Quotes on intuition
These quotes on emotion will help you to explore its nature, form links with other WOKs and AOKs, and provide discussion points for TOK lessons. They will also support you as you address knowledge questions within your TOK essay and TOK presentation.
- What do the quotes suggest about the role intuition plays in our acquisition of knowledge?
- Are the quotes consistent, or do they clash about the role it plays as a way of knowing, and its relationship with others WOKs and AOKs?
- Can you think of other ways of knowing and areas of knowledge that these quotes relate to?
- How many of these thinkers are you familiar with? Research the ones you haven’t come across before – and, indeed, the ones you think you already know. Click on the names to take you to the corresponding Wikipedia article, although this should only be used as a starting point for your research.
Finally, how would you use the quotes to construct a typical IB Diploma TOK essay title? Look at previous TOK essay titles, and see if you can compose something similar (and think about how you’d go about structuring it).
1. The nature of intuition
The only real valuable thing is intuition.
Intuition and concepts constitute… the elements of all our knowledge, so that neither concepts without an intuition in some way corresponding to them, nor intuition without concepts, can yield knowledge.
Intuition is the clear conception of the whole at once.
Johann Kaspar Lavater
Sex and beauty are inseparable, like life and consciousness. And the intelligence which goes with sex and beauty, and arises out of sex and beauty, is intuition.
D. H. Lawrence
No matter how deep a study you make. What you really have to rely on is your own intuition and when it comes down to it, you really don’t know what’s going to happen until you do it.
Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.
2. Intuition and faith
3. Intuition and reason
An absolute can only be given in an intuition, while all the rest has to do with analysis.
Intuition is a suspension of logic due to impatience.
Rita Mae Brown
The two operations of our understanding, intuition and deduction, on which alone we have said we must rely in the acquisition of knowledge.
4. Intuition and the arts
As you see, I do not treat the creation of fiction, that to say the invention and development of fantasies, as a form of abstract thought. I don’t wish to deny the uses of the intellect, but sometimes one has the intuition that the intellect by itself will lead one nowhere.
J. M. Coetzee
I have trusted to my intuition to find the subjects, and I have written intuitively. I have an idea when I start, I have a shape; but I will fully understand what I have written only after some years.
V. S. Naipaul
5. Intuition and the human sciences
Intuition becomes increasingly valuable in the new information society precisely because there is so much data.
6. Intuition and mathematics
Mathematics as an expression of the human mind reflects the active will, the contemplative reason, and the desire for aesthetic perfection. Its basic elements are logic and intuition, analysis and construction, generality and individuality.
Thus, in a sense, mathematics has been most advanced by those who distinguished themselves by intuition rather than by rigorous proofs.
Mathematical reasoning may be regarded rather schematically as the exercise of a combination of two facilities, which we may call intuition and ingenuity.
7. Intuition and the natural sciences
It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.
When a scientist is ahead of his times, it is often through misunderstanding of current, rather than intuition of future truth. In science there is never any error so gross that it won’t one day, from some perspective, appear prophetic.