Sherlock Holmes (BBC Sherlock)- INTP Thinker (Introverted Intuitive Thinking Perceiving)
INTPs value knowledge above all else. Their minds are constantly working to generate new theories, or to prove or disprove existing theories. They approach problems and theories with enthusiasm and skepticism, ignoring existing rules and opinions and defining their own approach to the resolution.
INTPs thrive on systems. Understanding, exploring, mastering, and manipulating systems can overtake the INTP’s conscious thought. This fascination for logical wholes and their inner workings is often expressed in a detachment from the environment, a concentration where time is forgotten and extraneous stimuli are held at bay. The internalizing nature of the INTP’s Sensing function leaves a relative absence of environmental awareness, except when the environment is the current focus.
A major concern for INTPs is the haunting sense of impending failure. The open-endedness (from Perceiving) conjoined with the need for competence (NT) is expressed in a sense that one’s conclusion may well be met by an equally plausible alternative solution, and that, after all, one may very well have overlooked some critical bit of data. An INTP arguing a point may very well be trying to convince himself as much as his opposition.
No other personality type worries that much about missing a piece of the mental puzzle or overlooking some crucial fact that might lead to a better solution. Unlike their more confident INTJ or ENTJ cousins, INTPs could spend ages reflecting on their actions. Even when an INTP is arguing with someone, this should be taken with a grain of salt – they might as well be arguing with their own mind.
They strive constantly to achieve logical conclusions to problems, and don’t understand the importance or relevance of applying subjective emotional considerations to decisions. For this reason, INTPs are usually not in-tune with how people are feeling, and are not naturally well-equiped to meet the emotional needs of others.
Sherlock: “Sherlock sees through everything and everyone in seconds. What’s incredible, though, is how spectacularly ignorant he is about some things.”
John: Now hang on a minute. I didn’t mean that in a-
Sherlock: Oh, you meant “spectacularly ignorant” in a nice way! Look, it doesn’t matter to me who’s Prime Minister.
John: I know.
Sherlock: Or who’s sleeping with who…
John: Whether the Earth goes round the Sun…
Sherlock: Not that again. It’s not important.
John: Not impor- It’s primary school stuff. How can you not know that?
Sherlock: Well, if I ever did, I’ve deleted it.
John: “Deleted it”?
Sherlock: Listen. This is my hard drive, and it only makes sense to put things in there that are useful. Really useful. Ordinary people fill their heads with all kinds of rubbish, and that makes it hard to get at the stuff that matters. Do you see?
John: But it’s the solar system!
Sherlock: Oh, hell! What does that matter? So we go round the Sun! If we went round the Moon, or round and round the garden like a teddy bear, it wouldn’t make any difference. All that matters to me is the work. Without that, my brain rots.
Sherlock: Look at that, Mrs Hudson. Quiet, calm, peaceful. Isn’t it hateful?
Mrs. Hudson: Oh, I’m sure something’ll turn up, Sherlock. A nice murder – that’ll cheer you up.
Sherlock: Can’t come too soon.
John: There are lives at stake, Sherlock – actual human lives… Just - just so I know, do you care about that at all?
Sherlock: Will caring about them help save them?
Sherlock: Then I’ll continue not to make that mistake.
John: And you find that easy, do you?
Sherlock: Yes, very. Is that news to you?
John: No. No.
Sherlock: I’ve disappointed you.
John: That’s good – that’s a good deduction, yeah.
Sherlock: Don’t make people into heroes, John. Heroes don’t exist, and if they did, I wouldn’t be one of them.