I believe this dichotomy is both important and very confusing.The reason it is confusing is the apparent truth that we all must both perceive and reason, and thus, any question of emphasis on one or the other within a psyche requires some subtlety in delineating.
Lytov, from the socionics world, in my view correctly states that Jung did not distinguish very precisely these types. However, I am unsure of his subsequent claim that Jung de-emphasized the difference, even if some of his followers do. His original presentation seemed to markedly emphasize the incomprehensibility of the rational types to the irrational types and vice versa, so even if the precise reasons for this were not clear, the view is clear.
In any case, I find that the inherent dialogue between reason and perception makes it hard to really write down what a type favoring one or the other is.
One approach seems to associate the traits of perception to the traits of the so-called perception types: e.g. perception happens spontaneously, and irrational types are said to be spontaneous/flexible.
Where things get hazy to me is e.g. this sort of distinction:
Note that this is one source, and Lytov's intro on rational/irrational bears a similar flavor.Originally Posted by wikisocion
My problem is all these traits are totally extrapolated from the actual process of reasoning and perceiving, without being inherent to the processes themselves. That is, there are flexible reasoners, who modify their judgment as and when new stuff comes in or, in fact, they may just keep adding more clauses, axioms, etc to create a bigger and bigger system of reasoning.
I want to know what causes an irrational type to change his decisions frequently for instance. Why can an intuitive apprehension not result in a decision which essentially won't change? Spontaneity of perception is a truth, in fact, firmly separating it from judgment which tends to be deliberated.
But just because the IE arises spontaneously and one's responses to it are spontaneous doesn't mean one isn't likely to be sure of the decision itself. It's just that as time passes, more spontaneous insights come in, and one does not ignore them.
But who said one tries to account for those in the decision itself: if the decision concerns the momentary spontaneous insight, then it should be good relative to that, and not concerned with any other spontaneous insight, meaning, the decisions will tend to correspond to the content with which they are associated. Maybe a decision based greatly on reason is invariant of the spontaneous, but that doesn't make it to me any more or less likely to be changed. Spontaneous does not mean whimsical: whimsicality is more a function of undirectedness, and the whole point of all this subtlety is that even perceptive activity, to become the leading, must be directed, even if one tends to see reason as the more directed activity.
As for whether one would change one's view or not, well whether deliberated/rationally produced or not, information which overrides prior conclusion or perception not being taken into account is, well, foolhardy? It's so because we must respond to information in accordance with its integrity; otherwise, why claim to process the information at all?
All this stuff reeks of the Myers-Briggs J/P and to me doesn't get at what rational/irrational really is about, and what's more, as many flaws as the Myers-Briggs use of J/P has, to be honest it's a good piece of evidence to me that one can have a J-like exterior with a perceiving information type (I just don't think the formulaic conclusions of MBTI are always true or even expected). An example of what it really is about to me might be seen for instance with sensation functioning: the irrational factor tells us simply what "is". Thus, as much as one has a rational standard for assessing things, tuning into what simply is becomes essential (think for instance socionics Si -- you can come up with all sorts of ethical/emotional values concerning Si content, but at the end of the day, noting Si information is noting it, and navigating the raw physical sphere and tuning into the inner perceptions associated with it is its own thing).
I agree things like structured/unstructured are legitimate things. But I think irrational/rational is more along the lines of empirical vs reason-based. Some obsessive empirical types may present their findings very methodically, others less so, but key is the experience and empirical foundation are things they do not lose touch with.
So for instance, how does the rational type decide to let someone off the hook vs be rigid? I'd say there must be a reason relative to their system for everything. They may be rigid or not about rules depending on temperament; the question is can they justify relative to a rational norm their decision either way. The intuitive type may instead consult an intuition to decide either way.
To be clear, I do agree that the irrational types are spontaneous, because in so much as their ego-consciousness displays an orientation by irrationality, whose information is transmitted spontaneously, you can expect the person will conform to their preferred information mode.
Discussion-wise I would like your thoughts on what you find to be the heart of this dichotomy in the various IE pairings in the ego block. That is, in particular pairings you feel you understand deeply. Yes, this is the contrived, overdone question of "ESE or SEI?! EIE or IEI?" etc.