Intuition


Why are some people considered more intuitive than others? Are there certain things that you have to know prior to being able to learn anything at all? Should you trust your intuition?

Intuition is sometimes described as immediate cognition, or knowledge which is immediately evident without prior inference, evidence or justification. Intuition is often contrasted with reason, as it is regarded as knowing without the use of rational processes. Jung (Psychologische Typen 1921) famously referred to intuition as perception via the unconscious, highlighting the idea that intuition is often seen as beliefs which are known without understanding how they are known.

Intuition is sometimes associated with the concepts of instinct and innate knowledge. For example, some would argue that although we do not have innate knowledge of any particular language, we have an intuitive capacity to use language. Intuition has been much discussed in the field of ethics in terms of whether we have moral intuition, or a kind of innate sense of right and wrong. It is also seen by some to play an important role in scientific advances.

To know something by intuition is to know something through introspection or an immediate awareness. In this way, some argue that it is impossible to justify, or that as it is immediately evident it requires no further justification. Some people are regarded as more intuitive than others, with intuitive people often being said to make quick instinctive decisions without having any identifiable rationale for those decisions. However, some have denied the existence of intuition as a separate way of knowing. For example, it has been suggested that intuition is a term which is often used to describe a combination of other ways of knowing, such as prior experience, heightened sense perception and an active imagination.