Sunday, 28 February 2016

Immanuel Kant (LII): Personality Type Analysis

Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher whose comprehensive and systematic work in epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics greatly influenced all subsequent philosophy, especially the various schools of Kantianism and idealism.

He was born in 1724 in the Baltic city of Königsberg, which at that time was part of Prussia, and now belongs to Russia (renamed Kaliningrad). Kant’s parents were very modest; his father was a saddle maker. Kant never had much money – which he dealt with cheerfully by living very modestly. It wasn’t until he was in his fifties that he became a fully salaried professor and attained a moderate degree of prosperity. His family were deeply religious and very strict. Later in life, Kant did not have any conventional religious belief, but he was acutely aware of how much religion had contributed to his parents’ ability to cope with all the hardships of their existence – and how useful religion could be in fostering social cohesion and community.

This pervasive interest in social cohesion and universal inclusiveness never left Kant's mind and it persisted with him for many years. He was interested in religion from a very empirical perspective, how easily people were motivated and driven by faith and how preaching one's beliefs immediately maximized a group's identity. From this I believe Kant was L and E valuing. Kant was described as physically "very slight, frail and anything but good looking" Though he was very sociable and some of his colleagues used to criticise him for going to too many parties. When eventually, once he was able to entertain, he had rules about conversation. At the start of a dinner party, he decreed that people should swap stories about what had been happening recently. Then there should be a major phase of reflective discourse, in which those present attempted to clarify an important topic; and finally there should be a closing period of hilarity so that everyone left in a good mood. The following that I have mentioned about Kant best reflects how much he valued E. I believe that having E in the Super-Id block makes far more sense for Kant, as he found initial conversation difficult and needed someone to "spark" the emotional atmosphere. Consequently, E5 over E6 makes far more sense for Kant, as he did not actively try to act silly or nonsensical in order to satisfy his need to be emotionally uplifted, but rather set the rules and guidelines for a light-hearted discussion and appreciated the results. I would say this is very consistent with L1 and E5.

Kant was writing at a highly interesting period in history we now know as The Enlightenment. In an essay called What is Enlightenment (published in 1784), Kant proposed that the identifying feature of his age was its growing secularism. Intellectually, Kant welcomed the declining belief in Christianity, but in a practical sense, he was also alarmed by it. He was a pessimist about human character and believed that we are by nature intensely prone to corruption. It was this awareness that led him to what would be his life’s project: the desire to replace religious authority with the authority of reason; that is, human intelligence. I think it is clear that Kant does not appeal to personal obligations and bides to the enlightening forefront of reason itself. Kant approaches ethics very cautiously and writes about it exclusively from an objective rather from a subjective point of view. Additionally, Kant was pervasively polite with the individuals he met and was never known to be an assertive or domineering character. He understood the need to form pleasant relationships with other individuals and didn't mind spending time with the individuals he trusted, though never seemed to be harsh or aggressive with other people.

As a result, Kant still critiques through judgement of impersonal logic, rather than his deeply felt personal opinions about other people. As a result, this believes me to suggest that Kant had R3 and F4. Immanuel Kant believed that truth is the highest pinnacle of understanding and that the impersonal logical structure of crafting functional systems of rational thought was the best method towards investigating truth. One of Kant's famous works was the The Categorical Imperative, designed to shift our perspective: to get us to see our own behaviour in less immediately personal terms and thereby recognise some of its limitations. Interestingly enough, when Kant wrote the categorical imperative, he reduced all immoralities to contradictions in the ethical system he created. As most famously quoted: “Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”
Thus far what has been mentioned about Kant clearly points towards L1, R3, F4 and E5. In conclusion, I believe Kant is a very good representative of the LII type of information metabolism.

To learn more about the LII, click here.

If you are confused by our use of Socionics shorthand, click here.

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