What is Intuitive Knowledge?

What Does Intuitive Knowledge Mean

By intuitive knowledge or intuitive thinking we usually refer to the forms of immediate knowledge that do not come from rational and conscious processes , that is, they are obtained without prior analysis and reasoning , but are the result of certain unconscious processes that we usually call intuition .



Intuitive thinking is generally fast, agile, and is linked to creativity , so that it is not usually known “where it comes from”, that is, it is dark, hermetic. Therefore, it is not always considered as a valid way of thinking , especially in formal settings, although when it comes to solving problems it is as valid as any other.

Intuition has been a field of study for psychology and the theory of knowledge , and although it is often linked to pseudosciences and occult explanations, its presence in the human brain is undeniable. It is simply due to unconscious processes , rather than supernatural perceptions .

Intuitive knowledge characteristics

Intuitive knowledge, as we said above, is part of the informal, often inexplicable, forms of knowing that flow rapidly and without prior analysis. We often become aware of their existence when faced with novel situations .

Intuitive knowledge is usually obtained from similar , or remotely similar, past situations , so that the individual manages to make a kind of creative deduction to solve the problem that is presented to him.

Intuitive knowledge usually manifests itself in moments of risk , pressure or immediacy, in which there is no time margin for reasoning or evaluation. It occurs in the form of immediate or creative spontaneous or logical actions.

It can help you: Logical thinking

Examples of intuitive knowledge

Some examples of intuitive knowledge are:

  • The empathy often operates on intuitive knowledge, when we can know the mood of a person not to know it beforehand, or without any explicit manifestations of sentimentality (crying, screaming in pain, etc.).
  • In risky situations, intuitive knowledge gives us a survival advantage , allowing us an immediate reaction or a second of doubt before taking action. For example, when they offer us a drink and something tells us not to drink it, it may be our intuition deducing something strange in the environment and alerting us to the danger.
  • When we have carried out a task for a long time, or we are familiar with some type of activity that is easily given to us, it is more common to observe intuitive knowledge appear: we are so used to the task that if we are given a different one, we can apply its patterns to the new and deduce things before they are explained to us.

Importance of intuitive knowledge

Intuitive knowledge allows us to distrust seemingly harmless situations.

Intuitive thinking and intuitive knowledge are forms of reasoning closely linked to the subconscious and to our irrational aspects. This is precisely why they have a certain speed and freedom in our minds.

This means that they are primitive but functional ways of thinking and learning , part of our animal aspect, or simply our less visible mental scheme. In any case, it is a form of knowledge that will always be available, even if we lack formal and rational education .

Intuitive knowledge and rational knowledge

Intuitive knowledge is often opposed to rational knowledge, insofar as the latter is not speedy and unconscious, but more leisurely and visible, conscious .

In addition, rational knowledge is the result of an effort to accumulate information , deduce new data from the premises and reach logical, replicable, demonstrable conclusions . If the intuitive knowledge is formed in secret, the rational one instead needs training, training and practice , depending on what it is.

Other types of knowledge

Other types of knowledge are:

  • Religious knowledge . It is linked to the mystical and religious experience, that is, to the knowledge that studies the link between the human being and the divine.
  • Scientific knowledge . It is derived from the application of the scientific method to the different hypotheses that arise from the observation of reality , in order to be able to demonstrate through experiments what are the laws that govern the universe .
  • Empirical knowledge . It is acquired through direct experience, repetition or participation, without requiring an approach to the abstract, but from the things themselves.
  • Philosophical knowledge . It is detached from human thought, in the abstract, using various logical methodsor formal reasoning, which is not always directly detached from reality, but from the imaginary representation of reality.
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