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Explore INTPs' Deepest Concerns

intp quest book

INTPs are equal parts thinker and seeker. Recognizing life’s brevity, they strive to craft a life that is important, meaningful, and authentically reflects who they are. Toward this end, they feel compelled to clarify their understanding of their core self, purpose, and philosophy / worldview. Unfortunately, the INTP quest is rarely simple or straightforward, and it often extends far longer than they anticipate. Plagued by doubt and uncertainty, some may worry they will never find what they are looking for and that all their explorations will have been for naught. But those who persist in their quest have good reason for hope. While their ultimate destination may look a little less shiny or glorious than they envisioned, it is nonetheless worth the struggle, capable of furnishing them with an enduring sense of meaning and satisfaction.

This book explores the deep existential concerns that INTPs strive to understand and resolve through their quest. It aims to further their understanding of their core self, purpose, and philosophy, as well as to illumine their path to integration and the successful enactment of their purpose. If you are seeking insight into INTPs’ personality, their ideas and philosophies, their foremost struggles, and their life quest, this book is for you.


  • Explores INTPs' quest to understand and clarify their essential self, life purpose, and core philosophy
  • Examines the nature of each of INTPs' four functions (Ti, Ne, Si, Fe) with respect to their life purpose and philosophy
  • Investigates the role of energy, meaning, ideas and concepts in the INTP quest
  •  Enumerates INTPs’ philosophical propensities, including the types of concepts, thinkers, and philosophies they are drawn to
  • Unpacks INTPs' existential struggles as well as potential paths to growth and integration
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What People Are Saying...

"An advanced manual"

Tech guy

"Building on his earlier INTP eBook, Drenth investigates and describes a probable path INTPs can take to help solve what is likely their greatest problem in life: What is their purpose?...As an older INTP I've experienced the path he describes and can verify he has some deep and highly useful insights for INTPs. If you are an INTP you should have this book in addition to his others; it's an advanced manual…"

"Didn't want it to end"

Andrew L.

"If you are an INTP I highly recommend this book. It was a very good read and one of those books that you didn't want to end because you wanted to know even more. He seems to know you more than you know about yourself since he provides deep insights that hit home and you can relate too. Dr. Drenth please continue to write these books since I believe your work is helping purpose-seeking, like-minded individuals greatly and we appreciate it!"

"Cannot praise highly enough"


"As a female INTP, I am often confused and frustrated with my seeker status and pursuit of purpose in what seems so often a male-dominated area of my career. This book has not only comforted me by shining a light on several "whys", but it has also stimulated new seeker ideas and activities that are so essential to INTP satisfaction. I cannot praise this work highly enough as a deeply rewarding INTP activity of interest!"

"Several wow moments"


"This is a superior work of communication and comprehension which brings home the value of understanding personality type in-depth. As an INFJ mother of an INTP son, Dr. Drenth's work offers invaluable insights into the functioning of this fascinating type. I had several WOW moments and will be reading this book again. There's just a level of insight here regarding the INTP personality type that is unavailable from any other singular source."

About the Author

aj drenth

A.J. Drenth (INTP) is a four-time author and recognized authority on personality typology. He founded Personality Junkie® in 2009 which has since grown to see over 50,000 subscribers and one million annual visitors. His work has been referenced in numerous books and publications and he currently boasts the two best-selling INTP books on Amazon.com.


The INTP Quest
Purpose & Wisdom
Clarity of Understanding
The Foundational Role of Type
The Nature of this Book

Part I. The INTP Personality

1. Introverted Thinking (Ti)
Holistic Essences
Autonomous, Serious, & Work-Oriented
Independent Judging & Filtering

2. Extraverted Intuition (Ne)
Openness to Novelty & Exploration
Connecting, Synthesizing, & Creating
Doubt & Uncertainty

3. Introverted Sensing (Si)
The Maze Metaphor
Surveying Past Beliefs & Experiences
From Dilettante (Ne) to Expert (Si)

4. Extraverted Feeling (Fe)
INTPs’ “Missing Function”
Idealizing the Inferior Function
Energy, Motivation, & the Inferior Function
Potential Paths for Integrating Fe

Part II. INTPs & Purpose

5. Importance & Energy
Importance & Purpose
Energy & Purpose

6. Ideas & Purpose
Characteristics of Powerful Ideas
INTPs’ Penchant for Concepts

7. The I-E Struggle
Introverted (I) vs. Extraverted (E) Concerns
Changing the World


Part III. INTPs & Philosophy

8. Foundations
Philosophy: More than Truth-Seeking?
Pirsig’s Concept of Quality

9. Philosophy & Religion
Religion, Philosophy, & INTPs
Examining Theism

10. Irreducible Mind
Is Mind Reducible to Matter?
Panpsychism, Monism, & Pantheism

11. Life & Evolution
Bergson: Life, Evolution, Freedom, & Creativity
Life, Mind, Spirit, & Related Concepts

12. Philosophical Types
James’ Tender-Minded Type
James’ Tough-Minded Type
The Continental & Analytic Traditions

13. Philosophical Paths
Critical Theory
Eastern Philosophy

Part IV. Toward Integration

14. “Nothing More to Explore”
Tempering the Left Hemisphere
“It’s Already Been Done Before”

15. The Transition
Lost Ideals, Diminished Energy & Meaning
The Rational & The Spiritual

16. Integration
Process Mindset
Handling Impediments to Flow

Book Excerpt

Human beings are fragile creatures. While our oversized brains have afforded us dominion over nature, our reflective faculties have also opened the door to myriad existential problems such as apathy, anxiety, loneliness, and nihilism, all of which are markedly absent in other species. And while none of us is exempt from the array of challenges associated with the human predicament, not everyone navigates them in the same way. Those endowed with a sunny or lighthearted temperament may respond by securing plenty of fun and novel experiences for themselves. Preferring not to be burdened by heavy or serious matters, they opt to live in the moment and savor life’s manifold pleasures. By contrast, those of a more serious disposition take a less hedonistic approach. While they too aspire to enjoy life, they demand more from it than fun and games. Their desire is for life, especially their own lives, to have a deeper sense of meaning and import. They want a life that is significant and substantive—one that matters. Those who seek this sort of higher calling come in two basic types: dogmatists and seekers.

Dogmatists evince a sense of knowingness and conviction with respect to their calling. One gets the sense that they have never really doubted or scrutinized their beliefs, and that what they hold dear is not open to revision or questioning. In other words, dogmatists seem to embrace their calling in an uncritical or closed-minded fashion. They are strong in both will and conviction, but lacking when it comes to openness and critical thinking.

Seekers are the opposite. They suffer from no deficit of openness or critical thinking. In fact, others may see them as thinking too much and thereby making life unduly complicated. What seekers lack is strength of conviction and clarity in direction. In contrast to the dogmatist, identifying their life’s calling doesn’t happen quickly or easily. They are inhabited by doubt, perhaps feeling that things are too murky or complex to be known with full confidence or certainty. And while there are times they may feel they have finally found what they are looking for—their personal Holy Grail—it is rarely long before they start doubting or questioning their conclusions, which once again foists them back into seeking mode.

Seekers’ doubting nature may prompt others to see them as timid, fickle, or unreliable. Indeed, from the dogmatist’s perspective, perpetual doubt is apt to be construed as a sign of weakness, suggestive of a lack of resolve or commitment. Viewed more positively, we might characterize seekers as open-minded and critical thinkers who are concerned with getting things right. Before choosing their life’s course, they want to ensure they have covered all their bases and explored all the relevant options. Since they only get one life to live, they need to assure themselves that they have done everything in their power to discern their best path. While seekers may not know exactly what they are seeking or where they are headed, they know they want something more out of life, and their job is to find it. It is this vague but potent intention that fuels their quest.

Of the 16 personality types, at least one of those types, the INTP, brings a seeker mentality to life. While INTPs’ status as nuanced and critical thinkers rarely goes unrecognized, their seeking side is often overlooked. This is largely due to the fact that INTPs do most of their seeking inwardly, that is, they seek by way of thinking. They see the mind as their primary vehicle for advancing in their personal quest. Prior to commencing their quest, INTPs may feel bored, restless, or have a vague sense of emptiness. Some may try to assuage these feelings through things like sex, drugs, relationships, or achievement. While these sorts of distractions may work temporarily, it is rarely long before INTPs’ sense of emptiness and restlessness returns, often with greater intensity. At some point, INTPs grow weary of running and decide to face the issue head on. They acknowledge and embrace their desire for a better life, one which is more meaningful, substantive, and purposeful…

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