Each personality type is disposed to certain modes of thinking, as well as certain ideologies, according to its functions and functional stack. A technical term for this is “psychoepistemology,” which suggests that the way we go about knowing things (i.e., our epistemology) is influenced by our psychology. The terms “subjectivity” and “bias” connote something similar. Philosopher and scientist William James aptly described the role of personality factors in human knowledge-seeking:
The history of philosophy is, to a great extent, that of a certain clash of human temperaments…Of whatever temperament a professional philosopher is, he tries, when philosophizing, to sink the fact of his temperament…Yet his temperament really gives him a stronger bias than any of his more strictly objective premises. It loads the evidence for him one way or the other…He trusts his temperament. Wanting the universe that suits it, he believes in any representation of that universe that does suit it. He feels men of opposite temper to be out of key with the world’s character, and in his heart considers them incompetent…even though they may far excel him in dialectical ability. (Pragmatism pp. 7f)
Nor can the notion of relativism be omitted from this discussion. If we are largely limited to seeing the world through the subjective lens of our personality type, we should seriously consider the degree to which truly objective knowledge is possible.
This is not to say, of course, that two people of the same personality type will always agree. We know that factors such as the inferior function can play a confounding role in our judgments and decisions. So at any given moment, one INFP may judge via her dominant function (Fi), while another INFP may judge from the standpoint of inferior Te. Such dynamics could obviously precipitate two very different perspectives. With that said, it would be quite unlikely that either of our INFPs would use Ni, Ti, Se, or Fe in her decision-making, since these functions are not a part of the INFP’s functional stack. Hence, our two INFPs would still seem more apt to find common ground than say, an INFP and an INFJ.
Type differences not only play out on the small-scale, but also combine to produce hefty collective effects. In many regards, both contemporary and historical politics can be understood as a dancing and clashing of various types. One can, for instance, see the tension between individual freedoms (Ti/Fi) and collective rules (Te) / solidarity (Fe), between conserving the past (Si) and envisioning a novel future (Ne), etc.
In light of this dichotomous and dialectical situation, ideologies claiming to possess THE answer begin to look rather silly and parochial. After all, we know that ideologies tend to be rather narrow in scope, since they are fashioned around ideas derived from only one or two of the personality functions. This suggests that so-called utopian visions are unlikely to appear utopian for more than about a quarter of the population. Hence, if I, as an INTP, were to go around proclaiming Ti-Ne anarchism as the key to our collective salvation, the vast majority of people aren’t going to buy it, no matter how fervent my belief. This is not to say, of course, that I cannot work to create and enjoy a certain degree of anarchist freedom in my own personal affairs. Nor is it to say that I have no role in the collective dialogue. After all, if Ti types were to simply sit back and allow themselves to be steamrolled by collective forces, the system would become severely imbalanced.
As suggested in my post, The Type Dynamics of Aversion / Acceptance, if you’re like most people, you are disposed to feeling anxious, angry, or frustrated when confronted with beliefs or values that conflict with your own. Fortunately, typology can help us develop a “meta-perspective,” which can increase our awareness of our subjective biases, as well as temper and humble our responses toward those who think differently.
This is not to say that we cannot or should not strive for some measure of objective truth. After all, this article assumes that typology is, to a certain extent, objectively true. What seems most dangerous is allowing ourselves to subjectively react to people or situations without stepping back and seeing things from a meta-perspective.