Intuition and the Creation of a Better World

Noddings, Nel & Shore, Paul J.

An intuitive mode that is intellectually oriented is characteristically directed toward understanding or insight. This orientation is contrasted with analytic modes, which are product-goal oriented. The methods we use in an intuitive mode are selected with the hope of reaching a deeper understanding of the situation we are in. Even the algorithms we use are applied heuristically. If this is the right method, we say, then we shall arrive at the right answer. If the result is unsatisfactory, we discard the algorithm as inappropriate. If the result is satisfactory, we still return to the original situation to reflect on the source of this satisfaction. Why did it work? Will it work again? With what limitations? The quest is for meaning, understanding, enlightenment. Success in an analytic mode is realized in an answer: a proof, a numerical result, a sustained hypothesis, a finished poem. Success in an intuitive mode is realized in seeing, creating a picture in our minds, understanding.

Nel Noddings & Paul J. Shore, Awakening the Inner Eye: Intuition in Education. New York, Teachers College Press, 1984. Pp. 80 - 81

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