Tuesday, 6 December 2016
Galileo Galilei (ILE): Personality Type Analysis
Galileo Galilei was an Italian philosopher, astronomer, scientist and mathematician; best remembered for his work in support of Copernicus' heliocentric theory of the solar system. Galileo also observed that the Milky way was in fact made up of millions of individual stars, discovered the phases of Venus and discovered the moons of Jupiter. For the sake of his life, Galileo recanted his views of the validity of the Copernican model in 1633, admitting that the earth did not spin on its own axis. It is unlikely that the recantation was sincere in any sense and nevertheless remained under house arrest.
I argue, at least what can be agreed upon by historians who can confirm this biographical information, provide some clues towards what Galileo's type might be. As a young man, Galileo was unsure what to pursue in terms of a long-term career, more specifically having to choose between becoming a Catholic priest or a doctor of medicine. He inevitably chose to study medicine at the University of Pisa, taking his father's advice about putting his practical knowledge to use. During his first few days on campus, Galileo's curiosity led him into an introductory mathematics lecture that captured his interest in such an awe-inspiring way, that he decided to change his career path again. Galileo's preference to maintain as many potential alternative careers to choose from and basing his decision to choose from one of these alternatives on pure interest, already points to I and S as World-Accepting quadra values, over F and T.
I would also add that Galileo believed that mathematics was far more interesting than medicine and that it played a more crucial role in developing our the understanding of the world. Writing many papers about the novelty and application of mathematics in his leisure, (i.e. analyzing the mechanical movement of a pendulum, the length of a lute string and its relationship to the note it produced) was really the main focus of much of Galileo's work earlier in his life, with a focus on tying the "object of interest" with its mathematical reasoning. That alone points to preference of L over P as a quadra value, which would point to Clarity-Seeking values and thus make Alpha Galileo's likely quadra.
Furthermore, Galileo was not alien to the philosophical side of life, holding the position that 'the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics'. Not only was he greatly influenced by Greek philosophy, but he also calculated that there was a metaphysical distinction between the primary and secondary qualities of bodies. He held the position that only the former is essential and inherent in objects, whereas the latter can exist - only if they can cause certain effects in the minds of the observers. That at least suggests T as a stronger function, along with substantial confidence in P his own ability to quickly learn through pedagogy without much strain or exertion. Everything previously discussed about Galileo would, without a doubt, provide reasoning for a Logical type with likely T7 and P8 in the Id.
Within two years of the invention of the telescope, Galileo shared his astronomical observations and concluded that the geocentric theory which held that the earth was at the center of the universe, was seriously flawed. Galileo's findings attracted such sharp criticism, to the point where he felt compelled to offer in his defense and reply to his critics in The Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina in 1615. In the letter, Galileo argues that scientific and theological matters should not be confused with each other. He firmly held the position that science could not cast doubts on religious doctrine, but inversely strengthen it. Nonetheless, his argument was overlooked by the Inquisition in 1616, but was publicly condemned by the Inquisition in 1633, when he was forced to recant his views.
Galileo's first approach in doing this was to gather public attention on an incorrect way of thinking about the planetary model of the solar system. In this way, he often caused quite a stir in advocating for his thoroughly researched model and wasn't afraid of publishing his own mathematical reasoning, especially if it got the point of what he was communicating across. It would be reasonable to say that was a person who Galileo did actively participate in the social scene of Italy back in the day, acted as a communicator of science, willingly went out of his way to reduce his work to where it made sense in layman's terms. Because of this attentiveness to free expression in communication, driven mission to go out of his way to educate the public without realizing that this information would be unintentionally inappropriate to the religious dogma at the time - points to a type with valued, but weak E, most likely E6.
(As a footnote that might be useful to support the previous argument, in his own lack of cautiousness in voicing his own views through free expression, whether if he truly didn't foresee this criticism or did foresee it but didn't mind having to defend it, still solidifies the idea of devalued T.)
Thus far what has been mentioned about Galileo Galilei provides reasoning for L+I in the Ego block, most likely I1 and L2 with the principles used in service of the grand theory. Along with S5 manifesting in fear of leaving his family and comfortable surroundings because he had to take a position at the Court of the Medici family. (This isn't as adequately expressed in more detailed accounts of his personal life). With this and the remaining E6, T7, and P8 explained in the articles above. In conclusion, I believe Galileo Galilei is a very good representative of the ILE type of information metabolism.
To learn more about ILE, click here.
If you are confused by our use of Socionics shorthand, click here.