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Feeling vs. intuition

January 14, 2009

From Creative Critical Inquiry, Fall 2008:

1. Are feeling and intuition better guides to behavior than reasoning? Are feeling and intuition the same thing? How are feeling and intuition different from reasoning?
The first question cannot be answered with a yes or no answer (based on the information given in this assignment) because no evidence is offered, such as laboratory experiments, surveys, and statistics.

The second question can be answered by definition. Merriam-Webster Online defines intuition as: “1: quick and ready insight. 2 a: immediate apprehension or cognition b: knowledge or conviction gained by intuition. c: the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference.”

Feeling is defined as:

“1 a (1): one of the basic physical senses of which the skin contains the chief end organs and of which the sensations of touch and temperature are characteristic : touch  (2): a sensation experienced through this sense b: generalized bodily consciousness or sensation c: appreciative or responsive awareness or recognition

2 a: an emotional state or reaction b: susceptibility to impression : sensitivity

3 a: the undifferentiated background of one’s awareness considered apart from any identifiable sensation, perception, or thought b: the overall quality of one’s awareness c: conscious recognition : sense

4 a: often unreasoned opinion or belief : sentiment b: presentiment

5: capacity to respond emotionally especially with the higher emotions

6: the character ascribed to something : atmosphere

7 a: the quality of a work of art that conveys the emotion of reason, the artist b: sympathetic aesthetic response.”  

Reasoning, on the other hand, is defined as: “2 a  (1): the power of comprehending, inferring, or thinking especially in orderly rational ways.”

So the difference between reasoning and feeling and intuition is that during the process of reasoning one is aware that one is using one’s knowledge to make a judgment whereas with feeling and intuition one is unaware of where one’s response comes from.

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