Intuition and Knowledge Acquisition

Definition of Intuition: a phenomenon of the mind that describes the ability to acquire knowledge without active cognitive inference, or the use of reason. The processes by which intuition occurs are typically unknown to the thinker, as opposed to the view of rational thinking.

Intution and Knowledge acquisition per Immanuel Kant: all knowledge is knowledge in pure forms of intuition. Intuition is not Empirical, (knowledge cannot be gleaned from sensual experience or experiment alone) but only through an immediate consciously aware objective understanding of the nature of something.

John Locke, David Hume and other mechanical Materialists, believed that the object (material reality, nature) was reality in itself, as we humans are but a passive receptacle acquiring our knowledge without any internal subjectivity.

Baruch Spinoza, Georg Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer and other Idealists, believed that only through the human mind of the subject knowledge could be gleaned, either passively or actively.

Kant, wanting to clarify the two ideas of knowledge acquisition, and asked the questions; what we can know, and how we can know it. (Epistemology: the theory of knowledge or cognition, and its acquisition)

So the Materialists, put their faith of knowledge acquisition into the empirical or sensual experiential corner, believing we derive all of our knowledge from observing the real world. 

From an early age, we see things, we listen, we touch, and so on. Gradually, we build up a picture of the world in which we live. This kind of knowledge is the knowledge of sense-perception. For empiricists like Locke, there is no other kind. 

Kant’s conclusion:

In getting to know the world, the mind is not merely an empty vessel, which can be filled with any content. The act of cognition is not passive, but active. We do not simply make a list of the things we see, but consciously select, order and interpret them. For this, the mind has its own method and rules. There are forms of thought which we apply, consciously or unconsciously, when we attempt to understand the information provided by our senses (“sense data”).

My Thoughts

Cognition can be either active or passive, aware or unaware, depending on the individual and their state of mind in any particular moment. Cognition is mediated by ones fundamental beliefs, or overall worldview. 

Egoism, fueled by fear, is the act of becoming unaware and seeking to actively block and automate ones interpretation of experience to fit into an increasingly rigid, and apparently safe and secure framework so as to minimize the rate of change and the discordant feelings associated with acquiring any contrary knowledge.

Through the adoption or by unawarely assuming of rules from the external and the subsequent formation of internal unconscious brain looping circuits, we can ironically forgo consciously active cognition in an attempt to conserve psychic energy required for survival and coping strategies, when in a hostile environment, such as our own overly marketed, materialistic, legalistic, competitive, loveless conformed culture.

Kant argues that there are two kinds of knowledge: 
1. Most knowledge is derived from sensory experience.
2. Part of our knowledge is a priori (exists prior to experience, from the beginning), and is not derived from experience. 

In Kant’s opinion, we can only know what is given to us through our sensual experiences.

However, the things themselves, which cause our sensations, cannot be known. 

Things outside of ourselves certainly exist, but they manifest themselves to us only in appearance, not as they are in themselves. These ideas are not derived from sense-perception. 
Kant claimed that some knowledge was inborn, namely, the knowledge of space and time. 

If we remove all aspects of physical phenomena, we are left with just two things—time and space. Space and Time, together with Motion, are the most general and fundamental properties of matter. 

My Thoughts

Kant uses the term knowledge generically for an understanding of, not in the higher sense of deeper Integral truths.

I would divide his first type of experiential knowledge into two forms:

Passive Knowledge, or an understanding of particular individual objects, as opposed to

Integrated Knowledge, or the higher understanding of how objects fit into and contribute to the whole, which then allows for an Intuitive understanding of ones broadening perspective. This would also include the assimilation of ones unconscious into a broadening conscious awareness and similar to Jung’s Trascendent Function.

Space, Time, and Gravity are then the most fundamental aspects of our physical universe, as Gravity causes matter to move within the fabric of Space and Time, and in fact can effect Space-Time itself as Gravity increases or decreases in magnitude. Absent these a priori aspects of nature, we could not sensually experience anything in the first place, as they are all required before matter itself can form and be set into motion. Kant was not privy to the inner workings of Space-Time in the 18th century.

We come to an understand our material world, through material objects and their relations to one another, in different ways which would correlate with my Passive and Integrated Knowledge forms.

Relative Lens (passive), where one compares and contrasts objects noticing there external differences, and then arranges them into groups, decides what they prefer and don’t prefer, and then arranges the objects into hierarchies of relative good and bad. (a judgemental posture). This form would be employed by a more conformed or egocentric individual. This mindset fosters a maladaptive Imbalanced internal focus, which leads to internal conflicts which preclude the individual from actively acquiring new knowledge. External Locus of control.
Focusing Lens (active), where one senses, feels, and thinks about objects both as particular entities, but also via an increasing intuitive capacity, synthesizes newly acquired knowledge into a wholistic integrated knowledge base. This form would be employed by a growth oriented individual, and buttress an increasing ability to intuit accurately.
Concepts that relate to Intuition:

Discernment: the act of externally sensually perceiving, or internally through the intellect, Seeing, recognizing or apprehending an insight.

Apprehend: to grasp the meaning of, to understand, especially intuitively.

Cognition: the act or process of knowing 

To revisit and redefine the defintion of Intuition as defined at the beginning:

Intuition is a phenomena of the human brain, that can be harnessed through an assimilated and Integrated psyche (conscious and unconscious), that when consciously aware an individual may actively focus their intention on objects and discern how they interrelate to the whole.

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