---- by Cliff Stagoll
  Deleuze uses the concept of 'intuition' in two distinct ways. In some of his later works (for example, What is Philosophy?, which he co-authored with Guattari), it refers to one of the elements of a plane of immanence. Whereas concepts define the points of intensity on a plane, intuition refers to movements upon it. As such, intuitions can be considered as ideas or even 'lines of thinking' in a general sense, immanent to a particular problem and the circumstances of its consideration.
  More frequently, though, Deleuze uses intuition to refer to a kind of philosophical method borrowed from Henri Bergson. This is not to suggest that Deleuze champions any particular philosophical technique. He would oppose consistent adoption of a method because of the tendency for any single approach to limit perspectives on a problem and so to hinder creative thinking. However, when Deleuze does refer to method, he often means a modified version of Bergson's philosophical intuition (intuition philosophique).
  According to Bergson, evolution has resulted in the human mind becoming able to conduct rational investigations and make consequent decisions pertaining to the worlds of science and practice. The mind is not so well adapted to conducting metaphysical inquiries into the dynamics of one's life. Indeed, for Bergson, efforts to turn our analytical intellect to philosophical problems result inevitably in our considering lived reality in terms of some static, material image upon which we 'gaze' and which we then theorise abstractly.
  For Bergson, our lived reality comprises a flow of conscious states. Consciousness is essentially temporal: ongoing mental activity constituting the kind of time internal to one's self. The continuity and persistence of this flow makes up our personhood, and its particularity defines our individuality. Once we turn our analytical mind to lived, conscious experience, however, we tend to think instead in terms of successive instants and images situated in space. As such, philosophical precision is lost because reality is no longer theorised on its own terms.
  Intuition is the philosophical method that Bergson champions to avoid the analytical mind's tendency to abstraction. He argues that one must enter into an experience directly, so as to 'coincide' and 'sympathise' with it. The manner in which one achieves this, though, is notoriously difficult to describe, with as many characterisations as scholarly commentaries. Sometimes Bergson aligns intuition with artistic sensibility and awareness, or a detachment from reality. At other times he associates it with pure instinct.
  On Deleuze's interpretation, intuition is somewhat less mysterious but no less problematic. He conceives of intuition as a deliberate reflective awareness or willed selfconsciousness, a concentrated and direct attention to the operations of consciousness (in contrast with mediated 'observations of ' consciousness by consciousness in a quest for transparency of thought to itself). This depiction aligns with Bergson's account of the intuition of consciousness as the attention that mind gives itself, continuing its normal functions yet somehow discerning simultaneously the nature of its workings. If our natural tendency is to grasp things in terms of space and quantity, such an effort must be extremely difficult to achieve. (Deleuze and Bergson both suggest at various times that intuition has no limits, and can take us beyond the human condition to 'sympathise' and 'coincide' with animals and even inanimate objects, but the means of doing so remain mysterious.)
  Deleuze is particularly attracted to intuition because his desire to move from experience to the contingent conditions of experience in order to rediscover difference demands a means for accessing the particularity of consciousness without metaphysical illusions. If he were to consider reality in terms of concepts supposed to make it (or experience of it) possible, then he would substitute one kind of abstraction for another. Deleuze instead needs to dissociate aspects of the whole that is called 'I' according to natural articulations, and to grasp conscious and material aspects of life without recourse to abstract or general concepts. Bergson's intuition enables him to achieve this by creating concepts according to natural articulations of experience. From the lived reality of a flow of consciousness, Deleuze's intuition reveals such articulations as memory, faculties, dreams, wishes, jokes, perceptions and calculations. As such, Deleuze maintains that there is a resemblance between intuition as a method for division and as a means for transcendental analysis.
  Interestingly, Bergson sometimes seems to hold more reservations about the precision and general applicability of intuition than Deleuze. He reminds his readers that to express in language the results of an intuitive study of consciousness is to conceptualise and symbolise, and thus to abstract. Yet he means intuition to be free from formal conceptual and symbolic constraints. Accordingly, to communicate about intuition, he argues that we should use metaphor and suggestiveness to point towards what is otherwise inexpressible. Deleuze expresses few such reservations overtly, although his language use hints at his having followed Bergson's suggestion.

The Deleuze dictionary. . 2010.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • INTUITION — Le terme d’intuition désigne la manière d’être d’une connaissance qui comprend directement son objet, par un contact sans médiats avec lui, et sans le secours des signes ou des procédés expérimentaux. À ces caractères d’immédiateté on relie en… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Intuition — • A psychological and philosophical term which designates the process of immediate apprehension or perception of an actual fact, being, or relation between two terms and its results Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Intuition      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Intuition — has many related meanings, usually connected to the meaning ability to sense or know immediately without reasoning , and is often regarded as a divine or prophetic power, including:* Intuition is the philosophical method of Henri Bergson. *… …   Wikipedia

  • Intuition — In tu*i tion, n. [L. intuitus, p. p. of intueri to look on; in in, on + tueri: cf. F. intuition. See {Tuition}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A looking after; a regard to. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] What, no reflection on a reward! He might have an intuition at… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intuition — intuition, instinct The two words overlap in meaning, and the OED indeed uses intuition in one of its definitions of instinct. Both refer to intellectual activity and both denote processes in which knowledge is apprehended without using any… …   Modern English usage

  • Intuition — Sf Gespür, Erkennen eines Sachverhalts ohne bewußte Reflexion erw. fach. (18. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus ml. intuitio ( onis) unmittelbare Anschauung , älter Erscheinen des Bildes auf der Oberfläche eines Spiegels , zu l. intuērī genau… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Intuitĭon — (v. lat.), 1) Anschauung; 2) bes. innere I., das Vermögen, durch Zurückgezogenheit des Geistes in sich Kenntniß vom Übersinnlichen zu erlangen; davon Intuitiv, anschauend, anschaulich; intuitu, in Anschauung, in Erwägung …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Intuition — (lat., »Anschauung«), im Gegensatz zur Reflexion (s. d.) die Fähigkeit, verwickelte Beziehungen mit einem Schlage richtig zu erfassen, Übersinnliches (künstlerische und philosophische Ideen, das Wesentliche einer Sache) mit dem geistigen Auge… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Intuition — (lat.), Anschauung; anschauende, ohne Verstandesoperationen unmittelbar vorgestellte Erkenntnis; innere I., Erkenntnis des Übersinnlichen durch Zurückgezogenheit in sich selbst; intuitīv, anschauend, anschaulich. Intuĭtu, in Ansehung oder… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Intuition — Intuition, lat. deutsch, Anschauung, dann besonders die innere Schauung des Uebersinnlichen u. Göttlichen; vgl. Ekstase, Mystik, Speculation; intuitiv, anschauend, schauend; intuitu, in Anschauung, in Anbetracht …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • intuition — index belief (state of mind), common sense, comprehension, discretion (quality of being discreet), discrimination (good judgment) …   Law dictionary

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