Intuition (philosophy)

Intuition (philosophy)

Intuition is the act by which the mind perceives the agreement or disagreement of two ideas. When using only intuition, the truth of the proposition is immediately known right then, the moment it is presented. [ AJ Giannini, J Daood,MC Giannini, R. Boniface, PG Rhodes. Intellect versus intuition--a dichotomy in the reception of nonverbal communication Journal of General Psychology. 99:19-24, 1978. ] This is without the intervention of other ideas or deductive reasoning. [American International Encyclopedia, J.J. Little Co., New York 1954, Vol VIII ]

In common usage, intuitions lead us to believe things without being able to articulate evidence or reasons for those beliefs (see intuition (knowledge)). In philosophy, the epistemic credentials of various types of intuition may be investigated, or "intuition" may be used as a technical term to single out a particular type of mental state or propositional attitude. Intuitions are distinguished from beliefs, since we can hold beliefs which are not intuitive, or have intuitions for propositions that we know to be false.

In the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, intuition is one of the basic cognitive faculties, equivalent to what might loosely be called perception. Kant held that our mind casts all of our external intuitions in the form of space, and all of our internal intuitions (memory, thought) in the form of timeFact|date=April 2007.

Intuitionism is a position advanced by Luitzen Egbertus Jan Brouwer in philosophy of mathematics derived from Kant's claim that all mathematical knowledge is knowledge of the pure forms of the intuition - that is, intuition that is not empirical ("Prolegomena, p.7"). Intuitionistic logic was devised by Arend Heyting to accommodate this position (and has been adopted by other forms of constructivism in general). It is characterized by rejecting the law of excluded middle: as a consequence it does not in general accept rules such as double negation elimination and the use of reductio ad absurdum to prove the existence of something.

In analytic philosophy

In contemporary analytic philosophy, appeals to our intuitions are an important method for testing claims. A characteristic example is the post-Gettier literature concerning the analysis of knowledge. A philosopher proposes a definition of knowledge, such as the justified true belief account. Another philosopher constructs a hypothetical case where our inclination is to judge that the definition is met but the subject lacks knowledge or vice versa. Typically, this leads to the rejection of that account, though Brian Weatherson has noted that the weight placed on intuitions varies between different subfields. [B. Weatherson, "What Good are Counterexamples?", "Philosophical Studies", 115 (2003) pp. 1-31.]

Intuitions are customarily appealed to independently of any particular theory of how intuitions provide evidence for claims, and there are divergent accounts of what sort of mental state intuitions are, ranging from mere spontaneous judgment to a special presentation of a necessary truth. [M. Lynch "Trusting Intuitions", in P. Greenough and M. Lynch (ed) "Truth and Realism", pp. 227-38.] However, in recent years a number of philosophers, especially George Bealer have tried to defend appeals to intuition against Quinean doubts about conceptual analysis. [G. Bealer "Intuition and The Autonomy of Philosophy" in M. Depaul and W. Ramsey (eds) "Rethinking Intuition: The Psychology of Intuition and Its Role In Philosophical Inquiry" 1998, pp. 201-239.] A different challenge to appeals to intuition has recently come from experimental philosophers, who argue that appeals to intuition must be informed by the methods of social science.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Intuition — has many related meanings, usually connected to the meaning ability to sense or know immediately without reasoning , and is often regarded as a divine or prophetic power, including:* Intuition is the philosophical method of Henri Bergson. *… …   Wikipedia

  • intuition — Immediate awareness, either of the truth of some proposition, or of an object of apprehension such as a concept. Awareness of the passage of time, or of the ineffable nature of God, have equally been claimed as intuitions. The notion is… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Intuition (Bergson) — Intuition is the philosophical method of French philosopher Henri Bergson.In An Introduction to Metaphysics , Bergson introduces two ways in which an object can be known: absolutely and relatively. Pertaining to each mode of knowledge is a method …   Wikipedia

  • Intuition — • A psychological and philosophical term which designates the process of immediate apprehension or perception of an actual fact, being, or relation between two terms and its results Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Intuition      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Philosophy — • Detailed article on the history of the love of wisdom Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Philosophy     Philosophy     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Philosophy of Immanuel Kant —     Philosophy of Immanuel Kant     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Philosophy of Immanuel Kant     Kant s philosophy is generally designated as a system of transcendental criticism tending towards Agnosticism in theology, and favouring the view that… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks — ( Philosophie im tragischen Zeitalter der Griechen ) is a publication of an incomplete book by Friedrich Nietzsche. He had a clean copy made from his notes with the intention of publication. The notes were written around 1873. In it he discussed… …   Wikipedia

  • intuition pump — Derogatory term for a thought experiment, especially one seeking to support a view by means of an analogy that is superficially compelling but more fundamentally doubtful. For example, one might compare all human action to the mechanical… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Philosophy of mathematics — The philosophy of mathematics is the branch of philosophy that studies the philosophical assumptions, foundations, and implications of mathematics. The aim of the philosophy of mathematics is to provide an account of the nature and methodology of …   Wikipedia

  • Philosophy of business — The Development of management theory and philosophy considers the fundamental principles that underlie the formation and operation of a business enterprise; the nature and purpose of a business, for example, is it primarily property or a social… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.