Introduction to the Problem
It seems that perhaps one of the largest divides in the social community of this forum seems to have developed along the “Merry/Serious Line.” Several times Merry boarders have indicated that they perceive an anti-Ti/Fe bias on this forum, while several Serious boarders suggested that they do not see this bias, but instead they believe that the reverse is the case. So clearly what is happening is the almost natural belief that their functions are not being valued or appreciated in light of the valued functions held by others. This result most likely springs from the attempt of individuals to further define their identity in relation to these known categories by maximizing the qualities with which they value and minimizing the corresponding (i.e. by no means opposing) qualities that allow for a more distinctive means of distinguishing the valued functions. In a number of ways the title of this essay of sorts is a misnomer namely in that Introverted Thinking (or really any function for that matter) really needs defending. Instead this topic will be primarily about trying to convey a sense of understanding regarding Ti and its utility to the Te/Fi-valuing Quadras through Ti's relation and similarities with Te and Fi.
This thread has been in my mind for some time now, but now that things have settled down a bit and my life has returned to the prior status quo of routine, I now have a bit more of an ability to be in a more comfortable setting to write this topic while given time to dwell upon it. To give credit where credit is due, this thread is largely written to address this divide, but it was inspired by two threads in particular (whose actual title’s and thread starters escape my mind): 1) Herzy’s thread clarifying Extraverted Sensing (which helped me appreciate, understand, and see the value in Se), and 2) that one thread on Fi (which I remember primarily Expat and Diana explaining the benefits of Fi). While I still do not necessarily value either Fi or Se when compared with Alpha functions, I know this is the case primarily in relation to my self, but I still came to appreciate the role that my Super-Id functions played in my own nature, the nature of others, and even in my dual.
I will say upfront that I am an LII (INTj) in my current understanding of Socionics with ILE (ENTp) being the most popularly fielded second option as to my type by others. As such, my analysis of Ti will invariably have an Alpha Ne/Si component that would not necessarily be a part of a Beta ST analysis of Ti. In addition, my look at Ti will be that of one who uses Ti as a primary function and less as a creative function. And as such there will be a natural bias towards Ti/Fe and that my analysis by nature will have a very Ti-approach in language and style to it. This is one of the inescapable problems with something of this nature; if a Te/Fi-dominant were to write on Ti, it would be predictably jaded in its relationship and value in relation with Te/Fi. But a simple awareness of this problem should alleviate to some extent this bias. Also, I would like to establish here that I am not trying to advocate Ti/Fe as a superior set of functions over Te/Fi, mainly because in no way do I want to diminish the importance or role of my theoretically strong, but unconscious, function of Te or the corresponding role of Fi in my Fe-seeking. And furthermore, my understanding of Ti in comparison with Te/Fi will probably be flawed to some extent, so I am already expecting a good deal of “clarifications” provided to me by these people.
Since the Te/Fi Quadras are the target audience, my response will be primarily not to address how great Ti is to Ti/Fe Quadras (we already have two forums to do that), so of course Ti/Fe-valuing members are not banned from reading, posting, basking, or circle-jerking in this thread, and as always additional contributions are welcome.
An Approach to Understanding Introverted Thinking
Since this topic aims to explain and analyze Introverted Thinking for the Te/Fi Quadras, Ti will be analyzed primarily in its relation to these functions, which is perhaps the only approach that can be taken, as no function exists entirely to itself in a vacuum but only in its distinct relations with other functions. The range of functions looked at will derived from some simple self-evident propositions about the nature of Introverted Thinking:
1) Ti is an Introverted Rational function: The other Introverted Rational function (Ji if you will) apart from Introverted Logic is Introverted Ethics. So Fi will be seen to act in a similar manner as Ti.
2) Ti is a Logical function: Ti cannot act fully without Te and Te cannot act fully without the use of Ti as both are used to analyze external objects.
3) Ti is always paired with an Extraverted Irrational function: This basic proposition is more of a matter-of-fact of Socionics in that a Rational function is always paired with an Irrational function and that an Introverted function is always paired with an Extroverted function. Therefore, Ti will always operate either primarily or creatively in conjunction with either Extroverted Sensing or Extroverted Intuition.
So the range of functions involved in this thread will be primarily Ti (primarily), Te and Fi (analogically as similarly working functions), Se and Ne (secondarily as conjoined aspects), and Fe. But fully explaining Introverted Thinking’s relationship with Extraverted Feeling may not be as useful in this thread as by its very nature of organization, Ti-valuing is always paired with Fe-valuing, and therefore neither function is valued wholly in a Te/Fi Quadra. So talking about the interrelation of Ti & Fe may not be as much of a productive exercise in a thread primarily about Ti if the corresponding function of Fe is not as valued in the Te/Fi Quadras, as to do so would require an expansion of the subject matter of the topic to greater include Extraverted Feeling/Ethics. There cannot help but be overlap between these sub-topics, but I will attempt to do my best to keep them distinct.
A Basic Introduction to Introverted Thinking/Logic
While there are numerous resources on descriptions for Introverted Thinking and what it is, rarely do they go into how it is used, and thus its practical application becomes unclear. So just to be able to have some of the same material to work with or at least have available, I will just include a series of different short bits regarding Ti from primarily Rick’s various website and the Wikisocion as a starting point that will be put in the foreground here and then can of in the background while expanded upon in the following sections, because again the emphasis of this thread is not to make tautological assertions of what Ti is, but rather upon Ti’s understood relationship with other functions.
Introverted Logic (Socionics.us): logical relationships between objects: systems of rules and categories, hierarchies, comparisons of quantifiable properties, logical judgments
Some Themes of Ti (Wikisocion): analysis, law, hierarchy, measurement, classification, understanding, order, right, distance, system, structure, formal logic.
States of Mind of Ti (Wikisocion):clarity and exactitude of thought, a sense of order and regularity in different levels of structure; a sense of building a complete system from individual parts
Introverted Logic (Wikisocion): Introverted logic is generally associated with the ability to recognize logical consistency and correctness, generate and apply classifications and systems, organize systematic and conceptual understanding, see logical connections between things (including logical similarities, differences, and correlations) by means of instinctive feelings of validity, symmetry, and even beauty. It is like common sense, in that it builds on one's expectations of reality, through a somewhat personal (though explicable) understanding of general truths and how they are manifested.