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You don't "USE" Functions

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This is a discussion on You don't "USE" Functions within the Cognitive Functions forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; @ Bardo Nardi's work does not map functions to the brain. It draws a correlation between MBTI types and regions ...

  1. #11
    INTJ - The Scientists

    @Bardo

    Nardi's work does not map functions to the brain. It draws a correlation between MBTI types and regions on the brain that lit up when certain tasks were performed. There were overall patterns with MBTI types and lit patterns, but it was not an effort to decisively map each function to a pattern. Even if there was, it would not be "using" a function. It would be defaulting to one.

    @Aquarian @JSRS01 and everyone else saying that you do "use" functions:

    What, exactly, are you using?

    Almost all of you have said in some way that you catch yourself "using" your dominant function, and that you have very little to no control over your preference stacking. If you want to think of that as "using" your dominant function even though you have little to no control over whether or not you can "use" it or not, understand that to "use" something still implies that you have the choice as to whether or not you want to do so in a given situation.

    I can pick up a jackhammer right now and use it. I may not have an option as to whether or not I will use it, but I still pick it up and go. As you all have noted, you cannot "use" functions outside of your stack, but you do not have an option as to whether or not you "use" your dominant. That's because you are not using any functions to begin with. You are simply defaulting to them, to varying extents, which is the exact reason why they seem prominent or not - there's nothing that comes before the "use" to say "use this one." You simply do it.

    To say that you use a function is to say that you have a choice as to whether or not it is part of your engagement with the outside, and as you have agreed, you do not have that choice. It makes no sense to say you "use" a function when you would default to the function you prefer regardless of how you have mapped which functions you "use."
    Donovan, niffer, RoSoDude and 1 others thanked this post.

  2. #12
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    A differentiated function means that it comes under the control of the will. "Control of the will," implies "using."

  3. #13
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    To play devil's advocate... which function did you use to decide to use a given function? Which function did you use to make that choice? Which before that...?
    Lady O.W. Bro, niffer and Bardo thanked this post.

  4. #14
    INTJ - The Scientists

    @Figure

    On the one hand, I feel your pain in terms of having a similar reaction when somebody describes some activity and says, "and then I used my Se to do X, and then grabbed my Ti to do that," and so on. But then, I'm not really a "functions" person at all.

    On the other hand, for a reader who subscribes to the cognitive functions, your OP is misleading to the extent that it implies that your own "don't say USE" perspective fairly characterizes "functions theory" — if by that you mean the views of most functions theorists.

    Jung himself discussed the functions in terms of processes people "use" to accomplish various tasks, and said that, at least with respect to their conscious, differentiated functions, people had some capacity to choose when and how they put them to use. As he explained:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jung
    For complete orientation all four functions should contribute equally: thinking should facilitate cognition and judgment, feeling should tell us how and to what extent a thing is important or unimportant for us; sensation should convey concrete reality to us through seeing, hearing, tasting, etc., and intuition should enable us to divine the hidden possibilities in the background, since these too belong to the complete picture of a given situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jung
    Since every man, as a relatively stable being, possesses all the basic psychological functions, it would be a psychological necessity with a view to perfect adaptation that he should also employ them in equal measure. For there must be a reason why there are different modes of psychological adaptation: evidently one alone is not enough, since the object seems to be only partly comprehended when, for example, it is something that is merely thought or merely felt.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jung
    I would like to add a word about the effects regularly produced on the other functions when preference is given to one function. We know that a man can never be everything at once, never quite complete. He always develops certain qualities at the expense of others, and wholeness is never attained. But what happens to those functions which are not consciously brought into daily use and are not developed by exercise? They remain in a more or less primitive and infantile state, often only half conscious, or even quite unconscious.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jung
    The products of all functions can be conscious, but we speak of the "consciousness" of a function only when its use is under the control of the will and, at the same time, its governing principle is the decisive one for the orientation of consciousness.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jung
    Just as the lion strikes down his enemy or his prey with his fore-paw, in which his specific strength resides, and not with his tail like the crocodile, so our habitual mode of reaction is normally characterized by the use of our most reliable and efficient function, which is an expression of our particular strength. However, this does not prevent us from reacting occasionally in a way that reveals our specific weakness. ... An intelligent man will adapt to the world through his intelligence, and not like a sixth-rate pugilist, even though now and then, in a fit of rage, he may make use of his fists. In the struggle for existence and adaptation everyone instinctively uses his most developed function, which thus becomes the criterion of his habitual mode of reaction.
    You mentioned Nardi, and Nardi also talks about the functions as things that we can choose to "use," and use with varying degrees of skill. He says:

    Quote Originally Posted by Nardi
    Almost everyone can engage each process in some basic way. Beyond this, you will engage some cognitive processes in a more sophisticated, developed way. This is usually the result of innate preference plus lifelong growth and practice, which equals development. ...

    According to Jung, development is more than basic or developed use of processes in isolation. Excellent use of a cognitive process involves both basic and advanced use as appropriate, and ability to deploy other processes in its service. Average to good use usually means we can use the process in limited situations or use it well but only with the aid of other processes. Poor use means basic use at most. Finally, we may get ourselves into trouble when we don't use a process at all.
    The introductory instructions to Nardi's online cognitive functions test say this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Nardi
    Please read carefully each of the 48 phrases below. For each phrase:
    • Indicate how often you do skillfully what the phrase describes. ...

    This is a serious questionnaire to help you discover what cognitive processes you use well.
    Berens also talks in terms of "using" different functions for different purposes, and Thomson goes on at length about the idea that an overly one-sided person should learn to develop and use their less preferred functions in the appropriate situations, rather than try to use their dominant function for all purposes.
    Eiderdrown thanked this post.

  5. #15
    INTJ - The Scientists

    Quote Originally Posted by PaladinX
    To play devil's advocate... which function did you use to decide to use a given function? Which function did you use to make that choice? Which before that...?
    All that leads to is the point that we're talking about a model, not reality directly.

    @reckful

    Thanks for aggregating that, but my point here is not to debate the language use. As far as the language goes, I stand by not "using" functions and think other people need to consider it too. Just because nobody ever calls out Thompson, Berens, Nardi, Jung others on overextending the theory to reality doesn't mean that they don't do it. Beside the point. My point is very much, again, this:

    This issue is critical because understanding a function as something to be "used" means that there is a possibility of intentionally shifting one's preferences willfully
    Most people here do not know what their functions are, and most people think that if you can map it, you use it. If anyone here believes that someone has seen themselves "using" Ne, Se, Ti, Fi in that order (and I have seen it), they are fundamentally misunderstanding type, and they are fundamentally spreading bullshit. I'm done seeing it spread publicly.
    Donovan thanked this post.

  6. #16
    INFJ - The Protectors

    @Figure, you didn't read my post with enough comprehension for me to reply as if this is a dialogue.

    To my perception, you're so narrowly and rigidly focused on making your theoretical argument that you are incapable of actual human dialogue toward grounded accuracy. For that, you would need to actually do the internet equivalent of listening so that you have a basic understanding, rather than seeking keywords and going off into a monologue about your argument.

    To repeat: You didn't comprehend my post. Hope it's useful to you (and others who will continue to follow this thread) for you to engage in argumentative monologues.

  7. #17
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    In mother Russia...functions prefer to use YOU!
    Lady O.W. Bro, Revenant, Shadow Logic and 4 others thanked this post.

  8. #18
    INTJ - The Scientists

    @Aquarian no, your responses to the following will help greatly, as they are in contrast.

    Prefer doesn't work for me in certain descriptions. I have a patterned cycle in which different cognitive functions come up at different points to do different things. I've tried to avoid the word use because I've seen this argument before. But prefer doesn't work for the descriptions. I can get around it by making the functions into the agents ("Ti comes up and does X at this point").
    Response: why does "prefer" not work, even in response to your last paragraph about type not being innate? Or more to the point, how are you envisioning "prefer?"

    My patterned cycle maps to Ni-Fe-Ti-(Se). I don't see it as a choice on my part, it's just what occurs.

    As much as I would like to support this "never say use" approach, it seems to remove accuracy of description for my own experiences in certain contexts, and when it comes down to it, I prefer accuracy of lived experience over the needs of theoretical models.
    Response: we agree that patterned cycles "just occur," and that they are not a choice. Do you have a specific scenario in which to not say "use" would significantly hinder your perception of your experience?

    For me, cognitive functions are not innate from birth, but the underlying core that my functions "assist" is innate from birth. Ni as my landscape (and Se in a very different way) was there from the start as part of what I am. Se-inf in its true inferior form locked in due to a traumatic physical event. Fe developed in response to the external cultural environment and need to be able to interact in certain ways with those around me in the context of Ni-dom/Se-inf. Ti emerged as a corrective to Fe given the Ni landscape.
    Response: how did you come up with this theory? I understand that Jung has proposed the idea of "complexes" - is this the source? If what you're saying is the case, then functions are not innate, and can be selected to meet certain needs of the individual through life. Testing the validity of this would be insane - I don't think it's possible, it would be a question to raise to Jung himself. But if there is a pattern among people who believe that their life scenarios shape the functions they "use" later, then that's a very interesting contrast.

  9. #19
    INTJ - The Scientists


    Quote Originally Posted by Figure View Post

    What, exactly, are you using?
    When I say "use" I'm referring to the engagement of a specific cognitive process.

    Almost all of you have said in some way that you catch yourself "using" your dominant function, and that you have very little to no control over your preference stacking. If you want to think of that as "using" your dominant function even though you have little to no control over whether or not you can "use" it or not, understand that to "use" something still implies that you have the choice as to whether or not you want to do so in a given situation.

    I can pick up a jackhammer right now and use it. I may not have an option as to whether or not I will use it, but I still pick it up and go. As you all have noted, you cannot "use" functions outside of your stack, but you do not have an option as to whether or not you "use" your dominant. That's because you are not using any functions to begin with. You are simply defaulting to them, to varying extents, which is the exact reason why they seem prominent or not - there's nothing that comes before the "use" to say "use this one." You simply do it.

    To say that you use a function is to say that you have a choice as to whether or not it is part of your engagement with the outside, and as you have agreed, you do not have that choice. It makes no sense to say you "use" a function when you would default to the function you prefer regardless of how you have mapped which functions you "use."
    While we may not have an outright choice in the functions that dominate our psyche (due to our infantile state when they are developed), if we are consciously aware of our use of the functions we can choose to actively engage functions not part of our dominant preference.

    And as some have pointed out, it's quite possible to use something without consciously choosing to use it. Organs like the heart, lungs, and the brain are all used regardless of our conscious choice or preference. And we do to some extent control our use of these things, like one has the choice to not breathe if they want to pass out and die but one does not have the choice to not breathe if they want to live.

    So relating what I just said to functions: I may not have a conscious choice in my use of Ni, but I do have the choice to actively engage Te and Ne; which is ultimately because cognitive functions are mental processes and all 8 processes are present in every individual's psyche.

  10. #20
    INTJ - The Scientists

    I think, unless I am mistaken, this is the essential point that @Figure is trying to make:


    We don't say, "I am using hammering." We say, "I am using a hammer."

    We don't use "hammering" we use "hammers" for the purpose of hammering. Just as the function we call "intuition" is using one thing (archetypes) for the purpose of doing something (creating/generating insight), so is the function we call "hammering" using one thing (a hammer) for the purpose of doing something (driving nails).

    It's a fundamental misconception to say "use" a function, because a function isn't a "thing" in the sense of being something static like a hammer waiting in a drawer that you can just grab when you need it and bang on nails.

    A "function" is quite literally exactly what we think of a "function" to be in common sense, common language. It is a process that takes place when we use something and because we are using something - but we don't "use" the function itself. The "function" just is the process of using something in a particular way, at a particular time, in a particular context.

    In this sense, a function is best understood and defined as the relationship between a "thing" and a "purpose." It is something that emerges out of the combination of subjective intentionality and material objectivity

    You don't "use" a relationship. That's confusing the map for the territory. You use your brain for the purpose of forming a thought. That process is called thinking. The "function" of "thinking" is to produce "thought." Again, you don't use a "thinking function" to produce thoughts/decisions/rationalizations. You use a brain and a language to do that.

    I know this may all sound like a pointless exercise in semantics, but I sympathize with Figure. I get what he is trying to say here, and what he is saying makes sense. It's semantic, but it is important semantics. The way we think in language about things really matters.

    Just because Jung said it, and everyone who followed in his footsteps, doesn't make it correct. Figure may just be the voice of one man crying out in the wilderness, but I for one hear what he is saying and agree with it.

    Do bear in mind, that Jung himself came up with his theory to try and describe nature. As long as Figure's description only assists Jung's theory in doing precisely that but in a slightly better way, then I think it has merit.
    bobdaduck and Figure thanked this post.


 

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