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Intuition and Education

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Thesis type
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Date created
This project seeks to validate the kinds of intuitive experiences many people have, but which get subjugated, neglected, or rejected by institutions of knowledge. In particular, it responds to a scholarly silence about psychic, intuitive experiences like gut feelings, pre-cognition, and 'just knowing,' that are unexplained by hegemonic epistemological framing, which often (inadequately) explains intuition as expertise. Motivated by a desire to make these experiences sensible within an intellectual culture wedded to analysis and objective knowledge production, this research seeks to fill a gap in pedagogical practice in the area of understanding and supporting the intuitive function. Through a review of literature about intuition in philosophy and psychology, I recommend that intuition be conceptualized through an emergent psychological theory, transpersonal theory, that accounts for an extended range of inter-subjective and transpersonal consciousness. The dissertation then turns to the self-help realm, where a genre of intuition development books do the work of educating for intuition that formal educators have not. These books provide a framework for understanding intuition as a psychic sense, and recommend a programme of practice for educating the intuitive function. Intuition is presented as a relational, contextual way of knowing that relies on the coherence of the subject-knower, and the pedagogy for intuition directs practitioners towards transformative self-development.Drawing from Foucault's analysis of ancient practices of care of the self, I argue that the programme of practice for intuition development relies on a framework of the self as being both contingent (thus able to transform), and capable of experiencing connection to realms of non-ordinary and non-discursive consciousness. I suggest that the work to become more intuitive challenges the deceit of a subject's alienation from her context. Intuition development pedagogy contains contemplative and reflective practices that enables non-discursive and 'non'-ordinary experiences of consciousness. A similar programme may be a productive way forward to educating for intuition.
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This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Bingham, Charles
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