Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Tug of Intuition, or, Intuition as Reason Smasher

I keep thinking about the role of intuition in our thought processes. Here's a passage from a recent NYTimes piece discussing two thought experiments about whether or not consciousness can be accounted for in a physical way.:
The logical possibility of a zombie-twin strikes most people as intuitively obvious: what could there be in my overall physical make-up that logically requires that I be conscious? (Even Daniel Dennett, who in the end denies the possibility of zombies, has noted the powerful “tug” of the idea and admits, “I can feel the tug as well as anybody.”)
Presumably the "tug" Dennett talks about is the tug of his intuition, which is at odds with the explicit reasoning he develops in the case. Where does that intuition come from? – that's what interests me. The point of such thought experiments seems to be to send such intuitions crashing into explicit reasoning that is to the contrary.

Here's an old post about intuition, and another one. Here's my own comments on those thought experiments. Perhaps I'll say a bit more about intuition in this context.


  1. Bill don't want to bore, been on a burn soaking up information like a sponge for the past couple of weeks (need a break for the evening ). Left a post on my site, just link to an article and references. You may have strayed across the theme already. But got me excited.

    Learned a new term, I find it seriously interesting, done no more than glance at back posts but it seems related. You may be familiar with subject already but you may find some of the references useful.

    Exciting stuff I think.


    Embodied Cognition, but nice short bibliography of development and movement in the subject.

    I find it exciting as I know that that this form of knowledge from science, experiment and observation works in a craft setting. Theoretical knowledge is of no use here it has to work and it is obvious when it does or does not.

    Never found a science subject so easy to read but it is easy to set the words in a very familiar context.

    This must be a way into looking at graffiti as well, think on the occasions I have watched people here spraying, its the movement, at speed (but you will know this). But you see the same thing you do, with people with my background, you are trained to note it, specific thing in movement that people do. At least I think that is what it is.

    But need to slow down, penny sort of dropped, what I have been thinking for a long time seems like it may be moving into language at speed.

  3. OK, yes, I'm familiar with the notion of embodied cognition and with some of the literature. Broadly speaking, that's what I do.

  4. What I was trained to look for, observe, use and replicate. But it seemed to have no use or value as a method,when I went on to study academically.Other than it is how I make sense of material and I suspected it may have been the same to some degree from performers and material I was looking at. But I had no expertise and was expected to use different methods.