COMMENT (1/23/2007): I HAVE NOW RESOLVED THIS TOPIC AND HAVE DESCRIBED IT FULLY IN ANOTHER POST.
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In socionics we have an interesting situation where it is perfectly logical to say, for example:
The first is referring to as a function of the psyche - introverted logic. The second is referring to the information aspect "". The difference between the "two s" is that the first is a characteristic of the psyche, whereas the second is a characteristic of external reality.
The world around us can be seen as "emitting" signals of different natures that are picked up by our psyche. In this way, we can say, "he was sending strong signals." Of course, it is also the function that picks up signals, and the function that sends them (if it's a living thing)!
For Jung - an introtim - functions were a characteristic of the psyche alone. For Augusta - an extratim - the signals picked up by Jung's psychic functions were actually objective characteristics of external reality. Now we have both approaches! :)
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Actually, it's even more complicated. There are 8 information aspects which describe characteristics of external reality. Next, there are 8 functions numbered 1 to 8. Each function has its own characteristics regardless of which information aspect the function perceives in each type structure (i.e. the base function or any other function can be described independently of the information aspect it corresponds to).
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In the process of translating more of The Dual Nature of Man, I found that Augusta addressed this ambiguity herself. Partway into point 5, she states, "Thus, in the process of information metabolism one uses eight IM elements, each of which reflects one of the objective aspects of reality." Next, in the chart she has the headings "Aspect of reality reflected," "Name of characteristic of psyche or IM element by which one obtains information about given aspect of reality," and "Symbol of aspect of reality and corresponding element."
In other words, we can avoid ambiguity by following Augusta's approach:
1. Aspects (of reality) are "objective characteristics of [external] reality"
2. IM (information metabolism) elements are psychological characteristics (modules, receptors, etc.) that perceive different aspects of reality
3. Functions are numbered 1-8 and are characteristics of the socionic model of the psyche ("Model A"). In each type model each function has its own IM element.
No. 1 and 2 can be denoted by a symbol (e.g. ), while functions are denoted by a number or a name (e.g. "leading function").