In philosophy, the power of obtaining knowledge that is not or cannot be acquired either by inference or observation. As such, intuition is thought of as an original, independent source of knowledge, since it is designed to account for just those kinds of knowledge that other sources do not provide. Knowledge of some necessary truths and basic moral principles is sometimes explained in this way. A technical sense of intuition, deriving from Immanuel Kant, refers to immediate acquaintance with individual entities; intuition (Anschauung) in this sense may be empirical (e.g., consciousness of sense-data) or pure (e.g., consciousness of space and time a priori as forms of all empirical intuitions). As conceived by Benedict de Spinoza and Henri Bergson, intuition is taken to be concrete knowledge of the world as an interconnected whole, as contrasted with the piecemeal, “abstract” knowledge obtained by science and observation.
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