The philosopher Edmund Husserl argued that we can ‘see’ our minds and how our experience of the world is structured. He called this ‘intuition’ – seeing the structure of consciousness. This intuitive seeing brings something into presence in our experience. Intuition, in this context, does not mean having a hunch or a feeling; instead it is ‘pure seeing’, the realisation, the immediate realisation of the truth of something.

We can contrast intuition with inference. Inference is a logical move from A to B to C. Intuitive seeing is simply the sudden seeing (insight) that C is the case. This is the practice of phenomenology. It aims to step back and see how consciousness works.