The term reflective equilibrium refers to, very simply put, when there's a balance between one's intuition and one's theories about the world.

Personally, I tend to strive for the opposite, an imbalance, because I find intuition to be treacherous and perhaps even a direct enemy of logic. As a word-lover, I would very much like to have an equally eloquent term to describe this point. Any good ideas?

  • Word-for-word, it would be absorptive imbalance or absorptive chaos...
    – BiscuitBoy
    Feb 12, 2016 at 12:18
  • 2
    Reflective disequilibrium.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 12, 2016 at 13:36

2 Answers 2


How about "creative dissonance". It's the idea that a clash of ideas leads one to think more about those differences and in doing so come up with new insights.

  • Do you know where I could read more about this? I can't seem to find anything on it.
    – N. O.
    Feb 12, 2016 at 18:35

Perhaps Conceptual analysis, because it dismisses intuition.

Conceptual analysis is one of the main traditional methods of philosophy, arguably dating back to Plato's early dialogues. The basic idea is that questions like 'What is knowledge?', 'What is justice?', or 'What is truth?' can be answered solely from the capacity to understand the relevant concepts.

It is the idea that philosophy has a distinctive subject matter accessible in principle via a priori methods that trump the intuition or the empirical methods of science.

  • Hi, Graffito, it is very rare to see your answer in a review queue. This answer was flagged as low-quality because of its length and content. Can you try to expand a little more? If you leave such a short answer, it will be flagged automatically.
    – user140086
    Feb 12, 2016 at 14:15
  • Unfortunately, it seems it's supposed to complement intuition rather than dismiss it ("When all goes well, the intuitions are supposed to match the correct analysis perfectly," it says in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). But thanks for the input; appreciate it.
    – N. O.
    Feb 12, 2016 at 18:47

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