Intuitive Rationalism

Written: Dec. 19th, 2020 Approx Reading Time: 2 mins

These are my current thoughts from my third philosopher deep dive: David Hume.

Keep in mind I have a bias towards using intuition and I'm still thinking through a lot of these thoughts. I've been documenting my post philosopher deep dive thoughts to see the progression in my overtime.

This will be a different style article. My intention is to get straight to the point on my thoughts from learning about Hume's philosophy over the past two weeks. Usually, I use a lot of storytelling.

We Can Only Conceive From What We Know

The main reinforcement I had from my Hume deep dive was that we can only conceive from what we know.

We conceive based off of the experiences we've had and the data points we've collected.

Collect more data points = more breadth to conceive thoughts from

One thing I've been thinking about is whether this is always the case.

This is a what if but I'm an existentialist so here we go:

💭What if from the data points we have we are able to conceive of other data points if we assort them in the right way?

I suppose this could still be conceiving from what we know but maybe we don't need to seek all the data points maybe once we have a good breadth of pieces we can come up with thoughts we wouldn't think we could.

For example, when we dream (from what I understand) we sometimes conceive of crazy worlds, people, things that don't exist or we haven't seen before. Again this would likely come from the data points we have already but I think it's interesting how we can conceive of unknown things. I've had some dreams where I conceived of things that were unknown at the time and they ended up happening later on. I have this thought on intuition that can further explain my thoughts on how we might not have to always actively eek data points.

Rationalism and Intuition Go Hand-In-Hand

Relating to the ability to conceive of thoughts off of data points we don't have. Learning about and discussing Hume's philosophy has led me to question what intuition is.

At the moment, here's some thoughts I have:

  • Rationalism is based on a lot of intuition which I first defined as the unconscious processing of data points we have. It manifests as a feeling we have (e.g. gut feeling to do or not do something) but it stems from that unconscious processing.
  • Intuition is still a sense of rationalizing. It's just subconscious or without much evidence.
  • Rationalism isn't necessarily more right. It just makes more sense or is more thought out intuitive thoughts.
  • Off of these thoughts ⬆ —> rationalism and intuition go hand-in-hand. They are both good thinking models but the difference is the processing of our data points (conscious thinking through = rational, unconscious processing = intuitive).
  • My thought trail changed a bit and I started to wonder if intuition is a separate entity. I asked: what if intuition is an evolutionary sixth sense we've developed?
    • Kind of like echolocation or other ways animals communicate.
    • Intuition then might be data points we didn't seek out. They just came to us. Information from the energy in a place, other people's thoughts/senses, etc. Maybe it is just information ingrained in our DNA. Survival instinct.
  • Intuition makes a lot of sense to me to follow when it sets in. I think there is more reasoning to it than we know and that it may come from external inputs we haven't looked into much.

My conclusion from my two week Hume learning focus is that intuition has a lot of utility to it. There is intuition behind rationalism and rationalism behind intuition. I also think there is more to intuition than just emotions and it would be interesting to learn more about it or for it to be researched deeper.

Written by @astro_adara in December 2020.