Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Intuition Pumps

Intuition Pumps are Dan Dennett's term for thought experiments.  The basic idea is that they appeal to a person's philosophical intuition and not entirely to reason.  They can be useful logical tools, but they can also be misleading, implying that their analogy is complete in itself, leaving out other logical possibilities.

It seems that anymore, any expression or idea that has "feeling" somehow imbued within it, is no longer sound.  I admit, logic carries us a long way.  It has taken us to the moon, allowed incredible advances in medicine, politics and society, and in general, science is founded upon it.

However, the very act of hypothesis is itself intuitive until it becomes solidified in factual results.  The Latin "intuitio" means "to look at, consider".  Not that art cannot be logical, but so many aspects of inspiration, at least seem to come from outside of the walls of reason.  This is regardless of whether or not they can be formally expressed.  If everything can simply be reduced down to something biochemical, etc. then we become rote and entirely predictable more or less. I do not doubt Dan Dennett's idea, however, it seems that we must become machines in order to reach "perfection" as logical beings.  Perhaps this is a reductio ad absurdum, but this is what my intuition tells me.  ;)