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Related Terms...

Temperament | Temperaments

Four Fundamental Temperaments

4 Fundamental Temperaments

Four Main Types of Temperament

4 Main Types of Temperament

Natural Disposition

Choleric

Melancholic

Phlegmatic

Sanguine

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Arrow Question / Issue:

What does 'temperament' refer to? What are the 'four fundamental temperaments'?

 

Arrow Answer / Resources:

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Temperament may essentially refer to one's natural disposition...

"The variable inclinations to, aversions from, feelings and capabilities, accorded to each individual by nature." (Catholic Dictionary)

As defined...

"TEMPERAMENT. That complexity of inclinations derived from heredity and a person's own organic and nervous system. These natural dispositions can be changed to some extent by education, by external circumstances and by a person's own endeavours — this is Character. By temperament and character the moral freedom of the will is often lessened but never altogether taken away; hence it is that a man can always successfully act against his evil inclinations." (Catholic Dictionary)

The four 'fundamental temperaments' are...

* choleric (e.g. action-oriented)

* melancholic (e.g. introverted/analytical)

* phlegmatic (e.g. calm/peaceful)

* sanguine (e.g. social/'people person')

Note that classifications may vary and that persons may not fit precisely in one single temperament (or "personality type"), but rather be a combination or two or more temperaments. Furthermore, it should be noted that temperaments are only dispositions – persons have free will and are responsible for their behavior regardless of their natural temperament.

+ + +

"Whatever be the true physiological explanation, the fourfold classification seems fairly to represent certain markedly contrasted types of disposition, though they leave room for subdivision and intermediate forms. Moreover, though scientists are still far from being agreed as to the precise elements in the organism on which temperament depends, the fact that different forms of temperament have an organic basis seems certain." (Catholic Encyclopedia)


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