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Interesting facts about intuition

Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without recourse to conscious reasoning.

As such, intuition is thought of as an original, independent source of knowledge, since it is designed to account for just those kinds of knowledge that other sources do not provide. Knowledge of necessary truths and of moral principles is sometimes explained in this way.

Intuition, as a gut feeling based on experience, has been found to be useful for business leaders for making judgement about people, culture and strategy. Such an example likens intuition to “gut feelings” and when viable illustrate preconscious activity.

The word “intuition” comes from the Latin verb intueri translated as “consider” or from the late middle English word intuit, “to contemplate”.

The first use of the word intuition was found in a text at the end of the 15th century. Until the 17th century intuition meant “mentally looking at” – “the act of regarding, examining, or inspecting” – “a view, regard, or consideration of something”, all of which are now obsolete meanings.

In 17th century scholastic philosophers started to use the word in its modern meaning, as in the following context: “the spiritual perception or immediate knowledge, ascribed to angelic and spiritual beings, with whom vision and knowledge are identical.”

Early mentions and definitions of intuition can be traced back to Plato. In his book Republic he tries to define intuition as a fundamental capacity of human reason to comprehend the true nature of reality. In his works Meno and Phaedo, he describes intuition as a pre-existing knowledge residing in the “soul of eternity”, and a phenomenon by which one becomes conscious of pre-existing knowledge.

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 time. For Kant, then, intuition refers to the mental forms in which we perceive external phenomena (time and space). It has nothing to do with intuitive understanding as it is generally understood.

According to Sigmund Freud, knowledge could only be attained through the intellectual manipulation of carefully made observations and rejected any other means of acquiring knowledge such as intuition, and his findings could have been an analytic turn of his mind towards the subject.

In Carl Jung’s theory of the ego, described in 1916 in Psychological Types, intuition is an “irrational function”, opposed most directly by sensation, and opposed less strongly by the “rational functions” of thinking and feeling. Jung defined intuition as “perception via the unconscious”: using sense-perception only as a starting point, to bring forth ideas, images, possibilities, ways out of a blocked situation, by a process that is mostly unconscious.

When asked about the source of his genius, Albert Einstein had no doubts. “I believe in intuitions and inspirations. I sometimes feel that I am right. I do not know that I am,” he told the Saturday Evening Post in 1929. It was much better to trust those instincts and test them later than to dismiss them out of hand, he said.

Buddhism finds intuition to be a faculty in the mind of immediate knowledge and puts the term intuition beyond the mental process of conscious thinking, as the conscious thought cannot necessarily access
subconscious information, or render such information into a communicable form.

Intuition is thought as the sixth sense (there are five basic senses). Recent scientific research has found some evidence for the existence of this sixth sense.

A well-known statement about the way our brain works is due to the renowned Neuropsychologist and Neurobiologist Roger Wolcott Sperry. According to him, intuition is a right-brain activity while factual and
mathematical analysis is a left-brain activity.

According to the latest research, the quality of someone’s gut instincts may depend on their overall emotional intelligence (EI). And by learning to increase our EI, we may therefore strengthen our intuitive decision-making.

Researchers in artificial intelligence are trying to add intuition to algorithms – as the “fourth generation of AI”, this can be applied to many industries, especially finance. One example of artificial intuition is
AlphaGo Zero, which used neural networks and was trained with reinforcement learning from a blank slate. In another example, ThetaRay partnered with Google Cloud to use artificial intuition for anti-money laundering purposes.

Intuition Peak in Antarctica is so named “in appreciation of the role of scientific intuition for the advancement of human knowledge.”

“Intuition is seeing with the soul.” ― Dean Koontz

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