The Role of Intuition in the Scientific Method

This is a “tree” that shows where intuition fits, historically, into the sciences and how the sciences are actually offspring or children of philosophy.

Image result for image of the branches of philosophy tree

All intellectual disciplines start with Philosophy.  Ph.D. behind a person’s name means Doctor of Philosophy no matter what field their major is.  Its namesake is Philo of Alexandria who was a Hellenistic Jew who wanted to create harmony, maybe in a contrived fashion?, between Judaism and Greek Philosophy.

  1. Logic-the attempt to codify the rules of rational thought.  Here is where formal, informal, symbolic, and mathematical logic fits.
  2. Epistemology-the study of knowledge itself, which to me sounds like gazing at your navel.  Religionists, agnostics, and atheists exist on this spectrum. Here is where all the branches of religion fit.
  3. Metaphysics-the study of the nature of things. This one is my favorite, of course, being holistic. Branches are cosmology and ontology. Here is where all of the natural sciences fit under cosmology. The life sciences, physical science, physics, astronomy, chemistry, earth.  If these are subdivided, they are fields.
  4. Axiology is the philosophical study of value. It is either the collective term for ethics and aesthetics, philosophical fields that depend crucially on notions of worth, or the foundation for these fields and thus similar to value theory and meta-ethics. Ethics and Aesthetics are it’s two main branches.  On the chart, the box that says Ethics could say Axiology.  Here is where all law science, art, and aesthetics fit. 

Intuition comes under ontology and metaphysics, then down to philosophy of mind, then down to the philosophy of psychology.  You’ll see it sits right on the shelf with the philosophy of science equally. It then goes down that track and merges under the philosophy of science track with the science of psychology.  Psychology is a SCIENCE that comes from the philosophy of mind.  So, let’s have some respect here.  It’s not in a mushy bog.  It has to get through the rigors of the scientific method as well.

You’ll notice the five categories under the philosophy of science. There is a biased preponderance on this category, I believe due to Newtonian materialism. That is shifting now. The field of quantum physics is impressing on all the science categories now and shaking them up. In addition, that one field is also impacting the philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, AND the parent field of Metaphysics. So give the quantum physicists all the ribbing you want. Those folks are on the leading edge. More power to them.

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