WHAT MAKES AN IN PHILOSOPHER?
The keyword for IN philosophers is “contemplative.” They may strive to skillful like an IS crafter, expansive like an EN visionary, or even proactive like an ES doer, but contemplation is their modus operandi. Half of the IN types value Ni, while the other half do not. However, all IN types have very strong Ni. What the difference between strength and value? You can be good at the piano and love it, and you can be good at the piano and hate it. Good=strength, love/hate=value.
Ni gives INFJs, INTJs—and INTPs and INFPs—the tendency to have long, powerful, and intensive periods of inward reflection, great confidence in inner worldviews which they develop overtime about the underlying deeper reality of how things are, inexplicable hunches and inner certainty of “how things are or will be” that are felt with clarity, and higher up bird’s eye views of situations that are not easily explained. Their grand inner visions are experienced with great intensity and conviction. Ni is automatic and always on for these types.
On the other hand, these visions can make them feel too tense inside, they suffer from psychotic tendencies, especially when alone for too long. They all can become quite cut off from reality (even have a break from it). These types all have very weak Se, and as a result struggle with low energy levels, low outward presence, long periods of inertia and passivity, and an inability to act and trust their immediate physical instincts and impulses.
They all are aware of this and wish they can have more Se, and representatives of all of these types may seek to “improve it,” often with bad/awkward results. The difference is that INJs consciously value Se—when Se is in the environment can feel welcoming and intrinsically satisfying. The constant action feeds their Ni insights, and they do not have to actively have to spur themselves to Se activity, which they are poor at. INPs are Se PoLR, which means it is experienced with great pain and the motivation to develop it tends to more for extrinsic reasons. They have an exaggerated suspiciousness of Se, which is seen as coercive and blatant. They may seek to improve Se as a means to adapt to society, though they might over-estimate the degree society expects Se from them (this can lead to neurosis as they try to improve a very weak function they don’t like with the assumption this is what society greatly values).
The INPs and INJs each have different advantages. INPs have an auxiliary extroverted perceiving function (Ne), and thus it can mimic some of effects of Se (for example, better awareness of outer reality and its possibilities and opportunities). INJs, with a Ne as an opposing function and Se as an inferior, may have great trouble with any sort of extroverted perceiving, and thus feel more “stuck.” INJs have the advantages of auxiliary extroverted judgment to complement their Ni, which allows for more organized ways to realize it in the outer world.
If it is not convincing that the Ni of INPs is very strong, that is because (1) the Ni of INPs are kept private and it exists in the unconscious id. The Ni of INJs is in the conscious ego and much more likely to be directly shared with others. What I mean by all this will be addressed in my next two articles on Ni in these types. (2) INPs are not as aware of their own Ni, as they consciously focused on their valued functions. However, they score high on it on cognitive function assessment tests. (3) We need to consider how functions interact. It is the interaction of functions that makes the Ni of INJs appear stronger in certain ways. INFJs have very strong Ni, and their Fe is auxiliary. Thus, out of all types, their Ni is most gifted when it comes to reading people quickly and the vibe of the room. INFP’s Fe, for instance, is their “opposing function” so they actively stifle their own Fe, thus their Ni-Fe strengths are not nearly as great. However, their Ni strengths are expressed in other ways. For instance, with Fi in their conscious ego they seek to slowly and patiently figure out the individual qualities of people over time to piece together the ultimate portrait, and their very strong Ni knowingness can help immensely in this regard.