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What is Intuition?

(This was an answer on quora.com that was sent back for work and I just posted it here.)

The previous answers grapple with clear senses of the concept ‘intuition’, but I will attempt to discuss the concept more broadly.

I will argue that asserting ‘intuition’ to be synonymous with a form of ‘prediction’ is inaccurate. Intuition is at the very least a faculty of the mind. Beyond that, ‘intuition’ refers to a faculty of the mind that we (to this day) find very mysterious (every term I use is a technical term). Beyond that, this ‘faculty’ is undoubtedly very deep and dear to each of us qua person/individual/self. My final conclusion will be that: ‘Intuition’ (qua faculty) can safely be considered synonymous with one’s ‘Guardian Angel’. More details to follow.

If we want to remain safely naturalistic, ‘prediction’ is a form of calculation. If my senses are attuned, most people won’t be happy considering ‘intuition’ a form of ‘calculation’ (neither am I). For all intents and purposes (a tall claim follows), intuition is fruitfully comparable to (what I will call) short-hand thinking. At this rough and ready level, our experience frequently finds analogy in “reading the signs”.

Which leads me to the mystery of ‘intuition': This mysteriousness arises when people (ordinary people) attempt to explain these thought processes. Another will ask, “How did you know that?” and you will reply “I don’t know”. Implicit to this exchange is a pat-on your higher faculties’ backs (howsoever we decide to define ‘higher faculties’). Forgive my mysterianistic treatment, but mysteries must be treated with mysterianism (among other modes of approach).

As I am attempting to breach the physical barrier and discuss each and everyone’s experience, readers may be justifiably speechless at levels of such intimacy. Intuition can also be safely considered an “inner dialogue” of sorts. Some call it a dialog with ones own “Guardian Angel”, some call it “luck”.