Print Story POLL: are yuo intuitive?
Not everything has a name. Some things lead us into a reality beyond words... by means of art we are sometimes sent – dimly, briefly – revelations unattainable by reason.

- Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Of course, when I say intuition I mean chiefly as it pertains to mathematics - the angel of topology and the devil of algebra, proofs from the Book, and all that...

However, I understand that many amongst our number are nekulturny barbarians, for whom the indescribable beauty of mathematics does not sear the soul in every waking moment. Inexplicable though it may seem, they choose not revel in the ecstasy of this most heightened and distinguished of arts; they do not experience the almost painful pleasure of constantly rediscovering how much and how little one knows of the truth.

These infidels may interpret the poll in their own way - for example, as it pertains to social interactions, pseudoscientific Jung classification schemes, empathy, or the like.

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Solzhenitsyn quote by BlueOregon (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Sep 06, 2006 at 06:23:26 AM EST

The relevant part here, I find, is that he is invoking much earlier concepts of art/aesthetics -- the use of the words "dimly, briefly" echo the "clear but confused" of Descartes and Leibniz and the way such matters of (a)perception are discussed by later philosophers (up to Kant) -- note that in the "clear or obscure" distinction, there was nothing to be gained from the "obscure" direction.

The other direction for interpreting Solzhenitsyn is mysticism, but that's just, for the most part, Platonism with a new value system. I mention this (mysticism) because of the "revelations unattainable by reason" section, but that sort of formulation also shows up in considerably more rational(ist) philosophers. Anyway, this is just a rambling.

As for intuition (and math to an extent): Kant, Husserl, Merleau-Ponty.

I lose myself
In the jungle of words.

And find myself again
In the wonder
Of the word.

-- Rose Ausländer (loosely translated)

POLL: are yuo intuitive? | 1 comment (1 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback