I just posted something in another thread that I think may go part of the way in solving the problem of how Fi applies to things beyond just relationships between people:
Having already established that Fi can be related to deontology, duty, obligation, etc., it seems natural to me to extend those expectations of duty beyond the realm of just interpersonal relations. One area where I definitely see it in Fi-valuing types is in making decisions about what businesses to support. First of all, I don't know if it's just the Fi-egos I know or if it's a general Fi-ego thing, but I notice that Fi-egos tend to think in terms of "supporting" a business, rather than the dry exchange of goods and services. And they will often choose to continue or discontinue their "support" or "patronage" to a given business, be it a department store, a restaurant, a university, a brokerage, or whatever, based on whether or not the business fulfills the set of duties that the Fi-ego has in the back of his or her head about what "should" be done. For example,a Ti ego might look at a product and ask, "does it function correctly? how logical is the arrangement? will this produce the desired results? once I get a complete understanding of it, how can I use this?" An Fi ego, on the other hand, might look at a product and ask, "what do I have a right to expect for the money I will spend on this product? Has this product fulfilled those expectations? has this product exceeded them? Has it fallen slightly below, or significantly below expectations?" So, a Ti-ego evaluating a college course might ask themselves, "were things taught in a logical manner? did the professor present the information in a coherent way, or did he or she contradict themselves frequently?" An Fi ego, on the other hand, might ask, "did this course provide me with the information it said it would? did this course provide me with information that is actually relevant to me and my interests/goals? did the professor explain things in such a way as the students in the class could reasonably have been expected to understand? was the grading 'fair'?" An Fi-ego might have this as one of his/her Fi values: "the grade in the course should reflect the amount of work done in the course." So he or she would evaluate the quality of the course, at least in part, on the criteria "did my grade and the grades of my peers reflect their relative levels of work?" If yes, then it is a good course, at least on that count. If no, then it is a bad course. The "subjective" part, and the part that tends to frustrate Ti-valuers, is that even if the course is taught impeccably, even if it fulfills all the stated goals, if the criteria above happens to be one of the criteria the Fi-valuer has in his/her head of what a course "ought to do," then the course will be considered to be of less quality, or less ideal (I know that's technically nonsensical, but work with me here), than one that had all of the course in question's positive attributes, but also fulfilled the "grade fairly" dictum.Fi, I feel, has a lot to do with expectations, and making evaluations based on whether those a priori expectations have been fulfilled or not.
I do want to say, while we're on the subject, that there are simply areas in which it is illogical to apply Fi reasoning, and even an Fi-ego will try to look at such information from a different perspective. You can look at it as if it were on a scale from logic to ethics. Way on the logical end is mathematics. There's really no productive way to use Fi to evaluate mathematics. Way on the ethical end is, say, matricide (I use that example because I took a class that is really part of the background knowledge that's informing my thoughts on Fi, and matricide--in the Oresteia by Aeschylus--is the topic we used to delve into the idea of taboos). You can try to weigh the pros and cons of killing your mom (say your mom killed your dad and got away with it, do you take revenge), and you can try to pick what would be the most "logical" thing to do, but in a situation like that, the elements that you're dealing with are so emotionally and psychologically and above all, ethically fundamental that applying logic and ideas of coherence and incoherence just doesn't work, or, at least, it works about as well as subjectively evaluating math based on the duties of numbers to one another, or something. However, between the extremes of matricide and mathematics, there are huge swaths of gray area that can viably be considered by either Fi or Ti, either logic or ethics. It is that gray area that we are interested in, the area that is neither a) clearly inherently logical or inherently ethical, nor b) clearly dealt with far more productively by one function than the other (as in the examples above). So, I guess what I'm saying is that, philosophically, while it is correct to say that any situation can be viewed through the "lens" of any of the socionics information aspects, it is incorrect to say that any situation can be productively viewed through the "lens" of any socionics information aspect.
So, what are some other situations we can explore where it would be productive to apply either Ti or Fi, outside of the realm of interpersonal affairs? I have the business example, but not much else. Thoughts?