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Intuition: Cognitive Process Or Irrational Phenome

1443 words - 6 pages

A couple of months ago, after having been out with a couple of friends for the night, I returned home in the early hours of the morning, at around 3 am. I cautiously closed the door, and silently placed the car keys into the miniscule key-holder ashtray. I rapidly got changed, slipped into bed, and was soon fast asleep. The next morning, sitting at breakfast with my mother, she commented, "So, did you guys have fun last night?" "It was alright," I replied."And you were home by 1 as I asked you to," she inquired."Of course, mom." My reply was as innocently put as verbally and physically possible."Are you sure," she demanded."Yes. Weren't you awake when I came," I asked."Nope, fast asleep." ...view middle of the document...

The way in which we react in unpredictable situations, and the ease of our understanding of never-seen-before concepts is very often based on intuition. But what is this intuition based on?. It has been said that religious truths depend on intuition. Upon studying religious teachings, one is often confronted with numerous irrational, illogical happenings. Miracles and wonders are just a few of these. It is often only through intuition and faith that the followers of the respective religions accept this taught knowledge. Sometimes this "intuition" is perceived as a form of inexplicable godly inspiration, and there are people who insist that it is only through internal experience and senses that one can acquire true religious understanding. Ethical knowledge is often impossible to justify solely through logic and reason, yet is still widely accepted and followed. In a way, faith may well be explained as a form of divine intuition: a way of knowing something, without being able to explain how.Crisis situations are another example of when intuition, or "instincts" are used. Cognitive psychologist Gary Klein once noted about firefighters that, "Their minds move so rapidly when they make a high-pressure decision, they can't articulate how they did it…They can see what's going on in front of them, but not behind them." In other words, he is saying that in emergency situations, humans make logical decisions so quickly, that the conscious brain cannot follow. As a result, an explanation of the undertaken action is not possible. This theory clearly supports Germaine Greer's assertion.Germaine Greer's interpretation of intuition can only be utilized with certain limitations on its use in the different areas of knowledge. In areas such as Music, Drama, and Art, and Philosophy, intuition seems to be employed more frequently than others; however, not always according to Germaine Greer's definition. This is probably because they are fields which leave a lot of space for personal interpretation and are not regulated by many set rules which cannot be broken. For example, an artist may find his controversial piece of work intuitively very beautiful, and perhaps even based it on a subconscious inspiration, and no one would be able to argue this opinion. This is because the Areas of Knowledge mentioned above contain very subjective "truths" and opinions which may vary from person to person. In the Areas of Knowledge based more on reasoning, such as Mathematics and the Sciences, strong limitations are imposed on thought, and certain rules must be followed in order to come up with "true" theories. This can be seen especially in the field of Mathophysics where everything is based on the axioms of either Euclidean or non-Euclidean geometry. In fields such as these, one cannot just intuitively know an answer to a mathematical problem, but one has to follow the rules until the final product is...

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