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  • Michael Moorcock
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According to Berens, those who express the Rational temperament strongly are stressed by feelings of powerlessness (including facing an activity for which the individual feels incompetent). Signs of stress relating to this pattern include obsessive behaviour, or a state of almost robotic mindlessness.

I'm not sure how much of this pattern applies to me, but this bit is dead on.

Please continue; I like your approach to this (which is rather more balanced than the advocates of a specific theory tend to be).

Thanks for the comment, Jon. I don't believe in reducing complex situations to single theories - there's always room for multiple interpretations in psychology as far as I'm concerned :)

When I get around to the other patterns, I hope you'll let me know how you feel they relate to you.

Best wishes!

I'm waiting to examine the other patterns. Probably 90% of the text above applies to me; the other 10% *very* definitely does not. There is almost no "might apply" middle ground. I'll be interested to see the proportions in the other temperaments.

Oh - ref "In my own experience, I have not encountered this mysophobia in people expressing the Rational temperament." You know at least one mild case :-).

Hi Peter, wondered where you got to. :) Keep trying to email you, but keep getting no response. :( Not sure what the problem is.

Glad to hear 90% of this pattern description is a match for you, since from what we already know this should have been a good fit to your personality. Of course, there were bound to be 'misses', because a statistical pattern is never going to match an individual perfectly. Out of interest, which elements are a definite miss?

Should have the next pattern description up on Friday if all goes well.

I think Keirsey over-emphasises efficiency (as I think you do, Chris, reading between the lines of your article). I min-max (shamelessly in games), but do not think of myself as struggling to bring efficiency to enterprise - largely because I do not think of [an] enterprise as anything more than an emergent property of the people who affect it. Enterprises, in their guise as companies, are convenient social fictions - ways of accounting for value, in the same way as money.

Keirsey and Berens both appear to see rationals as admiring resolution in themselves and in others. In me, this is tempered by seeing what tends to happen to those who are resolute: they typically break rather than bending, and/or their constructions (whether technological or social) end up expressing a partial solution rather than a complete solution as the inventor has progressed resolutely without considering the alternatives. I don't admire weak will; I don't admire strong will; I *do* admire a willingness to base actions on that which is, rather than that which might be in some imagined parallel world. Mind you, I used to be more resolute. Failing - badly - in some endeavours, coupled with bouts of depression, takes the shine off idealism.

"most religiously motivated systems of metaphysics include some element of doubt or uncertainty."

They do? Maybe I've only encountered the folks who express their beliefs strongly, then; but the majority of the self-identified religious people I know hold their beliefs more strongly than any atheist I have met, and those beliefs leave no room for doubt or uncertainty.

Thanks for expanding on your comments here. The issue of efficiency is one that I have been examining closely; it's a key theme in Kiersey's account, but it hadn't been in mine. As I say above, I believe Kiersey overestimates its importance. However, I agree with Kiersey in placing systems at the core of the Rational pattern.

I'm not sure Kiersey or Berens account necessarily emphasises admiration of other people's resolution - it is more that self-confidence for an individual strongly expressing the Rational pattern is drawn from being resolute. This is a behaviour I see a lot, since the Rational pattern is very common inside the games industry.

Regarding doubt and religion, it's a common view expressed by theologians of numerous belief systems re: the importance of doubt to belief. However, here in the UK most people hide their religious beliefs and don't share them publically; those that are willing to publically express their beliefs tend to be extremely entrenched (as you intimate) which creates (I suggest) a distorted view of those who practice religion. I have certainly encountered more writings on doubt and religion than doubt and science. :)

Best wishes!

Doubt is the basis of science, and as such writing about "doubt and science" is like writing about "belief and religion". I won't insult you by assuming infamiliarity with the scientific method here.

[They] typically believe that what they do is not good enough, and are frequently haunted by a sense of teetering on the edge of failure. This time their achievement will not be adequate. This time their skill will not be great enough. This time, in all probability, failure is at hand.

This got a chuckle from me. As a student, I recognize that pattern of thought as a dominant one in myself. Yes, I passed that exam, but that could be luck. Yes, I'm playing to my strengths, but there might be something I've overlooked - that one... crucial... detail that I might've missed... Time to shape up, work up some discipline. This time I will work hard, and succeed...

Ad infinitum.

EKH: Thanks for your comment! New voices are always welcome here.

I must disagree with your position on doubt in science. The idea that doubt is the basis of science was rather roundly discredited for me on my astrophysics degree... Producing expected results was the behaviour that was trained into the students - showing doubts or investigating anomalies was a good way to get failing grades. In the research community at large, securing funding seems to trump doubt any day of the week. :)

Besides, people have very different ideas as to what "doubt" means... Skeptics, for instance, seem to believe that "doubt" means "disbelief", yet active disbelief is a form of committed belief (faith in that which is not to be disbelieved, and thus the unreality of anything outside of this narrow remit), and quite distinct from doubt in the sense deployed by, say, Descartes.

You must have considerable faith in science to believe that doubt is the basis of science as it is actually practised today. :)

See also the piece I wrote ages ago on the Ganzfeld experiment. I believe this experiment is especially valuable for showing the extent that doubt is simply not permitted on certain subjects in the current epistemic climate.

Best wishes!

Skeptics, for instance, seem to believe that "doubt" means "disbelief"

I do? That's news! Or maybe I'm merely a skeptic (small s).

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