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Introduction

"Evaluate the role of intuition in different areas of knowledge" Intuition being itself an abstract concept, evaluating its role in the different areas of knowledge is a very challenging task. The very act of such evaluation implies the use of the faculty of reason, whfich as we shall see implied in the definition of intuition, is the anti-thesis of intuition. Intuition has been defined in philosophy as a way of knowing or cognition independent of experience or reason. It implies knowing something instinctively without actual evidence of it. Terms, such as perception, insight, sixth sense, awareness, clairvoyance, hunch, etc. to be found in any thesaurus, attempt to indicate the various meanings of intuition. Among the ways of knowing, emotion and perception in relation to the knower appear to be relevant in respect of intuition. The concept of intuition appears to have originated from two sources; namely, the mathematical idea of an axiom, which is an area of knowledge in its own right, and the mystical idea of revelation. An axiom can be defined as a self-evident proposition that requires no proof, and revelation can be considered to be a truth that surpasses the power of the intellect. The dilemma here is that this very intellect is attempting to evaluate the role of intuition in the areas of knowledge. In Greek philosophy, Pythagoras and his followers, who were trained in mathematics, attached considerable significance to intuition. ...read more.

Middle

Two earlier estimates regarding the age of the earth as just several million years were toppled when the descriptive sciences of biology and geology were compelled to defer to the more exact science of physics, when radioactive dating revealed the earth's age to be a few billion years1. The philosopher John Locke did not believe in intuition or innate knowledge, while the early twentieth century Italian philosopher and statesman, Benedetto Croce, emphasized the importance of intuition in art and freedom of expression in the development of civilization. The often heard of phrase "all of a sudden, it hit me!" points to the experience of many artists and scientists when, after years of struggle with a problem or riddle, the answer erupted from their sub-conscious mind in a flash of recognition, in their finer moments of quietude following the futile and frustrating moments of their struggle to solve the problem. This experience is described as a stroke of lightning when reason and logic reached its limits and intuition took the person a step further. It is perhaps the creative part of the mind originating in the recesses of the sub-conscious revealing itself under the right circumstances. In 1999, the world chess champion, Garry Kasparov, had challenged chess enthusiasts everywhere through an internet project named "Kasparov versus the World". He had competed two highly publicized chess matches against Deep Blue, which was a super computer designed to play chess. ...read more.

Conclusion

All experiences must pass as thought processes of an individual. Until this process of becoming ceases, the pure being in itself can not reveal itself. Bereft of this constant shuttling between the past and the future, in the living reality of the present moment, which is the real unimagined experience of every person, where no thought prevails, the light of intuition may get an opportunity to shine by itself without the aberrance of the subject-object duality. Intuition is an extremely subjective experience, if it may be called an experience at all. It would be extremely difficult or almost impossible to understand or judge the intuition of another person. This poses a great difficult in verifying someone's claim to intuitive knowledge. Therefore, there is always a danger of false claims to intuitive knowledge. One comes to realize from the afore-mentioned discussion that even though intuition appears to pervade virtually all the areas of knowledge, its deeply interwoven connection with the emotional and spiritual dimension of knowledge renders an evaluation of its role in the areas of knowledge an exceedingly complex and daunting task. It is as subtle, profound and difficult to comprehend as the insight of the Sufi mystics and the oriental seers of yore like Lao Tzu and the "rishis" of the Upanishads. An attempt is made here to encapsulate freely the ideology of the Oriental philosophers of the Upanishads on the nexus between reason and intuition. Words: 1468 Foot notes 1. 1 Lawrence Badash, Professor, History of Science, The Age of the Earth Debate, Scientific American, Inc. (August 1989) 2. ...read more.

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