“The Science of “Intuition”

“these days cognitive scientists think of intuition as a set of nonconscious cognitive and affective processes; the outcome of these processes is often difficult to articulate and is not based on deliberate thinking, but it’s real and (sometimes) effective nonetheless. It was William James, the father of modern psychology, who first proposed the idea that cognition takes place in two different modes, and his insight anticipated modern so-called dual theories of cognition. Intuition works in an associative manner: it feels effortless (even though it does use a significant amount of brain power), and it’s fast. Rational thinking, on the contrary, is analytical, requires effort, and is slow. Why, then, would we ever want to use a system that makes us work hard and doesn’t deliver rapid results? Think of it this way: intuitions, contrary to much popular lore, are not infallible. Cognitive scientists treat them as quick first assessments of a given situation, as provisional hypotheses in need of further checking…
Intuition is a domain-specific ability, so that people can be very intuitive about one thing (say, medical practice, or chess playing) and just as clueless as the average person about pretty much everything else. Moreover, intuitions get better with practice — especially with a lot of practice — because at bottom intuition is about the brain’s ability to pick up on certain recurring patterns”

I feel like this is a thing like emotionality that has been de-valued by the limiting parts of enlightenment thinking (or something — recently listened to an interview in which a Berkeley law professor suggested that whiteness was an idea of humanity that was constructed during the enlightenment and then imposed on various populations. I googled it and I gather this isn’t some revolutionary idea and its referred to as “the enlightenment project” and there are people who are saying it mis-represents the Enlightenment, and I should probably try to read a book on it, but whatever until then I will use the idea for my own means).

Anyway, realizing all the ways this feeds into the magical-brown-person trope, and how much those tropes have led me to be uncomfortable with any intuitive aspects of my cognition and how much I doubt my immediate reaction to things and how much I live in a society that doesn’t trust my intuitions.

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