When should we discard explanations that are intuitively appealing? Intuition is a moment of insight when one makes decisions without going through any conscious or deliberate process of reasoning. The process of intuition isn’t fully understood, sometimes referred to as a ‘gut feeling and it is a phenomenon which can only be explained by the sub-conscious, or by accepting that sometimes knowledge is not procured by an active systematic process.
There are several types of intuition – core intuitions, subject specific intuitions and social intuitions. While it might seem that intuition is only the spur of a moment phenomena, it is affected by our emotional, the conditioning we have received, and prior experiences with the issue. We use intuition everyday, but at time it is possible that intuition cannot be sufficient to Justify our knowledge (you have to reference this, a lot of it doesn’t sound like your own ideas).
I feel that to examine this issue, we must determine the role of intuition in the process of gaining knowledge, and for this reason I have chosen to explore the knowledge issue: To what extent can intuition be regarded as a way of knowing in subject specific areas? I firmly believe that in certain cases relying on intuition would be unwise and should be ignored, such as while dealing with financial problems like the stock market. Famous people who have won a lot of money in the stock market make claims suggesting their decisions are based solely on intuition.
But what role do their previous experiences play in determining their perception? If, for example, they had to choose between investing in either of one of two companies, their decision would to be based only on intuition, but based on past records and future forecasts of the respective companies, and they would not be making random guesses, but informed decisions, hence using a deductive process, even if only passively, to arrive at the most favorable outcome. Sometimes one may claim something to be influenced by intuition simply because there is no physical evidence to support their decision.
The case of George Sorts can be used to explain this. He was a Hungarian investor, who risked $10 billion on a single currency speculation at the expense of the GAP, which earned out to be correct, earning him $1 billion. At first look this may seem to be a case purely on intuition, but there were several factors that went into making him decisions, based on his knowledge of the issue as gained through logic. (I’m not sure exactly how to say this, but use the example for intuition) Intuition should be ignored in the cases where one does not have prior knowledge about a subject.
But there is a possible logic behind making these intuitive decisions. High risk means high reward, and going by that logic, intuition can be fruitful (l don’t understand this? Albert Einstein said that humans utilize only 10% of their brain power. So could intuition be a manifestation of the rest of the 90% of our brains? Kluge, a scientist, discovered the structure of benzene while being asleep. He claimed that while working on this mysterious structure, he fell asleep and a serpent curled itself around its tail, representing the correct structure of the benzene molecule.
Furthermore, Rumanian was a Mathematician who greatly credited his explanations on intuition. But it is interesting to see that these professionals only give explanations by intuition n their respective fields. Does this mean that knowledge was in their inner- benzene before his intuition helped him. So his intuition was not random; he was prepared for it to come. Prior knowledge as well as good concentration is required while succumbing to explanations based on intuition. This is expert intuition. Intuition affecting the perception of those who aren’t well informed about a subject should be discarded.
Very often, something may Just seem to be correct, and the layman may be inclined to accept it even without any investigation or process of evidence. For instance, before Charles Darning’s theory of evolution, people were content to believe that there was no common ancestry between species and they were independent. Such groundbreaking theories often challenge the foundation of our intuition, proving through a scientific method of observation, hypothesizing and procuring results that intuition may be very easy to accept, but can sometimes lead to fallacious reasoning, and cannot be trusted.
There has to be a proper system of being able to question and validate intuition. But intuition can be affected by ones inner beliefs too. So what role does imbibed beliefs play in intuition? For example, Hindus consider buying gold to be auspicious during a certain time period in the year. Shouldn’t intuition be ignored in such cases, which lack reason or logic? When it comes to core intuition, we needn’t discard explanations that are intuitively appealing because everyone has different intuitions. For example, my mother says “l believe in god because she can feel his presence. Her intuition had led her to believe that she s pervaded by the presence of god, and it makes her feel secure. People have varied explanations regarding the existence of god but why should one discard their explanation in such scenarios since there is nothing subjective which everyone agrees to. At times like this our emotions and perspectives have a large degree to play in our intuition, and these are likely to vary within cultures, age groups and sex. So for this reason while Hindus may believe in the auspicious time to buy gold, this may be discarded by those of another religion.
In this case however, I feel we can rely n intuition as a way of knowing, because we are not attempting to gain knowledge about the physical world around us, but concepts that cannot be explained in any other way. We can accept them because the question of god is something that will affect our personal life, and can coexist with someone else’s belief on what affects their own life and decisions. Also at times, when people make decisions (randomly) and the outcome was how they desired it, they call it intuition when it was actually Just simple probability. (l don’t get this point in context? Add it somewhere else)