This thread will be a bit technical, and will be building off the articles on the CTA, J+'s Procedural Processing and the definitions of abiotic and biotic. (Also touched upon in Redefining T and F).
Both D+ (Te) and L+ (Fe) are causality-oriented processes. Both deal with explicit deductive reasoning and procedural organization - and are thus both highly represented in academia and in logical pursuits. The difference between them lies in how they register causality, with slightly different axiomatic sets. One has an abiotic axiom and the other a biotic axiom baked into their processing cycle.
But these axiomatic differences also lead to phenomenological differences which are more subtle. The 'experiences' of D+ and L+ are distinct from one another, even when examining the same content. In the former, causal events are registered as being due to the mechanics of antecedent vectors. In the latter, causal events are registered as being due to qualia-causalities, or the efforts of agents ('will'). Causality, to L+, is very similar to 'will', as opposed to just procedure. And this is because the animate component is embedded within the causal one. This means that L+ deals specifically with anthropomorphic causalities, and their qualia-dynamics. Questions about the objective nature of purpose, meaning, will & effort are contended with in the most serious of ways.
When fully abstracted, this can easily lead to philosophical and metaphysical questions about the First Cause (the Absolute Causality) being willful, rather than mechanical, for example. But I actually want to back away from the philosophical and metaphysical realm for this writeup, because I think the question needs to be addressed at a much more computational level. The smallest "unit" of L+ causality needs to be understood at the most granular level possible.
For the past several centuries, the nature of mechanistic causality (D+) has seen wonderful quantification and success. It's permeated much of science and is the dominant mode of thought in the field. L+ has not attained as much understanding, clarity, or as much cultural reception. How then can we model L+'s form of causality registration? We look to vultological L+ types and what they say, and how they explain reality.
Different L+ types explain the roots of their implicit beliefs of causality at different degrees of clarity. And when the threads are traced back, what lies behind all of them is negentropy. Jelle first introduced me to this idea through Humberto Maturana's autopoiesis.
"The term autopoiesis (from Greek αὐτo- (auto-), meaning 'self', and ποίησις (poiesis), meaning 'creation, production') refers to a system capable of reproducing and maintaining itself." - Source
This is important to the question of J+ in relation to the biotic and abiotic, since the point at which autopoiesis happens is the point at which matter starts to have will. As such, autopoiesis is a good candidate for the smallest unit of L+ causality. It's important to note that this is simultaneously the smallest unit of consciousness (will). To be biotic is to have qualia, and to L+, this fundamental definition of an object is simultaneously a vector. To live is to will, to strive. Dead matter doesn't strive, but life does. And this is Schrödinger's concept of Negentropy. That which wills itself to strive, is negentropic. Thus, negentropy is will-driven causality, or J+ and B together simultaneously.
Thus, one way to think of L+ is as the science/causality (and organization) of qualia, which has been explored for centuries. The "study of human consciousness," and the attempt to model it (heh, hello Auburn) is most typically the result of L+ merging together causality with the biotic, in the same processing loop. And this leads to an over-representation of high Fe types in cognitive sciences, for instance. But before there was cognitive science, the L+ types were doing it anyway -- in esoteric philosophical works and alchemical diagrams.
The 'cabalist' diagrams of esoterics and alchemists are initial attempts at this same consciousness-formulation. I believe it has been mostly Fe/Ti users that, throughout history, have been immersed with modeling consciousness. And this is no surprise since modeling/systematizing is J+, and consciousness (the biotic) would not be systematized by D- (Fi), which is non-procedural. Generally speaking, the systematizing we find in D types is done to the abiotic realm (D+), while the systematizing done by L types is done in the biotic realm (L+). But it's not just about the fact of building theories of the mind, as D+ types can also build such theories, but such models will often lack the same sort of "soul-focus", in the sense that they are algorithms and not qualia-systems. The 'cabalist' systems built by L+ types contain object-interactions between different archetypal qualia-forms (drives), in an attempt to model "living experience" itself as a universal collective mind-reality.
The investigations done by L+ in the topic of consciousness always contain something implicitly understood by the model-builder (like Carl Jung) from their own collective experience as a living being interacting via many I-Thou relationships. And given the manner in which the biotic principle still escapes scientific awareness, when L+ types attempt to explain their view of causality, they can start to sound a bit unscientific. But I wish to share a video of an L+ type, Jeremy Sherman, attempting to explain what I feel are the principles of L+ in a way that's refreshingly clear. He advocates for Terrence Deacon's concept of the autogen, which is the same root idea.
There is so much to unpack here that I don't know where to begin. In a way, I feel I can't explain it any better than Sherman or Maturana do, so I would defer the reader to their works. But I'll try to give an overview of what they're describing, in terms of CT.
Sherman's concept of "trying" and "striving" are seen as the basic qualia properties that are part of cognitive agents and not part of inanimate objects. The moon doesn't "try" to pull the tide. But animals do "try" to stay alive. This "trying" (i.e. biotic + vector) is intuited as being the root/essential difference between living and non-living things, because L+ is a vector process and also a biotic process. Thus, to Sherman the most fundamental quality of living things is trying (biotic-vectoring/forward-striving).
Of course this is debatable and it's still early-days for work on consciousness. Sherman is aspiring to be neutral and, together with Deacon, pushing the envelope on the Hard Problem. But, he is, like all of us, partly driven to give scientific language to a deeper implicit intuition -- specifically about biotic reality. It is not only the science that's leading Sherman to say what he is saying, but it's his phenomenological experience of L+ within him, and which he is trying to elucidate to the world using axioms and deductive arguments. This isn't' to say he's incorrect, I happen to think he's right, but nevertheless his investigation is driven by fundamental intuitions that match his implicit axioms. This is necessary and valiant work, since there is truth to every aspect of experience we all have, and the types who experience that side of reality most poignantly are often the ones to give it a formulation.
As an L+ type, Sherman's attempting to get to the monistic reality of L+, providing a foothold from which other more prototypical Fe focuses on causalities of 'mind' can be explained -- such as meaning/mattering, morality, social ethics, will, consciousness. And these are the more native grounds of his attention, as seen on his channel.
We can see here that L+ types aim to explain the causality they register as one of vector interactions, but these vectors are 'living'. The rigorous investigation of their own L+ function's implicit assumptions leads down to the basic unit of 'striving', the initial biotic vector, which is autopoeisis; negentropy. This, I believe, is the correct view of L+ at the fundamental level. However, in practice this negentropic causal awareness leads to intuitions about qualia dynamics; the universal causalities of agents. And this leads to building theories of the mind and consciousness -- the same way D+ more commonly leads to the building of theories of quantum mechanics and physics. L+'s focus on modeling consciousness is to sociology what theories of physics are to engineering. Both are micro and macro effects of their respective causality orientations. But of course, I must add the disclaimer that no specific content, career-path or philosophical position is 1:1 with a function. There are L+ physicists and D+ theorists of the mind (as there should be, since our philosophies are not deterministically tied to type). What I'm describing here is a general statistical trend that reflects these differences in causal processing between the two.
A snippet from Discord that may be helpful here:
it's a bit complicated because - as we ARE self organizing organisms- we are trying to strive by default, it's pretty much a...biological fact. Fe would just focus more on this aspect, no?
Right. As Umbi was saying the other day, all function perspectives are 'right', and their academic progress is of benefit to us all. So Fe brings to bearing truths about human beings that many Fi/Te can see and agree with, just like Te brings forth truths that Fe/Ti's can agree with-- even though they wouldn't have been as inclined to view it that way or deduce it that way by themselves.
It seems Fe/Ti users are more predisposed to be in conceptual alignment with the realities and necessities of our biological and qualia needs (from the outside-in), such as a target to aim at, a thing that matters, and a place to belong, a community, etc. Fe gives the world a lot of insight into that facet which applies to us all. So it's not that Te/Fi's don't strive. It's that Fe/Ti users, due to their function pair, tend to bring universal articulation to the nature and necessities of conscious vector-objects (beings).
Following from this metabolic origin to behavioral emergences: The implicit registration of negentropy, in the same loop as causality, leads to the heightened pursuit of negentropic vectors, the identification of a vector's entropy or negentropy, and the application of negentropic procedures and organizations.
The first leads to Warm Swelling & Handling, the second leads to Instrumental Beliefs (as pragmatically "True"), and the third leads to collective morality and tribalism.
I wanted to talk about one aspect I left out in the OP above, the concept of "constraint." Jeremy Sherman is really such a great example of an L+ (Fe) articulating understanding and new answers from a place of years pursuing questions guided by L+'s intuitions. He talks about constraint in this video: (he gets to the relevant part at 6:54+ but the whole video is very informative)
(p.s. I think he's Lv+ (FeNi) ...pretty sure now)
What Sherman says in this video is in line with the J+ code, specifically this part: order(objects[í].vectors); . Here, "constraint" has parity with the concept of order. Both J+ processes have as their goal an a priori of order, and this ordering is where the object vectors are directed. D+ is aiming to direct mechanistic vectors into order, and L+ is directing qualia/biotic vectors into order.
This idea of constraint is also echoed by Lv+ Jordan Peterson who says that Order is what allows us to be anything at all, and that we sacrifice infinite potentiality to be "something." He speaks about this in many places but this is just one:
This motif, that many L+ types come to, can be summarized as: Life is an adaptive constraint (order) towards what is most conducive to future life. This then becomes a strong incentive for "moral work," which is the choice to organize one's qualia vectors (internal sub-drives) towards an idealized order which is most conducive to life here and in the future.
Having said this, I need to mention that D and L types both have as their mission the preservation of the organism, but D+ achieves this preservation more directly by treating objects with a bias towards their inanimate nature. This is supposed to serve the final interest of the organism though, since it helps us work with tools. Treating objects as abiotic loops back around to the central principle of self-preservation, else abiotic awareness would not have evolved in us.
Although many things are alive, not all things relevant to our survival behave as living things. The mind must have found it more fitting to create a dichotomy of object-registration that can differentiate living and non-living objects, in order to optimize its treatment of them, for the sake of survival. Both abiotic and biotic awareness have the organism's wellbeing in mind, in the ultimate sense.
The D system registers the biotic through D- in a monistic way, and executes abiotically through D+ towards the preservation of the essential beings registered by D-. The L system simply inverts the metabolism of these object properties, yet each system achieves the same ends by different means.