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Extra info for Advances in Psychology Research. Volume 72

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Since Hadamard‘s time, one telling aspect has changed in the intuition of mathematicians. Today, many mathematicians would doubt the role of intuition. The idea of ―pure‖ mathematics is built on this assumption. One can see this as an example of the intuitive process in science: Constant repetition of mainly theoretical concepts also increases their ―strength‖ in intuition (see for instance Binet 1910). This has happened several times in mathematics during history, for instance through Euclid. Because of Euclid‘s omission of 40 describing the intuitive methods he must have used and due to his dominance in geometry, many people started assuming that geometry is independent of the empirical experience and measurement of bodily dimensions.

Nevertheless, it seems that this phenomenon does not apply to all ideas in a similar way. Even for fundamental epistemological ideas, there are strong differences. 65 If one compares for instance Kant and Mach, the former is certainly remembered more consciously with his ideas, while even strong ―Machians‖ often do not later remember Mach‘s influence. For instance, Einstein was, as we will see, strongly influenced by Mach in his youth. But as he told to his friend Besso in 1948 (Speziali 1972, Doc.

Things do not happen in this way. Unfruitful combinations do not so much as present themselves to the mind of the discoverer. In the field of his consciousness there never appear any but really useful combinations, and some that he rejects, which, however, partake to some extent of the character of useful combinations. Everything happens as if the discoverer were a second examiner who had only 48 Materialists (and behaviourists in particular in psychology) may object that many of the following observations are taken from introspection and not from a third-person perspective.

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