June 22, 2021

Slavoj Žižek personality type?

Slavoj Zizek is a Slovenian philosopher who works in subjects including continental philosophy, psychoanalysis, political theory and art criticism. He likes to tell anecdotes and hold speeches and he’s quite famous globally. He probably owes most of his popularity to his charismatic persona and the ability to present very complex ideas to average people.

Introvert or extrovert

Žižek’s peculiar style, on camera appearances and opinions published in popular magazines have made him popular internationally, with a large audience outside academia. He is a very effective and charismatic communicator and he seems to like attention more than the average philosopher. Even in his seventh decade of life he still talks with energy and lots of gesticulation. I think all of that points to extroversion more than introversion.

Intuitive or sensing?

His on camera appearances often involve mentions of the most concrete and mundane stuff in life, like the shape of toilets in different countries, but there is always a point and a pattern that he has noticed and is trying to elucidate to the crowd. In the case of toilets, he was talking about the differences of French and German toilets and how it’s a manifestation of their mentalities. French toilets are designed in such a way that the excrement immediately disappears into water, but German toilets display the excrement for a while, until you flush, because supposedly the Germans don’t let go of stuff quickly. They like to sniff, observe and inspect. He goes on to toilets in the Anglo Saxon world and so on.

Even though he loves to use concrete, relatable examples, it is always in the service of explaining bigger, abstract ideas. His presentations are always about connecting stuff that you thought could not be connected, which is a trait of extroverted intuition (Ne). Philosophy is a profession dominated by intuitives and I’m pretty sure Slavoj Žižek also has an intuitive preference.

Thinker or feeler

If we compare Žižek’s work to writings of Nietzsche for example, we can notice that Nietzsche was more of an idealist and a romanticist. He focused more on the human soul, psychology, the tragedy of life, morals… But still, most people believe Nietzsche was a thinker. And if Nietzsche was a thinker, Slavoj Žižek is even more of a thinker.

zizek slavoj casual

Perceiving or judging?

Žižek really seems like a laid back person, always open to new options. He even likes to dress casually, mostly in simple t-shirts, unless he is absolutely forced to wear something more serious. These are all traits of a person with a perceiving preference in MBTI. So, if we combine everything that has been said so far, it boils down to ENTP. A website that lets users vote about famous people’s types also has him typed as an ENTP (with E 95%, N 100%, T 96% and P 99% at the moment of writing this) and I think this is one of the rare times that popular vote is absolutely correct.

The second option in my opinion would be INTP, because even though he garners a lot of attention and seems to like it, most of the real work in philosophy is done in a private room, reading and writing for hours.