Socrates: "I have examined your position and determined your utterances to be mere brain-farts."
Socrates: "[I] have never left off seeking after and learning every ... thing that I could."
Socrates: "I go about Greece and ask my fellow Greeks difficult questions."
Cicero: "It was Socrates who brought philosophy down from the heavens and onto the earth."
Friedrich Nietzsche: "[Socrates was] the eternal investigator of all things."
Leonardo da Vinci
Inventor and painter
[Last sentence of a mathematical theorem in his notebook:]
Da Vinci: "People of accomplishment rarely sit back and let things happen to them. They go out in the world and happen to things."
Da Vinci: "It is a great fault ... to repeat the same movements, faces, manners. [Why people do so] has often been a source of wonder to me."
Da Vinci: "A man ... should not fear to hear every opinion ... and consider it ... and respond to criticism with reasoning."
[Leonardo's student:] "He never completed any work he had begun."
Inventor and politician
Franklin: "[In my youth] I was not content with being right but was ... rather insolent [in a discussion]. ... When someone asserted something ... [I] immediately showed some absurdity in his proposition."
Franklin: "Debates [should] be conducted in the sincere spirit of inquiry after truth, without ... desire of victory."
Franklin: "I was charmed by the Socratic method [of debate] and grew very artful and expert in drawing people ... into concessions [and] obtaining victories that [I did not] always deserve."
Franklin: "Order ... with regard to places for things, papers, etc. I found extremely difficult to acquire. ... In truth I found myself incorrigible with respect to order."
Keirsey & son identify Franklin as ENTP.
Feynman: "I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty ... but I'm not absolutely sure of anything."
Feynman: "On the many occasions when I play the bongo drums, the introducer never seems to find it necessary to mention that I also do theoretical physics."
Feynman: "In the search for new laws, you always have the ... excitement of feeling that possibly nobody has yet thought of the crazy possibility you are looking at right now."
Feynman: "[Because] of specialization ... the great problems ... have ... been discussed less and less in public. When we look at the past great debates ... we feel jealous ... for we should have liked the excitement of such argument."
Keirsey & son identify Feynman as ENTP.
Philosopher, mentor of Frederick the Great
[On his deathbed, asked by a priest to renounce the Devil:]
Voltaire: "Almost everything is imitation."
Voltaire: "To hold a pen is to be at war."
Voltaire: "It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong."
Voltaire: "Clever tyrants are never punished."
Voltaire: "The Quran is an unintelligible book, each page of which makes common sense shudder."
Frederick the Great [in a personal letter to Voltaire:] "To the quality of excellent language you add an infinity of other knowledge."
Von Franz identifies Voltaire as E-TJ.
Catherine the Great
Empress of Russia
Catherine: "Fortune is not as blind as people imagine. It is often the result of a long series of precise and well-chosen steps that precede events and are not perceived by the common herd."
Catherine: "I [am] horribly curious."
Catherine: "One should argue without anger or passion."
[On her childhood:]
Markus Cruse: "There is no one Catherine. ... Any synthesis of Catherine ... remains incomplete. [In her memoirs] Catherine herself is elusive [even though] her pleasant, direct tone invites us to see her as honest and sincere."
Philosopher and historian, author of 'The Prince'
Machiavelli: "Man must wear one face in public and another in private."
Machiavelli: "Anyone who studies present and ancient affairs will easily see how in all cities and all peoples there still exist, and have always existed, the same tendencies."
Machiavelli: "Occasionally words must serve to veil the facts. But let this happen in such a way that no one become aware of it."
Machiavelli: "It is necessary to be a fox to discover snares and a lion to terrify wolves. Those who rely simply on the lion do not understand."
Friedrich Nietzsche: "[Machiavelli presents] the most serious events in a boisterous ... tempo of the gallop, and [with] the best, wantonest humor."
Philosopher and historian
Hume: "I have written on all sorts of subjects and yet I have no enemies, except indeed all the Whigs, all the Tories and all the Christians."
Hume: "I cannot but consider myself as a kind of resident or ambassador from the dominions of learning to those of conversation."
Roderick Graham: "Hume was [at once] a philosopher [and a] darling of the Paris salons."
Le Chevalier Ramsay: "[Hume is not] capable of [concentrated] attention. ... He seems [to] spin thoughts out of [his] own brain without any regard for religion or tradition." [Upon meeting Hume around 1734.]
Founder of Apple along with Steve Jobs
Wozniak: "Everything's changing, everything's dynamic. ... You get this idea, and you get another idea, and this doesn't work out and you have to replace it with something else."
Wozniak: "All the best things that I did at Apple came from ... not having done it before, ever. Every single thing that we came out with that was really great, I'd never once done that thing in my life."
Wozniak: "Creative things have to sell to get acknowledged. ... Steve Jobs didn't really set the direction of my ... designs but he did the more important part of turning them into a product that would [sell]."
Wozniak: "[Steve Jobs] always saw a way to make a quick buck off my designs. ... The lofty talk came much further down the line."
Physicist, student of Niels Bohr
Heisenberg: "We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning."
Heisenberg: "I am so curious about everything new."
Heisenberg: "Scientific progress calls for no more than the absorption and elaboration of new ideas - and this is a call most scientists are happy to heed."
Heisenberg: "Even for the physicist [his ability to explain his work] in plain language will be the criterion of the degree of understanding that has been reached."
Heisenberg: "Modern physics takes a definite stand against Democritus and for Plato."
Popper: "One should always be willing to carry on the discussion in the opponent's terminology."
Popper: "Since we can never know anything for sure, it is simply not worth searching for certainty."
Popper: "For me, both philosophy and science lose all their attraction when they become specialisms. ... Specialization may be a great temptation for the scientist. For the philosopher it is the mortal sin."
Popper: "The true Enlightenment thinker ... seeks not to convince but to arouse - to challenge others to form free opinions."
Popper: "The 'lofty depth' that Hegel ascribes to himself is an unmixed metaphor that works out to flatness."
Philosopher and mathematician, mentor of Wittgenstein
Russell: "Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric."
Russell: "Marx was driven to change the world and I should say that my goal is the very opposite. My goal is to understand."
Russell: "This world is not something in which certainty is possible ... and therefore you must learn to act on things which you still very much doubt."
Julian Baggini: "Russell brought philosophy down to earth, with clarity and wit."
John Stuart Mill
Mill: "If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing all mankind."
Mill: "I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative."
Mill: "Stupidity is much the same all the world over. A stupid person's notions and feelings may confidently be inferred from those which prevail in the circle by which the person is surrounded."
Mill: "The first intellectual operation in which I arrived at any proficiency, was dissecting a bad argument, and finding in what part the fallacy lay."
Mill: "[As a boy] I was disputatious, and did not scruple to give direct contradictions to things which I heard said."
Burke: "The first [emotion] in the human mind is curiosity. ... Curiosity blends itself more or less with all our passions."
Burke: "Curiosity ... has an appetite which is very sharp, but very easily satisfied; and it has always an appearance of giddiness, restlessness, and anxiety."
Burke: "We are creatures designed for contemplation as well as action."
A.W. Ward: "In conversation, Burke's wit was felicitous."
Brian Doyle: "It is ironic that [the father of conservatism was himself] a man who wrote and spoke with such imaginative flair."
Chauncey Goodrich: "No one ever poured forth such a flood of thought - so many original combinations of inventive genius ... all intermingled with the liveliest sallies of wit."
Steven Pinker: "Burkean conservatism [is] a fine application of reason."
U.S. presidential candidate (R)
Gingrich: "I'm not a natural leader. I'm too intellectual; I'm too abstract; I think too much."
Gingrich: "If I'm going to be president, we're going to make mistakes. You can't have change on the level I want and not make mistakes."
Gingrich: "I think Obama worked very hard at being a person who is normal, reasonable, moderate, bipartisan, transparent, accommodating - none of which was true. ... He was being the person he needed to be. ... He was authentically dishonest."
Bill Clinton: "[Gingrich] is very entertaining. ... He has a lot of knowledge and he comes up with some quite creative ideas."
David Gergen: "Gingrich [is] one of the smartest, most creative figures in politics. [But he is also] a bomb thrower who can be bombastic, erratic and an intellectual bully."
U.S. President (D), married to Michelle Obama
Obama: "[In my Nobel Peace Prize speech] I wanted to make an argument that didn't allow either side to feel too comfortable."
Obama: "[As an adolescent I was] arguing all the time, usually about me failing to abide by ... petty and arbitrary rules. I found that I could generally win these arguments."
Obama: "There are some things about being president that I still have difficulty doing. For example, faking emotion. Because I feel it is an insult to the people I'm dealing with."
Obama: "My wife makes fun of how routinized I've become. It's not my natural state. ... But at some point in my life I overcompensated."
Joe Biden: "[Obama] is an intellectual. ... He's not a moralizer."
Economist, anarchist and libertarian, student of Mises
Rothbard: "[To revolutionize society] you certainly don't have to convince the majority of the public, because most of the public will follow anything that happens."
Rothbard: "John Stuart Mill was the quintessence of soft rather than hardcore, a woolly-minded man of mush."
[His wife:] "He did not like to write more than once about any subject ... so each piece he wrote was new and fresh."
U.S. Secretary of State (R)
Kissinger: "We tend to think that a problem is either economic or political or military. ... It is hard for us to understand that we have to be able to do military, political, economic and psychological things, all simultaneously."
[Speaking of George H.W. Bush:]
[His first mentor:] "He would squeeze me for my ideas the way one would squeeze a sponge."
Time Magazine: "The Kissinger wit can always be counted on."
Walter Isaacson: "Kissinger's furtive style and chameleon instincts make capturing his true colors difficult."
Dictator of Communist China
Mao: "The party elite is a bunch of zombies with a slave mentality. I want them to have more courage and determination."
Li Zhisui: "Mao was always in search of the new, the untested, the untried, both in his private life and in the affairs of the nation."
Li Zhisui: "[Mao was interested in history and he] used the stories of China's past both to understand and to manipulate the present."
Timothy Cheek: "The stories [about Mao] do not match. ... Indeed, it is [a] theme: There are multiple Maos, and to settle on one dominant image is to distort the whole."
President of Iran
Ahmadinejad: "[I like] talking and listening with a calm manner and a logical reasoning."
Ahmadinejad: "I am worried at the thought that [progress] would be sacrificed for the stagnant mentality, action-dodging and conservatism of some people."
Ahmadinejad: "What have the Zionists done ... that the U.S. administration [feels] obliged to blindly support [them]? Is it not because they have imposed themselves on ... the banking, financial, cultural and media sectors?"
Cambridge University Study: "[Ahmadinejad is] a personality of a different intellectual caliber, erudition ... and world outlook than [his predecessors]."
Cambridge University Study: "[He presents] ideas drawn from a curiously mixed bag."
ENTPs in popular culture
Host of 'The Daily Show'
Stewart: "[My comedy is] irreverent [so] that people not take their dogma too seriously."
Stewart: "I'm not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance."
Jeremy Clyman: "He can process and distill a vast, complex knowledge base into manageable, crystal-clear chunks."
[His college teammate:] "Everybody was always a little afraid of messing with Jon because he was so quick-witted."
Barack Obama: "Jon Stewart is brilliant."
John le Carre: "[Stewart deploys] quite a high level of wit [and possesses a mind] that is elegant, not abusive."
Host of 'The Colbert Report'
Colbert: "I have a healthy disrespect for authority."
Colbert: "I think one of my strengths [is] my ability to serve other people's ideas. I'm proud of my ability to understand what somebody else is trying to do."
Colbert: "Sometimes [on the show] I really just want my natural curiosity to run wild with the guest. It kills me that I can't know more about what they're talking about."
Talk show host
Maher: "We need more people speaking out. This country is not overrun with rebels and free thinkers. It's overrun with sheep and conformists."
Maher: "I do think the patriotic thing to do is to critique my country. How else do you make a country better but by pointing out its flaws?"
Maher: "I don't want to live in a country where no one ever says anything that offends anyone."
Maher: "If we [take the] spontaneity out of our discourse, we'll end up with [people] who never say anything but the safest, blandest, emptiest ... platitudes."
Maher's notion of critique as patriotism is the same as that of Socrates.
Sacha Baron Cohen
Comedian also known as 'Borat', cousin of Simon Baron-Cohen
Baron Cohen: "['Borat' is not a joke] on Kazahkstan. The joke is on the people who can believe that the Kazahkstan I describe can exist."
Filmmaker and member of Monty Python
Gilliam: "I don't think I'm cynical. I'm skeptical."
Gilliam: "I like the idea of ... discovering new things all the time."
Gilliam: "[I'm] not ... pro- or anti-[anything]. ... [I'm] giving you the whole experience. Then you can decide for yourself."
Gilliam: "George Lucas and Steven Spielberg ... they only go so far, and their view of the world is rather simplistic."
Gilliam: "[I'm] trying to make people perceive the world in a different way. ... I don't want to reassure people. I want them to think and question the world they are living in. ... We live in a surreal world, and nobody notices it."
Comedian and member of Monty Python
Cleese: "[Looking back on my education] I started to get angry. I thought: 'Why was I given this rubbish? This tenth-rate series of platitutes?'"
Cleese: "[My] message is: 'Work it out for yourselves, you're all individuals, and don't do what people tell you to do.'"
Cleese: "[Monty Python is a critique of] closed systems of thought. ... Systems by which, whatever evidence is given to a person, he merely adapts it. ... Once ... no contrary evidence can come in, I think it is very dangerous."
Cleese's critique of closed systems of thought is the same as that of Karl Popper.
Robert Downey Jr.
Actor, dated Sarah Jessica Parker
Downey: "[With regards to my criminal record] I think I've been lucky, because my frequent appearances on Court TV have brought [my fame] to another level than 'just the actor guy.'"
Downey: "I love change."
GQ Magazine: "Conversations with Robert Downey Jr. are rarely linear. ... Sometimes it takes a moment to realize how one thing might relate to the next."
[His wife:] "He's this incredible amalgam of contradictory traits that is never boring. He's completely eccentric ... [and] has [a] kind of never-grow-up quality."
Comedian also known as 'Mr. Bean'
Atkinson: "[For me] freedom of speech reigns just below the right to sustain life itself."
Atkinson: "[It is appalling how] prickly and intolerant society has become of even the mildest adverse comment."
Atkinson: "For me, the best way to increase society's resistance to insulting or offensive speech is to allow a lot more of it."
[Asked why his films have no plot:]
Fellini: "I need order around me because I am a transgressor."
Fellini: "Reading Jung freed me from my guilt and inferiority [which stemmed from] my inability to organize."
Stanley Kubrick: "[In Fellini's] interviews [he] makes jokes and says preposterous things that you know he can't possibly mean."
Lagerfeld: "Everything I have not known before interests me more than everything I have seen in my life."
Lagerfeld: "I prefer to do all my work in the evening ... and [then] send everything [in]. I'm not [even] there in the studio. ... My work is very conceptual."
Lagerfeld: "I read 10 [books] at the same time. My favorite ... is Spinoza, but I have superficial books too, and magazines. ... I want to know everything. I want to see everything."
Actor and author
Fry: "Seriousness is no more a guarantee of truth ... than humor is a guarantee of superficiality."
Fry: "I like to wake up each morning and not know what I think, that I may reinvent myself in some way."
Fry: "I have always felt unable to ... become part of the tribe. ... I have always sniped or joked from the sidelines."
Fry: "Incuriosity is the oddest and most foolish failing there is."
Hicks: "The worst kind of non-smokers are the ones that come up to you and cough. That's pretty cruel, isn't it? Do you go up to cripples and dance too?"
Hicks: "A lot of Christians ... wear crosses around their necks. Nice sentiment, but do you think when Jesus comes back he's really going to want to see a cross?"
Neil Patrick Harris
Actor and awards show host
Harris: "I think it's important ... to not just use your same tricks over and over."
Harris: "I enjoy darker sardonic wit more than knock-knock jokes."
Harris: "I'm like a plate-spinner. ... I've got a lot of little plates that I'm trying to keep spinning at the same time."
New York Magazine: "[He is] a particular personality type: the nerd extrovert."
Unusually for ENTPs, Harris also has Dependent traits.
David Hyde Pierce
Hyde Pierce: "Never believe anything that anyone tells you. [This advice is] not as cynical as it sounds; it's just that ... you can't take things at face value."
Hyde Pierce: "I grew up on ['Monty Python']. ... And they just went straight to the core of everything I hold dear as an actor, as a comedian, everything. It was just right up my alley."
Perry: "I'm very much like [my character] Chandler, with the funny one-liners."
Perry: "To be a comedian, you have to have some darkness behind it."
Perry: "Being on autopilot is the worst thing possible."
Actress, married to Nick Offerman
Mullally: "I [always] knew that I could land a joke if I needed to."
Mullally: "My characters are really bizarre. They're dark and not really considered great people. It all comes from the same dark place [inside me] - it's just filtered through comedy."
Mullally: "[To] get to do whatever [I] want and [not to] have to answer to anyone - there's something joyful about that."
Anderson: "[In school] I was ... busy talking, insulting teachers and generally playing the clown."
Anderson: "I'm a more spontaneous person [than my 'X-Files' character]. I laugh. I'm crass. I'm raunchy!"
[Asked if she ever had sexual tension with David Duchovny:]
Olsen: "It's good to have a conversation about two different opinions. Always having multiple opinions is a good thing, because then you can have a conversation and learn something from the conversation."
Olsen: "My favorite types of playwrights all ... play with ambiguity and not having all the answers in their stories."
Olsen: "[As a kid] I really loved ... Michelle Pfeiffer. I was completely in love with her."
Olsen: "I love the way Josh Radnor writes. There is a style to it and it's intelligent and funny."
Actress, dated Edward Norton
Hayek: "I keep waiting to meet a man who has more balls than I do."
Oprah Winfrey: "Try to contain her in a box, and she'll lift off the lid, rise up, and just soar away every single time."
Oprah Winfrey: "Her candor, her honesty, her boldness, her fire - it all made me want to be more truthful with myself." [Upon meeting Hayek in 2003.]
Actress, dated Marilyn Manson
McGowan: "Why should I downplay myself to make someone else more comfortable?"
McGowan: "[In school] I would sit and argue with [the teachers] and take up everybody's time."
McGowan: "[Howard Stern said to me:] 'You're just too much work.' ... But it's not like I'm trying to be challenging. I just think people get used to a diet of beige and they can't handle it when something shocking ... comes along."
McGowan: "I always thought I was more satanic than Manson."
Host of 'MythBusters' along with Jamie Hyneman
Savage: "[I like] looking at everything [from the perspective] that you normally don't get to see. That fascinates me."
Savage: "I like to do everything incredibly hastily."
Savage: "I love Feynman. I would really have liked to have a beer with him. ... I don't know that I'd have had anything specific to ask Feynman, I just have this feeling that we would've gotten along really well."
Savage: "When I [met Daniel Dennett] we mind-melded for 45 minutes solid. It was fantastic."
Unusually for ENTPs, Savage also has Dependent traits.
Host of 'Top Gear'
Clarkson: "I've always been prepared to say what some people consider to be the 'unsayable.'"
Clarkson: "I quite like the [media] hating me. ... Once they've shown signs of weakness you really can go for them."
Grant: "[Most films are] pretentious nonsense [or] commercial schlock."
Grant: "I rather hate acting. ... I cling to the fantasy that I could have done something more creative, like writing a book. But ... I don't have the discipline."
Grant: "I'm much happier ad-libbing [than delivering scripted lines]. Much better. Much freer."
Benjamin Svetkey: "[In person] he [doesn't] reveal much about himself, but he [is] so entertaining that it [doesn't] matter."
[On attending university:]
The New Yorker: "She exhibits a wacky charm and a swift, playful mind."
Harper's Bazaar: "[She has a] quick mind ... [and] a highly attuned sense of wordplay that surfaces again and again."
Harper's Bazaar: "When she isn't rapidly chasing thoughts ... she also emerges as a lively conversationalist ... probing, in a way. ... It's an enjoyable tennis match, chatting with her."
(Siouxsie and the Banshees)
Sioux: "The Western way of singing is very predictable."
Sioux: "[Punk has become] so diluted because there's nothing being generated that's new; it's just recycled."
Sioux: "I like ... working in a ... spontaneous environment."
Barnes: "A lot of the time you can finish [other] artists' sentences. 'That's obvious. That's obvious.' It's always obvious."
Barnes: "I didn't want to make anything obvious. I wanted to surprise the listener."
Barnes: "[I'm] always motivated to try something new. [I] don't want to do the same thing over and over and over again."
Barnes: "[I] have a restless spirit and that motivates me to always look for new forms of inspiration."
Barnes: "It's easy [for me] to get really irritated with the world and think that [I'm] surrounded by moronic people."
Blogger famous for 'The Best Page in the Universe'
[Asked what his message is:]
Maddox: "When you're trying to send a message to someone, if you wrap it in humor it sticks a lot better. It's like the sugar with the medicine. People remember things when they laugh."
Maddox: "I've got pissing people off down to a science."
Maddox: "I get compared to Bill Hicks."
Maddox identifies himself as ENTP.
Maddox's results on a Jungian type test score him as ENTP.
Cartoonist famous for 'The Oatmeal'
Inman: "My favorite example of the wrong kind of criticism is when someone says, 'It doesn't feel right.'"
Inman: "Inspiration isn't something you can schedule, harness, or control."
[Asked what he would do if he weren't a cartoonist:]
Inman: "Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek who ever lived."
Inman: "The only thing Edison truly pioneered was douchebaggery."
Contrary to rumor, Inman does not identify himself as an introvert.
Screenwriter and author of 'Candy Girl'
Cody: "I can't imagine ... working with somebody who's [very] politically correct. It would be disastrous."
Cody: "Life is funny, and it's depressing. At the same time."
Rebecca Murray: "[She] comes off as candid and witty as her characters."
(The Mars Volta)
Bixler-Zavala: "I like ... a band shedding its skin every time there's a new record to be made. I wish more bands would do that."
Bixler-Zavala: "The [name] Volta is taken from a Federico Fellini book about his films."