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[Text taken from Chapter 10 of Carl Gustav Jung’s Psychological Types, first published in 1921.]

2. The Extraverted Thinking Type

It is a fact of experience that all the basic psychological functions seldom or never have the same strength or grade of development in one and the same individual. As a rule, one or other function predominates, in both strength and development When supremacy among the psychological functions is given to thinking, i.e. when the life of an individual is mainly ruled by reflective thinking so that every important action proceeds from intellectually considered motives, or when there is at least a tendency to conform to such motives, we may fairly call this a thinking type. Such a type can be either introverted or extraverted. We will first discuss the extraverted thinking type.

In accordance with his definition, we must picture a man whose constant aim — in so far, of course, as he is a pure type — is to bring his total life-activities into relation with intellectual conclusions, which in the last resort are always orientated by objective data, whether objective facts or generally valid ideas. This type of man gives, the deciding voice — not merely for himself alone but also on behalf of his entourage — either to the actual objective reality or to its objectively orientated, intellectual formula. By this formula are good and evil measured, and beauty and ugliness determined. All is right that corresponds with this formula ; all is wrong that contradicts it ; and everything that is neutral to it is purely accidental. Because this formula seems to correspond with the meaning of the world, it also becomes a world-law whose realization must be achieved at all times and seasons, both individually and collectively. Just as the extraverted thinking type subordinates himself to his formula, so, for its own good, must his entourage also obey it, since the man who refuses to obey is wrong — he is resisting the world-law, and is, therefore, unreasonable, immoral, and without a conscience. His moral code forbids him to tolerate exceptions ; his ideal must, under all circumstances, be realized; for in his eyes it is the purest conceivable formulation of objective reality, and, therefore, must also be generally valid truth, quite indispensable for the salvation of man. This is not from any great love for his neighbour, but from a higher standpoint of justice and truth. Everything in his own nature that appears to invalidate this formula is mere imperfection, an accidental miss-fire, something to be eliminated on the next occasion, or, in the event of further failure, then clearly a sickness.

If tolerance for the sick, the suffering, or the deranged should chance to be an ingredient in the formula, special provisions will be devised for humane societies, hospitals, prisons, colonies, etc., or at least extensive plans for such projects. For the actual execution of these schemes the motives of justice and truth do not, as a rule, suffice ; they still devolve upon real Christian charity, which has more to do with feeling than with any intellectual formula. ‘One really should’ or ‘one must’ figure largely in this programme. If the formula is wide enough, this type may play a very useful rdle in social life, either as a reformer or a ventilator of public wrongs or a purifier of the public conscience, or as the propagator of important innovations. But the more rigid the formula, the more does he develop into a grumbler, a crafty reasoner, and a self-righteous critic, who would like to impress both himself and others into one schema.

We have now outlined two extreme figures, between which terminals the majority of these types may be graduated.

In accordance with the nature of the extraverted attitude, the influence and activities of such personalities are all the more favourable and beneficent, the further one goes from the centre. Their best aspect is to be found at the periphery of their sphere of influence. The further we penetrate into their own province, the more do the unfavourable results of their tyranny impress us Another life still pulses at the periphery, where the truth of the formula can be sensed as an estimable adjunct to the rest. But the further we probe into the special sphere where the formula operates, the more do we find life ebbing away from all that fails to coincide with its dictates. Usually it is the nearest relatives who have to taste the most disagreeable results of an extraverted formula, since they are the first to be unmercifully blessed with it But above all the subject himself is the one who suffers most — which brings us to the other side of the psychology of this type.

The fact that an intellectual formula never has been and never will be discovered which could embrace the abundant possibilities of life in a fitting expression must lead — where such a formula is accepted — to an inhibition, or total exclusion, of other highly important forms and activities of life. In the first place, all those vital forms dependent upon feeling will become repressed in such a type, as, for instance, aesthetic activities, taste, artistic sense, the art of friendship, etc. Irrational forms such as religious experiences, passions and the like, are often obliterated even to the point of complete unconsciousness. These, conditionally quite important, forms of life have to support an existence that is largely unconscious. Doubtless there are exceptional men who are able to sacrifice their entire life to one definite formula ; but for most of us a permanent life of such exclusiveness is impossible. Sooner or later — in accordance with outer circumstances and inner gifts — the forms of life repressed by the intellectual attitude become indirectly perceptible, through a gradual disturbance of the conscious conduct of life. Whenever disturbances of this kind reach a definite intensity, one speaks of a neurosis. In most cases, however, it does not go so far, because the individual instinctively allows himself some preventive extenuations of his formula, worded, of course, in a suitable and reasonable way. In this way a safety-valve is created.

The relative or total unconsciousness of such tendencies or functions as are excluded from any participation in the conscious attitude keeps them in a relatively undeveloped state. As compared with the conscious function they are inferior. To the extent that they are unconscious, they become merged with the remaining contents of the unconscious, from which they acquire a bizarre character. To the extent that they are conscious, they only play a secondary r61e, although one of considerable importance for the whole psychological picture.

Since feelings are the first to oppose and contradict the rigid intellectual formula, they are affected first by this conscious inhibition, and upon them the most intense repression falls. No function can be entirely eliminated — it can only be greatly distorted. In so far as feelings allow themselves to be arbitrarily shaped and subordinated, they have to support the intellectual conscious attitude and adapt themselves to its aims. Only to a certain degree, however, is this possible; a part of the feeling remains insubordinate, and therefore must be repressed. Should the repression succeed, it disappears from consciousness and proceeds to unfold a subconscious activity, which runs counter to conscious aims, even producing effects whose causation is a complete enigma to the individual. For example, conscious altruism, often of an extremely high order, may be crossed by a secret self-seeking, of which the individual is wholly unaware, and which impresses intrinsically unselfish actions with the stamp of selfishness. Purely ethical aims may lead the individual into critical situations, which sometimes have more than a semblance of being decided by quite other than ethical motives. There are guardians of public morals or voluntary rescue-workers who suddenly find themselves in deplorably compromising situations, or in dire need of rescue. Their resolve to save often leads them to employ means which only tend to precipitate what they most desire to avoid. There are extraverted idealists, whose desire to advance the salvation of man is so consuming that they will not shrink from any lying and dishonest means in the pursuit of their ideal. There are a few painful examples in science where investigators of the highest esteem, from a profound conviction of the truth and general validity of their formula, have not scrupled to falsify evidence in favour of their ideal. This is sanctioned by the formula ; the end justifieth the means. Only an inferior feeling-function, operating seductively and unconsciously, could bring about such aberrations in otherwise reputable men.

The inferiority of feeling in this type manifests itself also in other ways. In so far as it corresponds with the dominating positive formula, the conscious attitude becomes more or less impersonal, often, indeed, to such a degree that a very considerable wrong is done to personal interests. When the conscious attitude is extreme, all personal considerations recede from view, even those which concern the individual’s own person. His health is neglected, his social position deteriorates, often the most vital interests of his family are violated — they are wronged morally and financially, even their bodily health is made to suffer — all in the service of the ideal. At all events personal sympathy with others must be impaired, unless they too chance to be in the service of the same formula. Hence it not infrequently happens that his immediate family circle, his own children for instance, only know such a father as a cruel tyrant, whilst the outer world resounds with the fame of his humanity. Not so much in spite of as because of the highly impersonal character of the conscious attitude, the unconscious feelings are highly personal and oversensitive, giving rise to certain secret prejudices, as, for instance, a decided readiness to misconstrue any objective opposition to his formula as personal ill-will, or a constant tendency to make negative suppositions regarding the qualities of others in order to invalidate their arguments beforehand — in defence, naturally, of his own susceptibility. As a result of this unconscious sensitiveness, his expression and tone frequently becomes sharp, pointed, aggressive, and insinuations multiply. The feelings have an untimely and halting character, which is always a mark of the inferior function. Hence arises a pronounced tendency to resentment However generous the individual sacrifice to the intellectual goal may be, the feelings are correspondingly petty, suspicious, crossgrained, and conservative. Everything new that is not already contained in the formula is viewed through a veil of unconscious hatred, and is judged accordingly. It happened only in the middle of last century that a certain physician, famed for his humanitarianism, threatened to dismiss an assistant for daring to use a thermometer, because the formula decreed that fever shall be recognized by the pulse. There are, of course, a host of similar examples.

Thinking which in other respects may be altogether blameless becomes all the more subtly and prejudicially affected, the more feelings are repressed. An intellectual standpoint, which, perhaps on account of its actual intrinsic value, might justifiably claim general recognition, undergoes a characteristic alteration through the influence of this unconscious personal sensitiveness ; it becomes rigidly dogmatic. The personal self-assertion is transferred to the intellectual standpoint. Truth is no longer left to work her natural effect, but through an identification with the subject she is treated like a sensitive darling whom an evil-minded critic has wronged. The critic is demolished, if possible with personal invective, and no argument is too gross to be used against him. Truth must be trotted out, until finally it begins to dawn upon the public that it is not so much really a question of truth as of her personal procreator.

The dogmatism of the intellectual standpoint, however, occasionally undergoes still further peculiar modifications from the unconscious admixture of unconscious personal feelings ; these changes are less a question of feeling, in the stricter sense, than of contamination from other unconscious factors which become blended with the repressed feeling in the unconscious. Although reason itself offers proof, that every intellectual formula can be no more than a partial truth, and can never lay claim, therefore, to autocratic authority; in practice, the formula obtains so great an ascendancy that, beside it, every other standpoint and possibility recedes into the background. It replaces all the more general, less defined, hence the more modest and truthful, views of life. It even takes the place of that general view of life which we call religion. Thus the formula becomes a religion, although in essentials it has not the smallest connection with anything religious. Therewith it also gains the essentially religious character of absoluteness. It becomes, as it were, an intellectual superstition. But now all those psychological tendencies that suffer under its repression become grouped together in the unconscious, and form a counter-position, giving rise to paroxysms of doubt. As a defence against doubt, the conscious attitude grows fanatical. For fanaticism, after all, is merely overcompensated doubt. Ultimately this development leads to an exaggerated defence of the conscious position, and to the gradual formation of an absolutely antithetic unconscious position; for example, an extreme irrationality develops, in opposition to the conscious rationalism, or it becomes highly archaic and superstitious, in opposition to a conscious standpoint imbued with modern science. This fatal opposition is the source of those narrow-minded and ridiculous views, familiar to the historians of science, into which many praiseworthy pioneers have ultimately blundered. It riot infrequently happens in a man of this type that the side of the unconscious becomes embodied in a woman.

In my experience, this type, which is doubtless familiar to my readers, is chiefly found among men, since thinking tends to be a much more dominant function in men than in women. As a rule, when thinking achieves the mastery in women, it is, in my experience, a kind of thinking which results from a prevailingly intuitive activity of mind.

The thought of the extraverted thinking type is positive , i.e. it produces. It either leads to new facts or to general conceptions of disparate experimental material. Its judgment is generally synthetic . Even when it analyses, it constructs, because it is always advancing beyond the analysis to a new combination, a further conception which re-unites the analysed material in a new way or adds something further to the given material. In general, therefore, we may describe this kind of judgment as predicative . It is, in any case, characteristic that it is never absolutely depreciatory or destructive, but always substitutes a fresh value for one that is demolished. This quality is due to the fact that thought is the main channel into which a thinking-type’s energy flows. Life steadily advancing shows itself in the man’s thinking, so that his ideas maintain a progressive, creative character. His thinking neither stagnates, nor is it in the least regressive. Such qualities cling only to a thinking that is not given priority in consciousness. In this event it is relatively unimportant, and also lacks the character of a positive vital activity. It follows in the wake of other functions, it becomes Epimethean, it has an ‘esprit de l’escalier’ quality, contenting itself with constant ponderings and broodings upon things past and gone, in an effort to analyse and digest them. Where the creative element, as in this case, inhabits another function, thinking no longer progresses : it stagnates. Its judgment takes on a decided inherency-character, ie. it entirely confines itself to the range of the given material, nowhere overstepping it It is contented with a more or less abstract statement, and fails to impart any value to the experimental material that was not already there.

The inherency-judgment of such extraverted thinking is objectively orientated, i.e. its conclusion always expresses the objective importance of experience. Hence, not only does it remain under the orientating influence of objectivedata, but it actually rests within the charmed circle of the individual experience, about which it affirms nothing that was not already given by it. We may easily observe this thinking in those people who cannot refrain from tacking on to an impression or experience some rational and doubtless very valid remark, which, however, in no way adventures beyond the given orbit of the experience. At bottom, such a remark merely says ‘I have understood it — I can reconstruct it’. But there the matter also ends. At its very highest, such a judgment signifies merely the placing of an experience in an objective setting, whereby the experience is at once recognized as belonging to the frame.

But whenever a function other than thinking possesses priority in consciousness to any marked degree, in so far as thinking is conscious at all and not directly dependent upon the dominant function,, it assumes a negative character. In so far as it is subordinated to the dominant function, it may actually wear a positive aspect, but a narrower scrutiny will easily prove that it simply mimics the dominant function, supporting it with arguments that unmistakably contradict the laws of logic proper to thinking. Such a thinking, therefore, ceases to have any interest for our present discussion. Our concern is rather with the constitution of that thinking which cannot be subordinated to the dominance of another function, but remains true to its own principle. To observe and investigate this thinking in itself is not easy, since, in the concrete case, it is more or less constantly repressed by the conscious attitude. Hence, in the majority of cases, it first must be retrieved from the background of consciousness, unless in some unguarded moment it should chance to come accidentally to the surface. As a rule, it must be enticed with some such questions as ‘Now what do you really think?’ or, again, ‘What is your private view about the matter?’ Or perhaps one may even have to use a little cunning, framing the question something like this: ‘What do you imagine, then, that I really think about the matter?’ This latter form should be chosen when the real thinking is unconscious and, therefore, projected. The thinking that is enticed to the surface in this way has characteristic qualities ; it was these I had in mind just now when I described it as negative. Its habitual mode is best characterized by the two words ‘nothing, but’. Goethe personified this thinking in the figure of Mephistopheles. It shows a most distinct tendency to trace back the object of its judgment to some banality or other, thus stripping it of its own independent significance. This happens simply because it is represented as being dependent upon some other commonplace thing. Wherever a conflict, apparently essential in nature, arises between two men, negative thinking mutters ‘Cherchez la femme’. When a man champions or advocates a cause, negative thinking makes no inquiry as to the importance of the thing, but merely asks ‘How much does he make by it?’ The dictum ascribed to Moleschott : “ Der Mensch ist, was er isst ” (“ Man is what he eats ”) also belongs to this collection, as do many more aphorisms and opinions which I need not enumerate.

The destructive quality of this thinking as well as its occasional and limited usefulness, hardly need further elucidation. But there still exists another form of negative thinking, which at first glance perhaps would scarcely be recognized as such : I refer to the theosophical thinking which is to-day rapidly spreading in every quarter of the globe, presumably as a reaction phenomenon to the materialism of the epoch now receding. Theosophical thinking has an air that is not in the least reductive, since it exalts everything to transcendental and world-embracing ideas. A dream, for instance, is no longer a modest dream, but an experience upon ‘another plane’. The hitherto inexplicable fact of telepathy is very simply explained by ‘vibrations’ which pass from one man to another. An ordinary .nervous trouble is quite simply accounted for by the fact that something has collided with the astral body. Certain anthropological peculiarities of the dwellers on the Atlantic seaboard are easily explained by the submerging of Atlantis, and so on. We have merely to open a theosophical book to be overwhelmed by the realization that everything is already explained, and that ‘spiritual science’ has left no enigmas of life unsolved. But, fundamentally, this sort of thinking is just as negative as materialistic thinking. When the latter conceives psychology as chemical changes taking place in the cell-ganglia, or as the extrusion and withdrawal of cell-processes, or as an internal secretion, in essence this is just as superstitious as theosophy. The only difference lies in the fact that materialism reduces all phenomena to our current physiological notions, while theosophy brings everything into the concepts of Indian metaphysics. When we trace the dream to an overloaded stomach, the dream is not thereby explained, and when we explain telepathy as ‘vibrations’, we have said just as little. Since, what are ‘vibrations’? Not only are both methods of explanation quite impotent — they are actually destructive, because by interposing their seeming explanations they withdraw interest from the problem, diverting it in the former case to the stomach, and in the latter to imaginary vibrations, thus preventing any serious investigation of the problem. Either kind of thinking is both sterile and sterilizing. Their negative qualify consists in this : it is a method of thought that is indescribably cheap ; there is a real poverty of productive and creative energy. It is a thinking taken in tow by other functions.