Thursday , February 27 2020
Home / Miles Kimball / Respect Intuition

Respect Intuition

Summary:
Most of you, my loyal readers, are very articulate. Having things articulated clearly is a huge help to intellectual work. It not only allows us to communicate with others, but also to understand things better ourselves. But I have learned an important lesson in my career and in my life: there is great value in respecting intuitions and feelings that have not yet been clearly articulated. There can be genuine insight that arrives in an inarticulate form. I have learned to respect intuition that cannot yet be fully articulated both when it is my own intuition and when it the intuition of another. In both cases, the one with the intuition

Topics:
Miles Kimball considers the following as important:

This could be interesting, too:

ocanuto writes How Latin America Can Make Fintech a Priority

[email protected] (Luke Froeb) writes A simple way to combat corruption

José Antonio Ocampo writes The Challenges of Argentina’s Debt Renegotiation

Howard Davies writes Are Independent Central Banks Passé?

Respect Intuition

Most of you, my loyal readers, are very articulate. Having things articulated clearly is a huge help to intellectual work. It not only allows us to communicate with others, but also to understand things better ourselves.

But I have learned an important lesson in my career and in my life: there is great value in respecting intuitions and feelings that have not yet been clearly articulated. There can be genuine insight that arrives in an inarticulate form.

I have learned to respect intuition that cannot yet be fully articulated both when it is my own intuition and when it the intuition of another. In both cases, the one with the intuition needs to be given the time and the space needed to figure out how to articulate it better. Dissing the intuition saying something like “If you can’t back up your feeling with a good argument, you don’t have a leg to stand on” shuts off a channel of insight and can easily block the path to greater understanding or lead to a decision-making mistake.

Intuitions are far from foolproof. Sometimes they are off track. Sometimes they are wrong but lead to something that is right. And sometimes they represent with remarkable accuracy the understanding one has after working hard to articulate the intuition.

Respecting intuition also allows those who are less articulate but have important insights to help. Putting too much of a premium on things that are already articulated not only underrates certain ideas, it underrates certain people.

The problems, challenges and tasks we face are great enough that we need to take advantage of every tool we have to best them. Intuition is one of those tools.

Miles Kimball
Miles Kimball is Professor of Economics and Survey Research at the University of Michigan. Politically, Miles is an independent who grew up in an apolitical family. He holds many strong opinions—open to revision in response to cogent arguments—that do not line up neatly with either the Republican or Democratic Party.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *