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Synthesis and intuition



 

What has all this to do with a grand synthesis  of science philosophy and politics? Intellect analyzes and divides. Intuition sees things as a unified whole. Intellect is like a von Neumann computer  and intuition a neural net  . The former works with a well defined sequence of steps. The latter recognizes connections, not through a linear process, but by observing the situation as a whole. Synthesis requires intuition both to do and to comprehend. To get beyond the current situation we must begin to understand the marvelous creations of intellect at an intuitive level. We must begin to synthesize these in a way that creates a deeper meaning.

The great advantage of intellect is that it gets results. We may make great intuitive leaps but far more likely than not we fall flat on our face. This puts intuition at a disadvantage. It is why many of the achievements of science required a discipline that constrains intuition and forces it to be the servant of intellect. To develop intuition as a force in its own right as a coequal of intellect and to still discipline it so that what it leads us to can be of practical value is the great problem we now face. For only an ascendency of intuition can reverse the downward spiral excessive reliance on intellect has begun.

This synthesis aims for practical results. It is not enough to synthesize. One must show why the synthesis is important. Only if intuition, not independent of intellect but playing a leading role, can produce important results will it be able to achieve coequal status with intellect. My intuition has led be to new approaches to the foundations of mathematics (Chapter gif and Appendix gif and quantum mechanics (Chapter gif and Appendix gif). Ultimately the success or failure of those approaches will do more to vindicate or repudiate the intuition that led to them than any of my arguments.

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