” by the implication that if not all people were able to understand philosophy, then that would imply that not all men were “cut from the same cloth.” This is circumstantial evidence of a Ti/Fe axis in Kant.
Thus we have explained the Ti/Fe axis. By contrast, if a person has a Te/Fi axis, that person will be more inclined to view each person as unique, different and very much his own person (Fi). And with this differentiation – all men being decidedly NOT cut from the same cloth – a hierarchization of people is implied (Te). Ironically, I-FPs will often vehemently deny that they subscribe to any such worldview featuring a hierarchy of people and may even denounce such views as unethical. But they are really no different from the other Te/Fi types: It is merely their own inferior Te which they are denouncing.
You don’t believe there’s a difference between people? Really? Then how come you’re the one up on the stage with 40,000 people down there adulating you?
“But couldn’t this also be said of Fe/Ti artists? Are they not also up on the stage?” Yes, but the point is that as a rule, the Fe/Ti artists will not pretend that everyone is equal on the emergent level. Everyone was cut from the same cloth in the beginning and then people have differentiated themselves from there.
Se/Ni vs. Si/Ne
If a person has an Se/Ni axis, then that person’s observations will be more singular and intense (Christopher Hitchens, Oprah Winfrey, General Patton). The person will stress one point of view (Ni), which is indeed frequently the viewpoint that generates the greatest yield here and now (Se). The singularity of observation involved will frequently lend a manifest and immediate quality to the Se/Ni type’s observations, which in turn tends to make them convincing.
On the other hand, if a person has an Si/Ne axis, that person’s observations will be more multifaceted, drawing upon multiple perspectives at once (Ne). The person will also be more careful and meticulous (Si) because there is an unconscious striving to contribute one’s observations to building a system which is valid not just in the here and now, but which is perceived to be true in general: To generate the type of knowledge that could conceivably end up in a future textbook on the subject.
“You’re saying that EN-Ps are cautious and meticulous? Really?” Yes, actually we are. We’re saying that yes, EN-Ps will fling themselves at the unknown, sometimes to make bold and half-baked claims, but (again, all other things being equal) they will also be quick to withdraw from those claims again, and that is a kind of caution.