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Virtues and Vices

Updated: Feb 20, 2022

I have been in a deep dive with some projects the past couple of weeks. One of them is related to my presentation at the Dialogical Self Conference, which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. I had less than two weeks to turn it into an article for open-source publication—yikes! That was a very fast turnaround, especially because I wanted to take it in a slightly different direction from my presentation.

In that presentation I described the archivolt at Rosslyn Chapel that depicts the virtues carved on one side, and the vices carved on the other. But a virtue and vice got mixed up, and that got me thinking about how we are all mixed-up bags of virtues and vices (aren’t we?).

While it’s easy to affiliate the virtues and vices with saints and sinners, the history of that idea can be traced back to Aristotle, whose Nicomachean Ethics defined the original thinking in the field that persists to this day. It’s kind of amazing. I found that to be a wonderful metaphor for the concept of the “dialogical self,” which proposes that humans are comprised of lots of “parts” that are all in dialogue with each other and the world.

This same idea has been perpetuated in some fashion over the centuries, whether through the work of the Dissociationists/Associationists, Morton Prince, C.G. Jung, Virginia Satir, John Rowan and, more recently, it appears in a model known as “IFS”—or “Internal Family Systems”—that is currently gaining traction.

In my view, we are constantly in dialogue with our “virtues and vices,” by whatever names we may call them—our consciences are always keeping track of whether or not we are living up to our standards and deciding what our values are.

I find that a fascinating topic, and I was barely able to encapsulate the essence of these ideas in my 2500-word article. I received the proof today, so it should be in virtual print before long.

But does this matter of virtues and vices relate to typology?

You betcha! In my opinion, the “virtues” and “vices” reflect our typology in terms of what we consider “virtuous” or (dare I say) “evil.” We are all pretty opinionated about how we think people should be “virtuous” (which coincides with our typology), and frown at others who don’t align with the standards we do (all those other types).

I find that fascinating!

Now the great thing about pet-sitting is that even when you fall into working on an article, either by researching or writing it, you have to stop a few times a day to look after the pet you’re caring for!

This week, Lorca enjoyed a trip to the Sale Water Park, which features a lovely lake connected to several streams. Robin and I packed a picnic lunch and took him there for a midday treat. Look how green it is!

Lorca’s mood improves instantly when he jumps out of the car and sees trees and green grass. (Probably our mood does too, but it’s not as noticeable to us.)

He also likes going in the water and messing around, so that made him ecstatic as well.

There is nothing like a dog’s joy to lift your spirits and make things right with the world.

If you want to talk more about this virtues and vices thing, contact me! I’d be happy to coach you around some of the basics and talk about how it relates to your typology. It will catapult you into a whole new level of working with the types. So reach out! You can always reach me at

Ciao for now!

warmly, -Dr. Vicky Jo

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