Introduction

Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 2024 (206):3-7 (2024)
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Abstract

ExcerptWe often have the experience of intuiting something without being able to precisely define what that intuition is. Sometimes this intuition leads to a more well-defined insight, and sometimes it might lead to some kind of action, even in the absence of clear conceptual definitions. Yet it is difficult to ascertain what kind of knowledge or awareness such intuitions consist of. What is an intuition as opposed to a defined concept of something? How seriously should we take such intuitions? Are they something separate and qualitatively different than concepts? Are they just fuzzy concepts? Do they really exist at all? These are crucial questions because they lead to conclusions about the status of concepts themselves. If the alternative to clear concepts is nothing at all, then the sociopolitical corollary would be that the alternative to conceptual knowledge and the holders of such knowledge would also be nothing at all. By contrast, if intuitions are separate from concepts and real, then expert knowledge might possibly have some deficiencies in comparison with intuitions. The essays in this issue of Telos explore in one way or another this question of the status of conceptual knowledge as opposed to intuitive awareness.

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