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Perrr333 comments on Your intuitions are not magic - Less Wrong

65 Post author: Kaj_Sotala 10 June 2010 12:11AM

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Comment author: [deleted] 10 February 2015 01:10:26AM 0 points [-]

I think this article doesn't quite appreciate the full role intuitions play in science. It seems to me that intuitions help shape science in large ways. For instance, our intuitions that 'deduction works' and 'induction works' seems to stop all of us from turning into Cartesian sceptics, and preventing any science. Intuitions (and philosophical arguments) about metaphysics shape the basis of acceptable hypotheses within physics. Intuitions about what makes a scientific theory good/explanatory/falsified shape how science proceeds. Intuitions also serve to define concepts we have. If I remember correctly, in the Newtonian era, mass was not analysed in terms of anything else. It was a primitive concept in Newton's physics, and it was defined intuitively. Nowadays, modern physics has analysed concepts in terms of more and increasingly obscure concepts; but nevertheless, there is always a limit to what has been analysed in terms of what, and what remains is held, insofar as we know of it, as known primitively. That is, known intuitively.

I also have a question: Does this site in general take a negative view of heuristics humans have? I've seen various pages complaining about heuristics humans have, and not much about how helpful they are in keeping us all functioning.