Intuition: Cognitive Process or Irrational Phenome

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A couple of months ago, after having been out with a couple of friends for the night, I returned home in the early hours of the morning, at around 3 am. I cautiously closed the door, and silently placed the car keys into the miniscule key-holder ashtray. I rapidly got changed, slipped into bed, and was soon fast asleep. The next morning, sitting at breakfast with my mother, she commented, "So, did you guys have fun last night?" "It was alright," I replied.

"And you were home by 1 as I asked you to," she inquired.

"Of course, mom." My reply was as innocently put as verbally and physically possible.

"Are you sure," she demanded.

"Yes. Weren't you awake when I came," I asked.

"Nope, fast asleep." "Then why are you questioning the righteousness of my answer?" "Just a feeling…" I was baffled and awestruck. How on earth did this woman, who just happens to be my mother, ever get any doubts regarding the truth of my words, if she had not been awake when I had arrived? Not only that, but I had made extra-sure that all traces of my late arrival had been cleared.

"Just a feeling." It is exactly this feeling that has been startling people for centuries. Theories diverge, and there has so far been no proven explanation for the "apparent" phenomena called intuition. Is it really a phenomenon, which is a limited "gift" to a certain group of people, or is it perhaps a rapid cognitive process, which may be learnt by anyone? There are two forms of intuition: empirical intuition and intellectual intuition. The immediate perception of sensuous or material objects by our senses is called sensuous or empirical intuition, the immediate apprehension of intellectual or immaterial objects by our intelligence is called intellectual...