Ti – External Field Statics (EFS)
- By Steve
Ti As It Emerges from the Theory:
Ti, like the other three introverted functions, is a field function. With field functions the person sees the relationship that exists between things, and is personally affected by this relationship/field. Thus the output of the field functions consists of personalized data selectively filtered to center around either a unifying evolving essence, as with the dynamic field functions Si and Ni, or a unifying central criterion, as with the static field functions Ti and Fi.
Ti is a judging function, along with Fi, Te and Fe. Perceiving functions involve a passive mode of receiving information, allowing information to flow in “as is” more or less. Judging functions on the other hand involve an active mode toward information. Judging functions exert control and shape the information that comes in - in other words they modify the natural state/states of reality into processed outcomes. You could liken the Judging functions to taking natural ingredients and combining them to produce processed food - think of taking a bunch of wheat and oats, modifying it from its natural state (dry long stalks), and turning it into a rectangular granola bar.
There are two sides of reality, the external and internal. The Judging functions that shape and modify external information are the “thinking functions” Ti and Te (External Field Statics and External Object Dynamics respectively), while the Judging functions that shape/modify internal information are the “feeling functions” Fi and Fe (Internal Field Statics and Internal Object Dynamics respectively). The way the thinking functions operate can resemble “logic” but it is important to note that thinking functions are not logic. Thinking functions are simply ways of shaping/modifying/processing/filtering information from external reality. They may work with information derived from functions that deal with internal reality, but they always turn the internal information into something external (for example Ti making an external structure of different internal Ne observations on things).
Theoretically speaking, each Judging function resembles a Perceiving function in a modified or altered state. For example, Ti is like frozen Si (external field statics vs. external field dynamics), just as Te is like moving Se, and Fi like frozen Ni. (The connection between specific judging and perceiving functions is to be explored further separately). As you can see, each Judging function can be seen as a modified/altered condition of a natural Perceiving mode. This comparison is useful for showing how a Judging function acts with reality: it takes the raw information from the Perceiving functions (both Perceiving functions in the quadra, and even the already modified output of the complementing Judging function) and filters it, modifies it, processes it, refines it, and makes sense of it.
Essentially Ti operates by freezing a chunk of external field information, holding it in place, thereby creating it a static “structure”; a “grid of interconnection”. Picture a flowing river with a current (dynamic field), and now picture the river suddenly icing over. Now that the river has ice, we can walk on it, examine it, maybe see a fish or two frozen underneath, as if we’re now seeing a frame or snapshot (static) of the whole interaction (dynamic) that takes place when the river (field) is flowing.
Ti on a Practical Level:
Ti analyzes and makes sense of the external reality by unifying it into a personalized structure, determined by personalized criteria. Ti uses these criteria to determine if things are coherent or not, and whether or not something’s relevant. So when it comes to say, solving a problem logically, Ti will revert to its personally determined rules for how reality operates, and use those rules to deduce an appropriate conclusion. A key aspect of the way Ti operates is that it is always seeking to pinpoint fundamental principles or laws that exist behind phenomenon. Once these laws are determined, they are incorporated into the person’s working framework of how the world works. If new phenomena happen that cannot be explained by the person’s existing framework, the person then has to change their unifying criteria to incorporate the new “law” behind the new phenomena.
When Ti people learn new information, they will most often have to bridge an underlying concept/law in the material with a concept/law that they have solidified from past experience. If they can’t attain a structural connection, the new material will seem random or irrelevant and have no place in the existing working Ti framework.
For Ti seekers, particularly IXFps, they seek out these “laws/rules” that seem to explain how everything works. Te totally catches them off guard because of its discrete nature, and doesn’t give them the unification they need to properly understand something. Additionally, a Ti hidden agenda type seems particularly content exploring all the different rules of reality/situations that exist for its own sake.
How Ti Differs from Te:
Ti analyzes and makes sense of external reality by freezing an entire group of information and unifying it behind personally determined criteria. Te on the other hand takes discrete nodes of data from external reality and extracts them in an evolving linear form into self-contained, sealed-off “objects”. There is no unification of all the nodes, because each node evolves to be slightly different than the previous one. This phenomenon seems to be why Te is misconstrued as simply stating “facts” or reciting “data”. Yes, Te will process and make sense of things in a seemingly linear fashion, going point by point, but it is not “facts” Te is stating (although it may seem like Te-people state the obvious to Ti-people). Instead it is an extraction/interpreting of external reality into discrete representations.
In summation, Ti is about creating a unified personalized system or framework to understand something, while Te extracts discrete outcomes as information rolls in.