Stoic News

By Dave Kelly

Monday, September 27, 2004

PTypes’ Typology (continued)

>>Dave, I'm not an expert in personality research, but the first question that comes to mind is whether you have derived your types empirically (e.g., through factor analysis), or purely on conceptual grounds. If the latter, do you plan to validate your system empirically?<<

These types are based on 16 categories of personality disorder which either are official personality disorders listed in the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders, or once were included or considered for inclusion, or they are currently being considered for inclusion - all but one.

14 of the personality disorders were featured in books by two leading personality disorder theorists: Theodore Millon and John Oldham. Oldham has popularized these concepts in The New Personality Self-Portrait where he derives 14 personality "styles" from the disorders. I use the names of Oldham's 14 personality styles in the representation of the typology that I linked to in my previous message and whenever it is inappropriate to use the personality disorder names, which are off-putting.

The American Psychiatric Assn. does what they can, I guess, to validate the personality disorder categories, but I, like others, do not consider them to be empirically verifiable scientific categories. The "factor analysis" psychological researchers believe that psychiatry's personality disorders should be defined by dimensional profile, like the Big Five, and not typologically as they are now. A proposal for use of the dimensional model is included in the current DSM, but I think that the psychiatrists are going to hold on to their types for quite a while. I like that prospect because I consider the personality disorders to be the state-of-the-art and the cutting-edge of personality typing.

I see the types as heuristic devices rather than empirically derived scientific categories.

PTypes’ Typology

I've been working for quite a while on a typology of personality that I've tried to integrate with Stoic moral psychology. Here is a representation of the typology which I posted to a personality types board that I am a member of.

I've imagined that, typologically speaking, there are four primary motivations: superiority, power, belonging, and pleasure, which correspond to the classic four temperaments. The motivations would be considered rational when they are preferences, but irrational when they are desires.

"It's okay to prefer superiority, power, belonging, and pleasure, and to disprefer the lack of them; but for Stoics, it's not okay to desire, need, or delight in them, nor to fear, or be distressed by, the lack of them."

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The metaphorical structure of Epictetus Encheiridion 1

"It seems to me that there are at least two complex metaphors at work in this chapter, one that treats the self as property-owner, and the other that relates the Stoic subject to impressions as one person is related to a second person who is trying to persuade the first person to engage in some action of pursuit or avoidance. We could call this the impression as possible tempter metaphor" (Jan Garrett).