Keirsey Temperaments

Science is my religion, and I have faith in reason.
In my own terms: Involution and Envolution is my religion, and I have faith in entailment.
Only the self-educated and educated person is free.

David Mark Keirsey's Home Page


keirsey at



Sorter or

Within what edge of chaos are you?

Understanding should never stay put. It is important to get a new understanding. Understanding can always be improved.
It's Trade, Stupid -- David M Keirsey
I feel I am on the edge of something -- David Bohm
I do not have the time. -- Evariste Galois

The question is not what should be, but what will be.
Other Quotes

My father was the author of Please Understand Me,  Please Understand Me II, and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter II

The Marketing of Madness: What you don't know can hurt you and the society surrounding you. [more about it]

David's Blog of Complexity Science

Professor Keirsey's Blog on Graces and Foibles

Keirsey Temperament Facebook Page

The Keirsey Institute of Higher and Lower Learning

Author's corner: A List of Authors by Temperament to get a better feel of each different drum.

My gift of the month

David's history book montage

Paper: Paging Through History
The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World
Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms: Journeys Into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East
How Could This Happen: Explaining the Holocaust
Turning Points in Ending the Cold War
The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World
The Collapse of Complex Societies
Civilization: The West and the Rest
The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World
Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance--and Why They Fall
Private Truths, Public Lies: The Social Consequences of Preference Falsification
The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000
Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power
The Major Transitions in Evolution
Wanderings: Chaim Potok's History of the Jews
The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power
The Story of Civilization
Seeds of Change: Six Plants That Transformed Mankind
The Lessons of History
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

David Keirsey's favorite books


Recommended Audio Tapes  or Books on Famous Personalities

Biographies and Autobiographies


Recommended Books to Read on How the World Works

  1. *Complexity: The emerging science at the edge of chaos, M. Waldrop: [An entertaining introduction to the Science of Complexity]
  2. ***Life Itself, Robert Rosen : [A revolution in scientific thinking, but don't hold your breath, hardly anybody knows about it] more
  3. *** Anticipatory Systems, Robert Rosen, 1985:  [Deconstruction of the Newtonian paradigm]
  4. ** The End of Certainty : Time, Chaos, and the New Laws of Nature, Ilya Prigogine, Isabelle Stengers  [Dissatified with Quantum Mechanics? here's why. Explains Poincare's resonances] more
  5. The Meme Machine, Susan Blackmore :  [Levels of selection: Memes and Genes]
  6. At Home in the Universe, Stuart Kauffman: [Musings from a pioneer in the Science of Complexity]
  7. The Life of the Cosmos, Lee Smolin: [About the Evolving Universe] more
  8. The Deep Hot Biosphere, Thomas Gold : [No, not everything taught in school is correct.]
  9. *Microcosmos,  Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan:  [Another view of Earth from the bacteria's point of view] more
  10. Gaia's Body, Tyler Volk, 1998. : [Details about Lovelock and Margulis's Gaia theory]
  11. Hypersea: Life on Land, M. McMenamin and D. McMenamin: [Open your eyes to what is not seen: Some beginning history of Multi-cellular Eucaryotes] more
  12. ** The Evolution of Individuality, Leo Buss : [Darwin roll over, levels of selection: transition between procaryotes to multi-cellular eucaryotes]
  13. The Symbolic Species : The Co-Evolution of Language and the Brain, Terence W. Deacon: [So you think you remember everything, think again, its in the environment]
  14.  Chaos &Fractals, Peitgen, Jurgens, and Saupe: [Learn the conventional mathematics of chaos and order]
  15. MetaMan, Gregory Stock: [Individual humans are not the most complex things in this world]
  16. Five Kingdoms: Lynn Margulis and K. Schwartz: [Learn the complexity of Life]
  17. The Lessons of History, Will and Ariel Durant: [Those who fail to learn ...]
  18. Knowledge and Decisions, Thomas Sowell [Why all the ignorance? Because it there's lots of it] more
  19. ** The Major Transitions in Evolution, John Maynard Smith &Eors Szathmary : [Learn about some of the processes of life]
  20. Please Understand Me II, David Keirsey(of course)[Learn about the diversity of humans, that is not part of environment, ethnicity, or gender]
  21. The Borderlands of Science, Michael Shermer [An important survey of science and non-science] more
  22. The Nuture Assumption, Judith Rich Harris: [Children are smarter than you think]
  23. Why They Kill: Discoveries of a Maverick Criminologist,  Richard Rhodes:   [What statistics doesn't tell you]
  24. Of 2 Minds: The Growing Disorder in American Psychiatry, T. M. Luhrmann. [Pills or Freud's method doesn't work very well, in fact often add to the problem]
  25. User Illusion:  Cutting Consciousness down to size,  Tor Norretranders[Consciousness isn't what you think it is]
  26. Conquests and Cultures, Thomas Sowell [Those who fail to learn ...] more
  27. Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond: [Those who fail to learn ....]
  28. The Origins of Virtue, Matthew Ridley: [Those who fail to learn ...] more

* Introductionary
**Difficult Reading
*** Extremely Difficult Reading [but worth it, if you get it]
Bibliography[Sorted by Author]
Bibliography[Sorted by Domain]

Author's corner


Quotes to Live by

    I keep trying to abstract the world out, but it keeps coming back in.
    Sum, ergo sum
        DMK's corollary:  theory must be the opposite of speculation, despite the fact its hard to remember to distinguish between a postulate and a conclusion.

    If you don't understand something said, don't assume that you are at fault.  David W. Keirsey

    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana
         DMK's generalization:  Entities, which do not learn from history, will repeat it in form.
        Those who fail to learn from history, will not add to it.  

    Necessity is the mother of invention.

       Nietzsche's corollary:  What does not kill me, makes me stronger.

    The scientific world is beginning to discover Robert Rosen, not so much because it wants to or because it likes what he teaches, but because there may be no other way to proceed.  Don Mikulecky

    You can't effect the cards that you are dealt, but you can determine how you play them. Milton Erickson

    You don't chose your passion, your passion choses you -- Jeff Bezos

    Passion breeds talent -- Stanislas Dehaene

    Passion requires temperament -- David M. Keirsey

    Without extremes you have no middle.  With no middle, you don't have extremes. -- David M. Keirsey

    "The future has arrived, it's just not evenly distributed" -- William Gibson

    "The past is here and in the future, it's just not evenly distributed" -- David M. Keirsey

    Death starts when internal change happens slower than external change - David M. Keirsey

    "Our vision of Nature is undergoing a radical change toward the multiple, the temporal, and the complex" -- Ilya Prigogine

    "In far from equilibrium conditions, the concept of probability that underlies Boltzmann's order principle is no longer valid if the structures we observe do not correspond to a maximum of complexions" -- Ilya Prigogine

    Only the educated are free -- Epictetus

Other nice quotes:

Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself.  -- Vilfredo Pareto

"If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is." - Karl Schultheisz and Andrew Meehan

    It is easier to explain machines from a living universe than to explain life from a dead one.  -- John J. Kineman

    All is flux  Heraclitus
    All is atoms and void  Democritus

    You must posit at least one logical contradiction to generate existence.  David Mark Keirsey

    The progress of science is the discovery at each step of a new order which gives unity to what had seemed unlike. -- Jacob Bronowski

    Change is inevitable. Therefore, change must change. Through induction this will lead to change at ever increasing levels of complexity. -- Henk Langeveld  ;-)

    The axiomatic method is very powerful -- Kurt Gödel ;-)

    One of the main jobs of conciousness is to keep our life tied together into a coherent story, a self-concept. It does this by generating explanations of behaviors on the basis of our self image, images, memories of the past, expectations of the future, the present social situation, and the physical environment in which behavior is produced. -- Joseph Le Doux

    Let Chaos storm, Let cloud shapes, swarm.  I wait for form.  -- Robert Frost.


  • Where is the frontier? - Daniel Hillis
  • How shall I teach my children? - Cliff Stoll
  • What does technology want? - Kevin Kelly
  • What is the information content of Spin, Mass, and Charge? - David Keirsey
  • Why did Ludwig Boltzmann commit suicide? - David Keirsey
  • What is the precise relation between dissipation and replication? - David Keirsey

Keirsey's Laws
  • You can't beat first order statistics - David M Keirsey
  • Use it or lose it - David W. Keirsey [read about it]
  • If you can conceive it, you cannot perceive it;  if you can perceive it, you can't conceive it.
  • Interesting Pointers to Cyberspace

    TED Videos: Ideas Worth Spreading
    John Baez

    Personal Information

    Personality: INTP (Rational: Architect)


    PhD, Information and Computer Science, UC Irvine, 1983
    MS, Computer Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1973
    BS, Information and Computer Science, UC Irvine, 1972


    References to Publications

    Last Updated July 17, 2013
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    1994-2015, David M Keirsey.