# Thread: It is impossible to describe a function without traits or characteristics

1. ## It is impossible to describe a function without traits or characteristics

I don't understand why people think that this is possible. Its not, simply put. You can't describe something without using traits or characteristics. There very well could be some intuitive presence behind it, but it is impossible to explain because it is INTUITIVE.

2. In describing characteristics of a person who has the function, one must not get too caught up in looking at the trees and forgetting about the forest. The actual essences of functions are not tangible traits, however by looking at various traits WITHIN THEIR PROPER CONTEXTS, we can get a feel for how a set of functions are influences the way a person goes about doing what they do. It will even influence WHAT they do - but the context must be always considered when analyzing what a person does.

In terms of talking about general trends: For example, I've found Se people to be edgier and generally more intense than Si people. However this does not mean that the definition of the function Se is "intensity". Another thing I've found with Se people is that their eyes frequently seem to dart around from point to point, whereas Si people have a steadier look. Even here, we cannot define Se as "eyes darting around" - however this does get closer to hinting at what Se really is. To find out more what the nature of the function is, we have to look at what could be causing this intensity, or the eyes darting around, etc, and blend all of these things into a perceptual whole, to get a feel for the abstract essence of the function that seems to be influencing it.

We can now look to the information elements, once we have formed our perceptual whole from the various "traits" we've seen in Se people.

Se = External Object Statics

It is an object function - that's EXTREMELY important. Objects in perception are defined as things that are separate from the observer. Objects are separate entities each and of themselves. Therefore, when a person uses an object function (Se, Ne, Te, Fe), the person is looking at one object, then moving on to the next object, leaving the previous one behind. In other words, there will be a disconnectedness between objects (since we are not examining fields).

So now, to Se specifically: Se is a perceiving object function (just like Ne - while Te and Fe are judging object functions). So what does this particular object perceiving function examine? It looks at the externals - things within the environment - things directly as they are in their static state (perceiving functions take in information in a passive way, while with judging functions there is more of a deliberateness and altering of information).

So therefore, Se is an object function that examines things externally (which is what a sensing function does). However, since Se is an object function, its going to examine different things in an object by object matter. It looks for external stimulation in one thing, then throws it aside and moves on to something else - object by object.

So now we bring in our observation of "traits". If we've noticed that Se people tend to have darting eyes (at least moreso than Si people), and that they tend to be more intense than Si people, we can begin to tie in why. If someone is constantly looking for new external stimulus, then that would seem to tie in with darting eyes, scanning the external environment on the prowl for new stimulus. Also, in constantly seeking new stimulus, an Se person does not let the external environment develop and build on itself, so from an Si person's perspective, the Se person seems to frequently disrupting the building-upon that the Si person is experiencing with THEIR sensating. To an Si person, an Se person could seem bursty, jolty (almost like a jolt of electricity), up and down, etc. This all again ties back to how an Se person jumps from one external thing to another, object by object, disconnected, no smooth harmonious flow, the way there is with Si types.

This is an example of getting to the root of what a function does by looking at traits within the greater picture, and seeing how the traits stem from the information elements that are the essence of functions. Yes, there are traits, but the traits themselves do not define the functions.

3. Originally Posted by hitta
I don't understand why people think that this is possible. Its not, simply put. You can't describe something without using traits or characteristics. There very well could be some intuitive presence behind it, but it is impossible to explain because it is INTUITIVE.
No, you're just stupid. It's possible to be explain functions, types, the dynamics of them, and to observe their presence in the real world. All without appeal to the asinine characteristics you claim. Like, "HURRR, ALL DELTAS AND GAMMAS ARE OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE AND CONFORMISTS TO SOCIETY!#@*(\$" Or however you phrase the dumb shit you say. Please die.

4. That's bullshit, hitta. IM elements are described without talking about characteristics as such. When you talk about blocks, like ego blocks, then of course traits and characteristics are important; because they are what make blocks. But IM elements are simply about "external static elements" and "internal dynamic elements" etc. Do you see any sign of characteristics or traits of people described there? No, nor do I.

5. well, I challenge someone to describe it without a trait or a characteristic. I'm telling you its not possible. This is simple sociology. You can't describe something without language(traits and characteristics). The human mind cannot think without language, everything is connected to language. To describe something you actually have to describe it lol.

6. Originally Posted by Colonel Angus
No, you're just stupid. It's possible to be explain functions, types, the dynamics of them, and to observe their presence in the real world. All without appeal to the asinine characteristics you claim. Like, "HURRR, ALL DELTAS AND GAMMAS ARE OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE AND CONFORMISTS TO SOCIETY!#@*(\$" Or however you phrase the dumb shit you say. Please die.
Actually Gammas aren't obsessive compulsive at all. They take care of their routine hygiene and lifestyles in a very collective and very routine manner. Obsessive compulsives are usually Alphas and Deltas. Delta feelers are obsessive compulsive in different ways. They tend to worry about their own morality and perfection.

7. Originally Posted by hitta
I don't understand why people think that this is possible. Its not, simply put. You can't describe something without using traits or characteristics. There very well could be some intuitive presence behind it, but it is impossible to explain because it is INTUITIVE.
The problem is A) you do not define or describe traits, B) you do not list traits, and C) you do not give any justification as to why certain traits are attached to particular functions.

8. Originally Posted by hitta
well, I challenge someone to describe it without a trait or a characteristic. I'm telling you its not possible. This is simple sociology. You can't describe something without language(traits and characteristics). The human mind cannot think without language, everything is connected to language. To describe something you actually have to describe it lol.
See my above post

9. Originally Posted by Steve
See my above post
Your whole article is nothing but traits. You say that Se=External Object Statics. Isn't that a trait; a description or characteristic of what it is? You are giving 3 traits; that it is external static and object. These are just descriptions. You in no way have shown the true intuitive intentions of Se. You have just described the intentions. Thought in general requires language. You can't think without words or pictures to symbolize something. Functions are no different.

10. okay my point was that yes there are traits that do have some connections to functions, as long as their used in the right way.

So my point was, why do you keep claiming that people think that you can't connect functions to any traits? I described certain traits in my post, and linked how they could be tied to a function. I don't have a problem with correlating traits to functions, as long as it's done in the right way.

And what exactly are these "intuitive intentions" of Se that you mention?

11. Originally Posted by Steve
okay my point was that yes there are traits that do have some connections to functions, as long as their used in the right way.

So my point was, why do you keep claiming that people think that you can't connect functions to any traits? I described certain traits in my post, and linked how they could be tied to a function. I don't have a problem with correlating traits to functions, as long as it's done in the right way.

And what exactly are these "intuitive intentions" of Se that you mention?
Having a -Se/+Si ego function means that you are going to have a +Ne/-Ni agenda function. -Se/+Si is about going against the balance of force, to makes a rebellious stint. +Ne/-Ni is about originality. Using some deduction one could see that these are connected. If one is rebellious he will have an unconscious need to do things creatively(a deduction). If one is normally into originality and stuff, unconsciously they will have a motive to rebel against things. Its very easy to see, I don't get why people are acting like this is some sort of mathematical explanation uncovered from a UFO that crashed in Roswell.

And btw, I never said that traits couldn't be used to explain functions, thats what I've been arguing. Traits and characteristics are the only way to describe a function. Functions have to be a combination of traits, because everything is traits. Some people prefer originality, some people prefer normalness. Each person has to prefer one at a given time. Come on people, this is the whole essence of being a personality theorist, to understand what a person likes and dislikes. That is what personality is. A person has to value either a +/- version of a function. +Ni is normalness; routine; etc. -Ni is originality; singularity; novelty. Everyone is one of them at a given time.

12. hitta, you keep saying that humans "can't" think without language.
I strongly disagree. I would say we wouldn't be able to develop our thoughts in most directions without language, but thinking doesn't necessarily begin with language, so how can you believe we *can't* think without language?
It just bothers for me for some reason. When I read S.I. Hayakawa's Language in Thought and Action years ago, the author at first seemed to express a similar idea, but finally I realized that he was trying to make the point that it takes language to formalize the process of idea leading to further ideas.
Otherwise we are, as you asserted elsewhere, simply machines of reaction, with no free will at all. In which case what's the point of our thoughts anyway?

13. Originally Posted by hitta
Having a -Se/+Si ego function means that you are going to have a +Ne/-Ni agenda function. -Se/+Si is about going against the balance of force, to makes a rebellious stint. +Ne/-Ni is about originality.
And how did you come up with these definitions?

Originally Posted by hitta
And btw, I never said that traits couldn't be used to explain functions, thats what I've been arguing.
Are you seriously flipping what I said around? lol. I know that you believe that traits are tied with functions, why do you think I wrote a post saying that you tie traits TOO CLOSELY with functions? What I was addressing in the above post was the idea that YOU CLAIM that OTHER PEOPLE (those who criticize your model) believe that traits can't be associated with functions. And I'm saying that nobody believes that you can't associate traits with functions - people instead disagree with HOW YOU attribute the traits to the functions.

Originally Posted by hitta
That is what personality is. A person has to value either a +/- version of a function. +Ni is normalness; routine; etc. -Ni is originality; singularity; novelty.
Same question as above, where/how did you come up with these definitions?

14. Originally Posted by Steve
And how did you come up with these definitions?

Are you seriously flipping what I said around? lol. I know that you believe that traits are tied with functions, why do you think I wrote a post saying that you tie traits TOO CLOSELY with functions? What I was addressing in the above post was the idea that YOU CLAIM that OTHER PEOPLE (those who criticize your model) believe that traits can't be associated with functions. And I'm saying that nobody believes that you can't associate traits with functions - people instead disagree with HOW YOU attribute the traits to the functions.

Same question as above, where/how did you come up with these definitions?
The definitions are from Victor Gulenko, the model is from AV Bulakov. Jimmy(the original owner of 16types) went by the same model I go by.

15. Originally Posted by hitta
The definitions are from Victor Gulenko, the model is from AV Bulakov. Jimmy(the original owner of 16types) went by the same model I go by.

16. I need to find this article 16-компонентная модель ТИМа и социона

17. Ok cool, thanks. This way we can finally discuss the roots of the thought process and evaluate it.

18. .

19. Originally Posted by iAnnAu
hitta, you keep saying that humans "can't" think without language.
I strongly disagree. I would say we wouldn't be able to develop our thoughts in most directions without language, but thinking doesn't necessarily begin with language, so how can you believe we *can't* think without language?
It just bothers for me for some reason. When I read S.I. Hayakawa's Language in Thought and Action years ago, the author at first seemed to express a similar idea, but finally I realized that he was trying to make the point that it takes language to formalize the process of idea leading to further ideas.
Otherwise we are, as you asserted elsewhere, simply machines of reaction, with no free will at all. In which case what's the point of our thoughts anyway?
What kind of thoughts can a person have without symbols or language? Everything we know is a symbol for something. The objects we see are just symbols. You can't think without symbols.

20. Originally Posted by Gulenko
proactive ("+"): savings, economy, careful maintenance
reactive ("-"): expenses, investments, risks, combination, trial of something new

Structural logic L (Ti in your classification):
proactive ("+"): implicative, if-then logic, logic of cause and effect, linear, chain, narrow-directed
reactive ("-"): disjunctive, or-or logic, widespread, volume, holographical

Ethics of emotions E (Fe in your classification):
proactive ("+"): playful emotions, translating of emotional state, entertaining and sound effects
reactive ("-"): organic emotions, motorial and tactile effects, changes in emotional state

Ethics of relations R (Fi in your classification):
proactive ("+"): warm-hearted ethic, homily, moral
reactive ("-"): ethic of distancing, changing of psychological distance

Force sensorics F (Se in your classification):
proactive ("+"): submissiveness, voluntarism, following existing balance of forces, demobilization
reactive ("-"): submissive force, breaking existing balance of forces, concentration, preponderance in forces in some place

Sensation sensorics S (Si in your classification):
proactive ("+"): stabile comfort, habitual sensations
reactive ("-"): thrill, different sensations, change in physical state

Intuition of possibilities I (Ne in your classification):
proactive ("+"): intuition of perspectives, possible findings, synthesis of known ideas
reactive ("-"): intuition of lost alternatives, unnoticed paths, hidden talents

Intuition of time T (Ni in your classification):
proactive ("+"): intuition of reflection, waiting, reproducing of old tendences, past
reactive ("-"): intuition of suddenness, danger, novelty, future
This is directly from Gulenko. You can translate it off of his webpage.

21. That seems to be of a different beast than the "traits" you attribute to types.

22. Originally Posted by Logos
That seems to be of a different beast than the "traits" you attribute to types.
Not really, everything is a characteristic.

23. Have you tried running your system by Gulenko?

24. you know how to contact him?

25. Originally Posted by hitta
you know how to contact him?
No, but I thought that you would have attempted. Doesn't he have a website?

26. Originally Posted by Logos
No, but I thought that you would have attempted. Doesn't he have a website?
yea, but i can't find a way to contact him

27. Originally Posted by hitta
yea, but i can't find a way to contact him
That's odd. You would think that he would have his e-mail address on the site.

28. Originally Posted by hitta
What kind of thoughts can a person have without symbols or language? Everything we know is a symbol for something. The objects we see are just symbols. You can't think without symbols.
I'm not quite sure I agree with you. I know I can (and usually do) think without language/words. The symbols part is harder, because I often think visually (kinda) and I guess you could say that's a sort of symbolic thinking. But... there are times, I'm pretty sure, where I'm thinking non-verbally but also non-abstractly (which is where symbolism would be). For example, when I'm drawing something that I'm looking at. The best drawings come when I block out the linguistic/symbolic part of my brain. You could say that isn't thinking...

...which might be correct, if you look at it from the perspective of judging v. perceiving and are equating thinking with socionics Thinking.

But, anyway, I can still use my intelligence/brain without words or symbols. So I think I disagree with you on this.

29. I think in imagery all the time.

30. Originally Posted by Minde
I'm not quite sure I agree with you. I know I can (and usually do) think without language/words. The symbols part is harder, because I often think visually (kinda) and I guess you could say that's a sort of symbolic thinking. But... there are times, I'm pretty sure, where I'm thinking non-verbally but also non-abstractly (which is where symbolism would be). For example, when I'm drawing something that I'm looking at. The best drawings come when I block out the linguistic/symbolic part of my brain. You could say that isn't thinking...
...which might be correct, if you look at it from the perspective of judging v. perceiving and are equating thinking with socionics Thinking.
But, anyway, I can still use my intelligence/brain without words or symbols. So I think I disagree with you on this.
I second this.
I would also like to add that every now and then my brain will be churning on the reevaluation of memories, finally putting things together so that aspects of the situation that didn't fully make sense to me at the time are beginning to ... and I'll notice that my verbalized thoughts are echoes of the thought process. If anything, they slow the process down!
Trying to describe it a little more fully ... for example, I'll think of a friend, and a time when she did something unusual will pop to mind, and then a cascade of memories will arise that seem to place a perspective on her behavior. A feeling of certainty (or at least greater certainty than I had before) comes next, and with that feeling comes the compulsion to delineate the revelation in words. The process of putting all that into words goes much more slowly, and even sometimes feels like it's precluding further insights because once the words start forming into sentences, they also start re-forming as if to try to refine the logic of expression, setting up their own little loops that eat up pieces of my awareness, until finally the nonverbal process is thoroughly highjacked.
Perhaps it would be difficult to remember the revelation without taking it through to expression in language; but that would be a function of memory, not thinking. Perhaps the "revelation" would be incomplete or inapplicable without the subsequent pressing forth into language; but the preverbal state still provides the input. Certainly we could not reliable transmit the revelation without language ...
but frankly, how certain are we that we have reliable transmission even with language?
Like I mentioned before, this "thought requires language" argument has been a topic of contemplation for years, so I am interested in other viewpoints - I'm not just arguing to win a point. And please be forewarned that if you want to split semantic hairs, you gonna open up a whole can of worms, to ironically mix a metaphor about semantics!

31. its not possible to think either verbally or spatially. Everything is a symbol. Do me a favor and give me an example of thinking without symbols. The second you think of it you have used symbols. Images are language, just a different form.

32. Originally Posted by hitta
its not possible to think either verbally or spatially. Everything is a symbol. Do me a favor and give me an example of thinking without symbols. The second you think of it you have used symbols. Images are language, just a different form.
I did give you an example. When I draw, to think in symbols is to distort the shape. Instead, one focuses on... well, the pure sensory aspect of it, I guess. How the line curves, where the values lie within the space. It's a different kind of thinking, passive almost.

33. I don't think thought requires language either. My thoughts often aren't in words... I feels like they have to be translated into words often. When put into words, some of the meaning can fall out. That's why I sometimes say things in odd ways because I'm trying to translate what I see in my head to the other person, not the words or language. Words and language are primarily a way to communicate between people (though language can come in other forms that are non-verbal of course)... I agree it would be difficult to develop any sophisticated thoughts or ideas without having some sort of complex symbolic language system (probably). But without language, you would still be able to think... it's just you would be mentally isolated from everyone else, unable to communicate what is in your mind to others... The thoughts in your mind would probably exist purely in images... they're still thoughts, they just aren't thoughts in words.

34. Originally Posted by Minde
I did give you an example. When I draw, to think in symbols is to distort the shape. Instead, one focuses on... well, the pure sensory aspect of it, I guess. How the line curves, where the values lie within the space. It's a different kind of thinking, passive almost.
Distort the shape? If it has shape it is symbols, words are symbols, pictures are symbols.
There are two ways that a person can think about something(which are really the same thing). They can use their language(example: I like pizza); or they can think in pictures and images.

There isn't a thing in the world, or a word in the world, or an idea in the world that isn't a symbol for something.

35. One of the things I am noticing and almost questioning though is whether or not these traits tied to the +/- function so much define the qualities of the type (i.e. Fi- as being tied with hate such that whatever type with Fi- would be hateful) or if it defines the attentive metabolism of that trait.

36. Originally Posted by hitta
Distort the shape? If it has shape it is symbols, words are symbols, pictures are symbols.
There are two ways that a person can think about something(which are really the same thing). They can use their language(example: I like pizza); or they can think in pictures and images.

There isn't a thing in the world, or a word in the world, or an idea in the world that isn't a symbol for something.
You evidently do not know how to draw. Your perspective is limited - whether by choice or plain lack of ability, I do not know. You think in one way and expect the rest of the world to do the same. I do not think I can spare what I estimate it would take to help you out of that pitfall.

So, whatever.

37. Are fluttering images in different layers of meaning symbols? What is a symbol and what is not? I was imagining it where I think of my mind and remove all language (primarily written and spoken English, any other knowledge of other languages, any knowledge of math or other language-like systems), then what would remain? Images that change and move and mean something to me. What would be lost would be the ability to express the meaning, or to communicate with anything outside of myself, and the ability to organize my thoughts... however that is assuming that the natural propensity of the mind to start categorizing, symbolizing, and organizing is withheld. Realistically that would not be so. So the mind would start grouping associations together. But is that language? The mind might come up with visual symbols or gestures that mean something to the person, but is that language? As always it reduces to the "what do we mean by the word x" question. In a way it's pointless to talk about anything.

38. Originally Posted by Loki
Are fluttering images in different layers of meaning symbols? What is a symbol and what is not? I was imagining it where I think of my mind and remove all language (primarily written and spoken English, any other knowledge of other languages, any knowledge of math or other language-like systems), then what would remain? Images that change and move and mean something to me. What would be lost would be the ability to express the meaning, or to communicate with anything outside of myself, and the ability to organize my thoughts... however that is assuming that the natural propensity of the mind to start categorizing, symbolizing, and organizing is withheld. Realistically that would not be so. So the mind would start grouping associations together. But is that language? The mind might come up with visual symbols or gestures that mean something to the person, but is that language? As always it reduces to the "what do we mean by the word x" question. In a way it's pointless to talk about anything.
When an image or object has meaning it is a symbol. But, if you look at something for what it is, as opposed to what it means, then it's not a symbol, imo. (Which was what my half-a-thought reference to judging/perceiving was about.)

39. Originally Posted by Minde
When an image or object has meaning it is a symbol. But, if you look at something for what it is, as opposed to what it means, then it's not a symbol, imo. (Which was what my half-a-thought reference to judging/perceiving was about.)
That makes sense.

Interesting. By 'means something to me,' I think I meant I feel something about it. But, yes, then that stratifies things into layers according to what I feel about them, and symbolizes them in that sense. By meaning I also meant the feeling (non-emotion based) of its significance and the need to reflect on it and keep it in memory (but then I'm stratifying by something else --> symbolizing). What you said, Minde, just seeing it for what it is, then it is simply being perceived... no meaning or association is assigned. Does seeing it for what it is constitute thinking? I think it does in the sense that the mind is processing something... and isn't that what thinking is... conscious wandering of the mind. So, yes, there is a part of the mind that processes and perceives without assigning or attaching anything to what that something is... it is still thinking in that it is a conscious process... it is not language.

Actually it doesn't even need to be conscious.

40. Originally Posted by Loki
That makes sense.

Interesting. By 'means something to me,' I think I meant I feel something about it. But, yes, then that stratifies things into layers according to what I feel about them, and symbolizes them in that sense. By meaning I also meant the feeling (non-emotion based) of its significance and the need to reflect on it and keep it in memory (but then I'm stratifying by something else --> symbolizing). What you said, Minde, just seeing it for what it is, then it is simply being perceived... no meaning or association is assigned. Does seeing it for what it is constitute thinking? I think it does in the sense that the mind is processing something... and isn't that what thinking is... conscious wandering of the mind. So, yes, there is a part of the mind that processes and perceives without assigning or attaching anything to what that something is... it is still thinking in that it is a conscious process... it is not language.

Actually it doesn't even need to be conscious.
It depends, I think, on whether you're using the socionics Thinking or just referring to thinking in terms of brain activity. If it's socionics Thinking then it's judging and thus meaning is being applied. In the socionics sense, seeing something for what it is might be more like Sensing (or it's partner, Intuition), a perceiving function.

But I'm not entirely sure of this.

EDIT: To make it clearer -

T/F - judging
S/N - perceiving

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