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Temperament And Policy

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Chip, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. Chip

    Chip Well-Known Member

    Jul 1, 2007
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    There are basically four fundamental categories of mature experience: being, knowing, having and doing.

    Specific instances of experience can be classified as belonging to one or more of these categories.

    Most people have a tendency to situationally favor one of these categories of experience over the others, and also therefore, frequently seek situations in which their favored mode of experience will be active.

    One's favored category of experience is said to be that person's dominant temperament.

    There is a connection between a person's temperament and one's political position on the issues ... which is hopefully what this thread will explore and reveal.

    There is also a connection between one's favored temperament and one's temporal orientation, which, of course, influences one's political philosophy and position on the issues.

    Those with a being-based temperament orient more in the future. Those with a having-based temperament orient more in the past. Those with a doing-based temperament orient more in the present. And those with a knowing-based temperament orient in intervals of time.

    Many famous people have recognized and studied the four temperaments. Ancient astrologers first noticed the four temperaments and incorporated them as the elementals water, air, earth and fire. Hippocrates recognized four distinct body fluids and associated them with temperaments of choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic and sanguine. Another Greek orientation of the four temperaments reflects mythological characters: Apollonian, Promethean, Epimethean and Dionysian. More modern notables to have studied and expanded on our knowledge of temperament are Jung, Kretschmer, Freud, Adler, Sullivan and Maslow. Myers and Briggs incorporated the temperaments into their famous typology indicator. And David Keirsey more recently presented the temperaments to the layman in his popular book Please Understand Me II.

    There is a definite connection between the temperaments and activity in specific cerebral locations. Our ability to experience the quantum microcosm, the relative macrocosm and the dynamically centered mesocosm is oriented in temperamental function and places in the cerebrum. Indeed, the very nature of cerebral-limbic symmetrical form allows us to have an inner, outer and smack-in-the-middle experience of our being and reality.

    This is all very fascinating ... but what is the practical application of the four temperaments to political philosophy and policy?

    Keirsey's work with temperaments has shed some light on this subject.

    His nomenclature is a more common reference of the temperaments: Idealist, Rational, Guardian and Artisan for being, knowing, having and doing respectively.

    He has also broken down each temperament into four characteristics, four distinct characters of each temperament, and again, one of these characters within our temperament is usually a little more favored by each of us than the other three.

    Keirsey uses the four scalar dimensions of Extroversion-Introversion, Sensing-iNtuition, Thinking-Feeling, and Judging-Perceiving to derive the four temperaments and the 16 characters represented by the key-letters of each half of each of the four scales (ex. ESTJ for one of the four characters of the SJ Guardian temperament).

    His work is uncannily accurate, and many who have read the description of their temperament(s) and character(s) are usually amazed at the accuracy. And why not -- it's all based on the specifics of how our brain is working at the time.

    Keirsey's internet site can provide more on the matter.

    The Overview of the Four Temperaments link presents a four-color pie of the four temperaments. Clicking on a piece of that pie will present a general description of that temperament along with links at the end to famous people, including Presidents, who exhibited dominance in that temperament. At the bottom of each temperament section is a presentation of the four characters of each.

    So what is your temperament and character?

    You can take the KTS (Keirsey Temperament Sorter) quiz and find out, though, the last I looked, they'll only give you your temperament and not your character ... unless you give them some money.

    Better is to take what is essentially the same quiz at This site, as it is not only free, but a bit more thorough. After you've taken the quiz, your four-letter score(s) reflect your temperament based on the presence of specific letters: NF-Idealist, NT-Rational, SJ-Guardian, SP-Artisan. In typology, the letter combinations are often used as an abbreviation for the specific temperament.

    In general, psychopathology notwithstanding, those with an "S" (dominant outer senses) in their score and those with an "N" (dominant inner senses "intuitives") in their score are usually at the most odds in life, and in politics, though such isn't revealed until they get to know each other better, which is why when these "opposites attract", the "honeymoon" can be great, but when it's over, they find themselves together with a "stranger". In fact, Keirsey recommends that people who differ significantly on this scale probably should never get married, as they'll never really "get" each other. Keirsey estimates that roughly 85% of the population will have a temperament with an "S" in it, making it difficult for the 15% with a dominant "N" to find a good spouse.

    Politically, I have observed that in U.S. politics ... Guardians have a tendency to be more religious, conservative and materialistic, Artisans have a tendency to be more secular, liberal and utilitarian, Rationals have a tendency to be more intellectual, libertarian and epistemological, and Idealists have a tendency to be more spiritual, progressive, and ontological. But, of course, exceptions do occur, especially when a significantly dominant temperament doesn't emerge for the individual or when we suffer from duck-out-of-water cognitive dissonance we've yet to fully resolve.

    Indeed, the link between the four experiences of being, knowing, having and doing and the four basic philosophical categorizations of ontology, epistemology, materialism, and utilitarianism are alive and well in the Idealist, Rational, Guardian and Artisan temperaments respectively. Ethics is also a trademark of Idealists.

    Each temperament has an associated specific characteristic set of positive attributes stemming from a more healthy, functional psyche and an associated set of negative attributes stemming from a more pathological, dysfunctional psyche. Indeed, with regard to the pathological, our prisons are most dominantly populated by Artisans suffering psychological dysfunction.

    So take the quiz, if you don't already know your scored temperament and character type.

    Then see if your score matches your typical political tendencies and positions on the issues.

    It is of value in understanding why each of us have the positions we do, not only from the standpoint of mental and emotional health, but from the perspective of temperament, as understanding one's self and why one chooses the position on the issues one does also begins the process of understanding why those with differing opinions orient as they do, and hopefully to a more cooperative and fulfilling political future for us all ... but that's just my iNtuitive opinion. ;)

  2. Sihouette

    Sihouette Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2008
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    You forgot one: The temperament of one who has died, been shown things few other living people get to know, consciously anyway, and given a second chance to "get it right".

    Have you ever read accounts of those who have died and been resucitated? They're absolutely fascinating.

    Here's one:

    Many of the accounts I've read are similar to this one. The great majority of them seem to just be observing staff as their body is resuscitated. A few are a bit more disturbing though and describe scenes of torture for the wicked where flesh is torn from the limbs, regrows and is torn again. One account I read from a seasoned hard-a$s told of scenes he witnessed so horrible that even he couldn't write of them.

    Kinda makes you stop and think. One overwhelming thread between all of them though is the utter change in priorities in their lives afterwards;except this guy who apparently was in touch with his soul beforehand.. Things that used to matter to them, your "four ways of thinking" were obsolete. A much more expansive view had taken the place of petty grappling.

    And yes, before you ask, I have died and come back myself. Hence my "weird" world views.

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