|Keirsey/MBTI® reference||artisan/SP sensing-perceiving||guardian/SJ sensing-judging||idealist/NF intuitive-feeling||rationalist/NT intuitive-thinking|
|Empedocles 450BC||Goea (air)||Hera (earth)||Zeus (fire)||Poseidon (water)|
|Signs of Zodiac||Libra, Aquarius, Gemini||Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo||Aries, Leo, Sagittarius||Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces|
|Hippocrates 370BC||blood||black bile||yellow bile||phlegm|
|Hippocrates 370BC 'Four Qualities'||hot and moist||cold and dry||hot and dry||cold and moist|
|Plato 340BC (M)||artistic||sensible||intuitive||reasoning|
|Aristotle 325BC 'contribution to social order' (K)||'iconic'- artistic and art-making||'pistic' - common-sense and care-taking||'noetic' - intuitive sensibility and morality||'dianoetic' - reasoning and logical investigator|
|Aristotle 325BC Four Sources of Happiness (K)||'hedone' - sensual pleasure||'propraieteri' - acquiring assets||'ethikos' - moral virtue||'dialogike' - logical investigation|
|Galen 190AD Four Temperaments or Four Humours||sanguine||melancholic||choleric||phlegmatic|
|Paracelsus 1550 'Four Totem Spirits' (K)||Salamanders - impulsive and changeable||Gnomes - industrious and guarded||Nymph - inspiring and passionate||Sylphs - curious and calm|
|Eric Adickes 1905 Four World Views (K)||innovative||traditional||doctrinaire||sceptical|
|Eduard Spranger 1914 Four Value Attitudes (K)||artistic||economic||religious||theoretic|
|Ernst Kretschmer 1920 (M)||manic||depressive||oversensitive||insensitive|
|Eric Fromm 1947 (K)||exploitative||hoarding||receptive||marketing|
|Hans Eysenck 1950s (trait examples from his inventory)||lively, talkative, carefree, outgoing||sober, reserved, quiet, rigid||restless, excitable, optimistic, impulsive||careful, controlled, thoughtful, reliable|
|Myers 1958 (M)||perceiving||judging||feeling||thinking|
|Myers 1958 (K)||probing||scheduling||friendly||tough-minded|
|Montgomery 2002 on Jung/Myers||SP - spontaneous and playful||SJ - sensible and judicious||NF - intuitive and fervent||NT - ingenious and theoretical|
|Montgomery 2002 on Keirsey's Four Temperaments||says what is, |
does what works
|says what is,|
does what's right
|says what's possible,|
does what's right
|says what's possible,|
does what works
poem 'On Nature' he described the elements in relation to emotional forces that we would refer to as love and strife. However 1870 Brewer says that Empedocles preferred the names of the Greek Gods, Zeus, Hera, Poseidon and Goea. (1870 Brewer, and Chambers Biographical, which references Jean Ballock's book, 'Empedocle', 1965.)
Aristotle explained four temperaments in the context of 'individual contribution to social order' in The Republic, c.325BC, and also used the Four Temperaments to theorise about people's character and quest for happiness. Incidentally 1870 Brewer states that Aristotle was first to specifically suggest the four elements, fire, earth, water, air, and that this was intended as an explanation purely of the various forms in which matter can appear, which was interpreted by 'modern' chemists (of the late 1800s) to represent 'the imponderable' (calorie), the gaseous (air), the liquid (water), and solid (earth).
Paracelsus was a German alchemist and physician and considered by some to be the 'father of toxicology'. His real name was Phillippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, which perhaps explains why he adopted a pseudonym. According to Chambers Biographical Dictionary he lived from 1493-1541, which suggests that his work was earlier than 'c.1550'. Keirsey and Montgomery cite the connection between Paracelsus's Four Totem Spirits and the Four Temperaments, however there are others who do not see the same connection to or interpretation of the Four Totem Spirits. If you are keen to know more perhaps seek out the book The Life Of Paracelsus Phillippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, by A Stoddart, published in 1911, referenced by Chambers Biographical.
Hans Jurgen Eysenck was a German-born British psychologist whose very popular scalable personality inventory model contains significant overlaps with the Four Temperaments. It's not a perfect fit, but there are many common aspects. See the Eysenck section.
Galen was a Greek physician (c.130-201AD - more correctly called Claudius Galenus), who became chief physician to the Roman gladiators in Pergamum from AD 157, and subsequently to the Roman Emperors Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Aurelius Commodus and Lucius Septimus Severus. Galen later interpreted Hippocrates' ideas into the Four Humours, which you might more readily recognise and associate with historic writings and references. Galen's interpretation survived as an accepted and arguably the principal Western medical scientific interpretation of human biology until the advancement of cellular pathology theory during the mid-late 1800s, notably by German pathologist Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902, considered the founder of modern pathology), in his work 'Cellularpathologie' (1858), building on the work of fellow cellular scientists Theodor Schwann, Johannes Muller, Matthias Schleiden and earlier, Robert Brown.
Beware of erroneous correlations between the various sets of four temperaments, humours, elements, body organs, star-signs, etc - it's easy to confuse so many sets of four. I believe the above to be reliable as far as it goes. Please let me know if you spot a fault anywhere. Also remember that the correlation between these sets is not precise and in some cases it's very tenuous.
The above table of correlated four temperaments and other sets of four is not designed as a scientific basis for understanding personality - it's a historical over view of the development of the Four Temperaments - included here chiefly to illustrate the broad consistency of ideas over the past two-and-a-half thousand years, and to provoke a bit of thought about describing words for the four main character types. Keep the Four Temperaments in perspective: the history of the model provides a fascinating view of the development of thinking in this area, and certainly there are strands of the very old ideas that appear in the most modern systems, so it's very helpful and interesting to know the background, but it's not a perfect science.
You'll see significant echoes of the Four Temperaments in David Keirsey's personality theory, which of all modern theories seems most aligned with the Four Temperaments, although much of the detail has been built by Keirsey onto a Four Temperaments platform, rather than using a great amount of detail from old Four Temperaments ideas. The Four Temperaments model also features in Eysenck's theory, on which others have subsequently drawn. To a far lesser extent the Four Temperaments can also be partly correlated to the Moulton Marston's DISC theory and this is shown in the explanatory matrix in the DISC section. Jung, Myers Briggs® and Benziger's theories also partly correlate with the Four Temperaments; notably there seems general agreement that the phlegmatic temperament corresponds to Jung's 'Intuitive-Thinking', and that the choleric temperament corresponds to Jung's 'Intuitive-Feeling'. The other two temperaments, sanguine and melancholic seem now to be represented by the Jungian 'Sensing' in combination with either Jungian 'Feeling' or a preference from the Myers Briggs® Judging-Perceiving dimension.
The Four Temperaments are very interesting, but being over two-thousand years old they are also less than crystal clear, so correlation much beyond this is not easy. Connections with modern theories and types and traits, such as they are, are explained where appropriate in the relevant sections below dealing with other theories.
Dr Stephen Montgomery's 2002 book 'People Patterns' is an excellent guide to the Four Temperaments, in which he provides his own interpretations, and explains relationships between the Four Temperaments and various other behavioural and personality assessment models, notably the David Keirsey model and theories. Incidentally Montgomery is Keirsey's long-standing editor and also his son-in-law. Keirsey's acknowledges Montgomery's depth of understanding of the Four Temperaments in Keirsey's book, Please Understand Me II, which also provides a very helpful perspective of the Four Temperaments.