Intuition - Three Ways

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by BeHereNow, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. BeHereNow Registered Senior Member

    If you like the works of Einstein or Steve Jobs, you might be a fan of intuition, and not even realize it.

    For the sake of discussion I recognize three types of intuition, that I would name: 1)colloquial intuition, 2)Western Intuition, and 3) Eastern Intuition.

    The first group uses in a very haphazard way, with little real serious about Truth being derived from Intuition, although some might.

    The second group uses Intuition on the path to the greater Scientific Truth. It is/has been, a tool for the Scientifically or Mathematically inclined.

    The third group, started the recognition of such a concept through philosophical pursuits.
    Some Mystical, some Religious, some, simply, Philosophical, lacking Religion, or Mysticism, or a Scientific pursuit.
    Many have never gone beyond this.

    ~ ~
    The first needs no discussion, or so I believe.
    ~ ~ ~

    The second group sprouts these ideas:

    Einstein quotes:
    "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."

    "The only real valuable thing is intuition."

    "The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it Intuition or what you will, the solution comes to you and you don't know how or why".
    - Albert Einstein

    ~ ~
    Steve jobs:
    The people in the Indian countryside don’t use their intellect like we do, they use their intuition instead, and the intuition is far more developed than in the rest of the world… Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion. That’s had a big impact on my work.
    Western rational thought is not an innate human characteristic, it is learned and it is the great achievement of Western civilization. In the villages of India, they never learned it. They learned something else, which is in some ways just as valuable but in other ways is not. That’s the power of intuition and experiential wisdom.”

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Matthew D. Lieberman
    Harvard University
    This review proposes that implicit learning processes are the cognitive substrate of social intuition. This
    hypothesis is supported by (a) the conceptual correspondence between implicit learning and social
    intuition (nonverbal communication) and (b) a review of relevant neuropsychological (Huntington's and
    Parkinson's disease), neuroimaging, neurophysiological, and neuroanatomical data. It is concluded that
    the caudate and putamen, in the basal ganglia, are central components of both intuition and implicit
    learning, supporting the proposed relationship. Parallel, but distinct, processes of judgment and action are
    demonstrated at each of the social, cognitive, and neural levels of analysis. Additionally, explicit attempts
    to learn a sequence can interfere with implicit learning. The possible relevance of the computations of
    the basal ganglia to emotional appraisal, automatic evaluation, script processing, and decision making are

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Science does not have a theory that explains or predicts the characteristics of intuition, and yet, many great scientific discoveries relied heavily on intuitive insights. The connections between intellect and intuition are one of the great mysteries of our universe.
    Isaac Newton supposedly watched an apple fall from a tree and suddenly connected its motion as being caused by the same universal gravitational force that governs the moon's attraction to the earth. John Maynard Keynes, the famous economist, said "Newton owed his success to his muscles of intuition. Newton's powers of intuition were the strongest and most enduring with which a man has ever been gifted."

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    Although intuitions may often lead to suboptimal decisions, it is still possible that intuitions are sometimes as good or better than judgments derived from deliberation. This quality of intuitions is not necessarily a default circumstance due to deliberative strategies falling short when overused (Nisbett & Wilson, 1977; Schooler, Ohlson, & Brooks, 1993; Wilson & Brekke, 1994), but rather may be the result of the structural properties of intuition once it is considered in its proper information processing context.

    ~ ~ ~
    ~ ~ ~
    And then, for the Philosophicial[/I, we have this from the Swami:

    It is impossible to know Reality through logic and science. It is known only in intuition which is a direct vision and experience transcending intellectual processes and scientific observations and reasonings. The elan vital is a creative spirit which defies the attempts of the mathematical manner of approaches to it, and demands a deeper sympathy and feeling which will enter into its very essence. In intuition we comprehend the truth of things as a whole, as a complete process of the dynamic life of the spiritual consciousness. Instinct is nearer to intuition than is intellect. Intuition is instinct evolved, ennobled and become disinterested and self-conscious. Instinct, when not directed to action, but centred in knowledge, becomes intuition. Intuition has nothing of the mechanistic and static operations of the logical and the scientific intellect. Intellect is the action of consciousness on dead matter, and so it cannot enter the spirit of life. Any true philosophy should, therefore, energise and transform the conclusion of the intellect with the immediate apprehensions of intuition. Reality has to be lived, not merely understood.

    ~ ~ ~ ~

    When I write such things in my own words, I am often not taken seriously, so I provide quotes.
    I will entertain discussions as time permits, using my own words for the most part, may need other ‘substantial’ evidence to support what I say.

    For myself, I use it in the third way.
    Controversial, absolutely. I provide no proof for anything.
    Just tossing out another way to look at things.
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  3. Literphor I is for ignorance Registered Member

    I'm sorry but I don't understand the point of the thread...what is it that you wanted to discuss? I didn't realize intuition was a controversial subject. I thought, while it may not be well understood, it was accepted as a form of thought... isn't it the cornerstone of philosophy?
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  5. BeHereNow Registered Senior Member

    Possibly a cornerstone, never thought of it that way. One could make the argument, certainly, but could be difficult to defend.

    In Eastern Philosophy, it has been around a long time (thousands of years).
    Like most things Eastern, Western thought is not so accepting.
    Einstein is the one who said "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."

    We (western world) have created a society that has forgotten the 'gift' of intuition. If this is true, and I believe it is, then it is controversial.
    Although intution is difficullt to pin down, it is virtually universally recognized that intuition is nonrational.
    Anything nonrational is, not looked upon well, in the general scientific community.
    I have brought this up before, other places, and it is scoffed at, categorized as class one above, and nothing more.
    There has been more discussion in the Western world, in the last decade, so thing are going the direction you indicate, but still has strong resistence, among the scientific, if not the philosophical community.

    Anything based on personal experience, and lacking logic and rational thought, is resisted by those indoctrinated by the SM.
    In science and math, intuition has proved it's worth by after-the-fact verification by logic and scientific testing.

    I have been told many times that intuited truths are bunk.

    The value of philosophy itself is questioned by many of those in the sciences.
    Tools such as intution create even more doubt.
    They do not recognize that Science grew from Philosophy.

    I'm glad you think it is a nonissue, but my experience says many others disagree.

    This thread sprang from another thread to avoid highjacking: post, post, and post.
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  7. Rav Valued Senior Member

    I am a highly intuitive person. Most people are. But the rational mind must keep the intuitive mind honest, if one values truth, lest one be lead so far into the thick of some 'intuited' magical garden, in which flights of fancy reign supreme, that they are rendered unable or unwilling to return.
  8. Arioch Valued Senior Member

    Intuited "truths" are usually bunk(even a stopped clock can be right twice a day), and are always bunk when they disagree with reality. This is the same regardless of which intuition we're talking about. The ultimate and final judge of the truth value of an idea is and always will be reality.
  9. BeHereNow Registered Senior Member

    An intuited truth cannot be shown to disagree with reality (by definition).
    Of course intuitions can disagree with reality, but then it is not truthful.
    We know logic and reason do not always yield a correct result, and it is the same with intuition.
    Social engineering (city planning, more) in particular does not do well with logic and reason, just too many variables. Intuitive results seem to do quite well.

    As the term is generally used, it is in the first sense, so 'usually bunk', we agree.

    In the second or third sense it is preceded by much preparation.
    A problem or situation is 'dwelled upon', for days, weeks, months. Using logic and reason, no solution emerges. Then, the 'subconscious mind', for lack of a better or more accurate term, sees the solution, and is it realized.
    After the fact, the dots can be connected, and in the case of science or math, backtracking shows the intuition to be correct, using the techniques of science and math.

    Many great scientists and mathematicians have given credit to intuition for their advances, more than just Einstein and Steve Jobs.
    I have read some authors who say all of the serious mathematical insights were not logical, but intuitive. Logic verified what the intuitive realized.

    If an idea just 'jumps into your mind', without preparation, most would not consider that to be intuition.

    In the third case, it is a matter of belief systems, and your belief system may disagree with mine, you can use your beliefs to show your are correct, and I can use mine to show I am correct.
    When it comes to worldviews/belief systems, there is no 'final verification'.
  10. Arioch Valued Senior Member

    If a belief or is built on elements that are known to be in conflict with reality, such as an omnipotent and/or omnibenevolent creator, then such worldviews are invalid. Reality doesn't change just because we believe something, and there's no observation to the contrary.
  11. BeHereNow Registered Senior Member

    A lack of proof is not proof.
    Observations are not the only way to truth.

    But then, your worldview would disagree with that, I suppose.
  12. Arioch Valued Senior Member

    Ah, the old "absence of evidence" canard. While it is true that absence of evidence is not always evidence of absence, it is evidence of absence when the evidence should be there.

    In the example I chose though we're not talking about a lack of evidence, we're talking about evidence which conflicts with the proposed component, mainly that the state of our world is incompatible with a benevolent creator. Entertaining such beliefs causes one's worldview to become self-contradictory and thus self-defeating.

    Where have I ever claimed that they were? Oh that's right, never. Observations forming the beginning of a scientific inquiry are, however, the best way to knowledge that we humans have ever found as evidenced by it's track record for success.

    It doesn't, but then seeing as you know next to nothing about what my worldview is(which is understandable seeing as you just haven't asked) it's not really surprising that you'd get this wrong.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  13. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I think that historically, beginning in Greek philosophy, intuition was imagined as a kind of inner sense that enables us to 'see' abstractions. Intuition is how we perceive things like numbers or properties. Kant thought that space and time are those kind of intuitions.

    The Romantics in their reaction against the Enlightenment kind of broadened out the range of this hypothetical inner sense to include more emotionally evocative things like beauty and the divine.

    I guess that today, that latter use of the word is the most common one. Intuition is supposed to be a preconceptual, non-analytical and perhaps more emotional and aesthetic way of knowing.
  14. BeHereNow Registered Senior Member

    You want evidence, Intution is evidence.

    "Benevlent creator"???
    Physician, heal thyself.
    When did I mention a benevolent creator?
    You suppose things not in evidence.

    When you say
    "Reality doesn't change just because we believe something, and there's no observation to the contrary"
    What is it that you mean, except reality is only known through the observed?
    Reality is what it is, and it can be known, even if you cannot observe it, IMO.

    There you are again, supposing that all sane persons should accept your worldview.
    You say it (scientific inquiry) is the best way, and what is your evidence, why your belief system of course.
    Scientific inquiry is, by implication, not only the best, but the only, if I understand you position.
    If that is not your position, we seem to have no disagreement.

    So, you know all about my worldview, without asking any relevant questions, but I am not permitted the same. Yeah, I understand.
    ~ ~ ~

    Look, you have something in common will all sane persons.
    You all have a belief system, that you think leads you to the True path of Reality.
    All a person has to do, is accept your basic assumptions (the pillars of your belief system), and anyone can see you are correct.
    All of you sane people believe this.
    You have a lot of company, except that you do not share the same pillars of beliefs, so in the end, you disagree.

    I have friends whose pillars support a benevolent God, and they have none of these problems understanding this supposed 'incompatability' you see.
    But then, they do not share your belief system.
    Neither do I.
  15. BeHereNow Registered Senior Member

    From what I have read, the Eastern philosophers were well into intuition before the Greeks.
    Not only that, but they continued to pursue intuition as a means to truth, long after Western philosophy had essectially disregarded it in favor of more rational approaches.
    I have never heard it suggested that the Greeks were innovators of intuition as a means to knowledge.
  16. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Those might correspond to the two uses of the word 'intuition' that I mentioned in my last post. 'Colloquial intuition' (good name for it) would be the aesthetic/emotive sort of knowing. 'Western intuition' would refer to the older and more philosophical usage, where intuition is how we intuit the principles of mathematics, logic and so on.

    'Eastern intuition'. Yes, I think that there is a very strong use of 'knowing' in Indian philosophy that imagines it as a kind of becoming, in which knower and known become one. A person no longer thinks about 'enlightenment' in an abstract faculty-club manner. He/she gets up out of the proverbial philosophical armchair, stops talking about enlightenment and actually IS enlightened. An individual isn't going to truly understand enlightenment until that finally happens.
  17. BeHereNow Registered Senior Member

    This shines a lot of light n the subject:

    The compulsion toward absolute knowledge
    inherent in the rational tradition, and the mind-body dualism upon which
    it rests, are both scientifically and epistemologically suspect, as postmodernists, among others, have pointed out. In the development of integrative methods, interdisciplinarity has become entangled in the epistemological fallout resulting from this suspicion of absolute knowledge, and intuition is at the core of this debate.
  18. Arioch Valued Senior Member

    @BHN --

    Evidence that our brains, while functioning completely within the logical laws of physics, sometimes produce answers that don't have a logical underpinning. Evidence that this constitutes a reliable method for obtaining knowledge? Hardly.

    The intuitive leaps you hold in such esteem, while occasionally leading to correct answers, usually get things wrong, precisely because the logical base to lead them to the answers that best reflect known reality. So yes, intuition can be used to obtain knowledge, just not reliably.

    You didn't. I did.

    I did so in my first post here as an example of something learned intuitively(either by us personally or by others who then teach it to us) that is known to be false, and thus when incorporated into a worldview leads to false conclusions. I further, in my second post, went on to explain why such an idea is false.

    Never once did I make the claim that you mentioned it, I mentioned it in the beginning for use as an example of something. Though I do note a rather odd defensive tone, odd because nowhere can my post and my clarification rationally be interpreted as being in response to you. Makes one wonder, perhaps your intuition is failing you.

    What I mean is that observation trumps intuition every single time, not that reality can "only be known" through observation. Though, like I said, observation forming the beginning of a scientific inquiry is the best method humans have for gaining knowledge, bar none. Observation followed by science may not be the only method for gaining knowledge, but it works a hell of a lot better than anything else does.

    You can try to twist my words around all you want, but the fact remains that I choose my words carefully and usually mean exactly what I say. Your straw men will be burnt down and your obfuscations revealed to the harsh light of reason.

    You know, the moment you stop making such asinine assumptions it will be much easier for me to take you seriously.

    You're wrong though. I accept the demonstrated fact that science has a much better track record at producing correct answers to questions than any other method humans have developed for acquiring knowledge. It has been right more often than anything else, again, bar none.

    This is not me believing something, but accepting the evidence and the logical conclusion that comes from it. Science just works better than intuition, and it's a damn sight better than revelation as a means to knowledge. You want to dispute that? Then find me a system with a better track record for being right(be careful to include both the "hits" and the "misses" now) and I'll gladly admit that you're right.

    You don't.

    Not only did I not claim to know what your worldview is, but I've never once directly addressed your worldview. The only thing I've done is address is what you've put forward, and if that's everything that constitutes your worldview then I feel sorry for you, but I highly doubt that's the case.

    You, on the other hand, did assume that you knew something incorporated into my worldview by making the claim that something disagreed with my worldview.

    Again, making such spurious assumptions will only make it harder for me to take you seriously. Honestly, I'm not attacking you here, just your ideas.
  19. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I won't argue with that, it might very well be true.

    I was just suggesting that in Western thought, there's an intellectualistic strand of thinking about intuition that goes back to the Greeks. And there's an opposing and kind of anti-intellectualistic strand that the Romantics emphasized, but probably predates them and might date back far earlier.

    But Western thought isn't the only thought there is. Indians were thinking up a storm from an early date too. (To say nothing of the Chinese, who I know less about.)

    It's the consummation of a great deal of Indian religiosity.
  20. BeHereNow Registered Senior Member

    What we have here, is failure to communicate.

    Your statements are based on your belief system, and my statements are based on my belief system.

    Things that you take for granted as being true, are only if, I accept your core beliefs, and I do not.
    You do not need to state them, for them to be obvious.
  21. BeHereNow Registered Senior Member

    Much more than religiousity, as referenced by Steve Jobs, Einstein, others.
  22. BeHereNow Registered Senior Member

    From my previous reference,(Welch pdf) I have seen this idea repeated many times:

    Problem solving often requires timely assessment of complex situations,
    where sufficient data for a rational decision is unavailable. Under these constraints,
    typical of most practical complex problems, intuition shines. The
    “process of acquiring knowledge then becomes an activity where we need
    to learn to distinguish and shape what is ambiguous, evasive and less obvious
    into something with more fixed contours, so that we can later study
    how essentials may possibly relate to each other and form recurring patterns”
    (Birgerstam, 2002, p. 433). Intuition weeds out salience from among the multifaceted
    and often contradictory complexity of phenomena (p. 435), and thus
    enables the understanding of it as a dynamically structured whole (p. 440).
  23. Arioch Valued Senior Member

    I haven't "taken for granted" that science is the best tool for acquiring knowledge, that would be you. I've accepted this fact based on the track record of success that science has, a track record which is in evidence for you right now, as you read these words.

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