Tok: Logic and Intuition

What is intuition? Our dictionaries define intuition as the ability of acquiring knowledge without a clear inference or the use of knowledge, without the use of any reasoning process. Intuition provides us with beliefs that we cannot necessarily justify. After analysing this definition we must ask ourselves if this definition is totally reliable, isn’t intuition directly connected with our personal experience? To what extent is intuition to be taken as seriously in the different areas of knowledge?

I think that personal experience is always present, we cannot think nor live without our personal experience which is always present in us, we cannot think without taking into account our experiences or feelings.

Intuition is a particular kind of feeling (emotion) that is often given as a source of knowledge. Intuitions are of course very different from emotions, but often they are seen of being more a matter of feeling than of thinking, which makes sense the following discussion and understanding of the subject.

Intuition is generally seen as the perfect moment in which you find the solution to a problem without the use of neither any conscious nor reasoning process. This change from not being able to resolve a problem and suddenly seeing the answer is quite mysterious and no one really understands how intuition works. People use intuition not only to describe flashes of creative insight but also we relate it to our “sixth sense” hunches about things.

As we have a very big range and variety, we must distinguish between different types of intuitions, we can classify them in three different: Core intuitions: our most fundamental intuitions about life, the universe and everything.

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Abstractly it could be argued that all of our knowledge is based on intuition, although it’s said that different ways of knowing such as perception and reason give us knowledge, they depend on intuition. Reason: The laws of logic are the starting point of all our reasoning, but if we were to justify, everybody would say that they are intuitively.

Perception: It is an important source of knowledge but we cannot have the evidence life is only a dream. Social intuitions: they are our intuitions about other people, what we say they are like, and whether or not it can be trusted. We cannot say that intuition is fallible, but we tend to be over-confident with intuition, which is particularly from social intuitions. We tend to put a lot of trust in our intuitions about other people and we pride ourselves on being good judges of a character.

However, the evidence suggests that our intuitions are not as good as we like to think. Subject-specific intuition: These are the intuitions we have in various areas of knowledge such as the different sciences, ethics, mathematics and the arts. Intuition plays an important role in all the areas of knowing; if we observe the TOK diagram and see the different areas we see that there is a relationship with intuition. The different areas are: Natural sciences, human sciences, history, arts, ethics and mathematics.

Although if we think that there isn’t a direct relationship by investigating we can see that intuition is always present. In relation to the different Natural sciences, we can consider Biology, Physics and ethics. Physics: According to a common believe that was traced by Aristotle, objects move only because we’ve pushed it, and that if we stop pushing it the object would also stop moving. For century’s people only thought that objects hit them because it was intuitively obvious.

However this belief turned to be false, since the first Newton’s law of motion that says that “every object continues in its state of rest or uniform motion unless acted upon it a force, and since we learned it a school we have no difficulty in accepting that this law was true, but is much far from obvious and in many respects could be intuitive, because, have we ever seen an object that moves and moved forever? There are many gaps like this one that gives us the sense intuition is present in physics. Biology: Two hundred years ago it was intuitively obvious that in the natural world verything had a purpose and since every different species had it’s own essence, no species could evolve into another one, but after that it was proved that species evolve to one and another, which tell us that intuition is also present in biology. Intuition can be related with many areas of knowledge, such as Mathematics, ethics, arts, history human and natural sciences. Regarding to mathematics what can we say about it? Mathematic knowledge relies mainly on reason, to show that things are true, but, are reason and intuition opposed the one to the other?

This is an assumption that we consider it true, which may necessarily not be truth, why should they be opposite and why do they deserve to be looked as if they actually oppose one another? Mathematics, with a quick view can be seen as if no intuition is present, since maths gives us solutions, answers, it’s said that it is rational, which opposes directly to the dictionary intuition’s definition (without relying on reason). I don’t totally agree on this assumption, for example, a clear example which in this class we are all familiar, Pythagoras. How did Pythagoras come up to his idea?

For sure he didn’t just ran around measuring triangles and simply got a relationship between their sides, of course he observed triangles, but he had an intuitive idea, a hunch, that there was a numeral relationship between the sides, which he later proved using reasoning. Regarding to history, what is history? History is the study of the past to understand the future, so, if by understanding patterns in the past as humans, we could possibly understand and stop dreadful events from happening, isn’t intuition present to state that the future will be a cause and act of the past, but isn’t this an illogical intuition that we do all the time?

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Tok: Logic and Intuition. (2017, Dec 28). Retrieved from

Tok: Logic and Intuition
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