Foundations of Science

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 331–349 | Cite as

Digestive Enzyme Secretion, Intuition, and the History of Science: Part II

  • Lois IsenmanEmail author


A companion paper explored the role of intuition in the genesis of an alternative theory for the secretion of pancreatic digestive enzymes, looking through the lens of three philosophers/historians of science. Gerald Holton, the last scholar, proposed that scientific imagination is shaped by a number of thematic presuppositions, which function largely below awareness. They come in pairs of opposites that alternately gain cultural preeminence. The current paper examines three thematic presuppositions inherent to both the generally accepted model for digestive enzyme secretion and most consciousness-centered views of higher-level cognition—discreteness, reduction, and simplicity. Since they often build on each other, together they are referred to as the simplicity worldview. Also considered are the three opposite thematic assumptions inherent to both the alternative model for digestive enzyme secretion and intuition-friendly views of higher-level cognition—the continuum, holism, and complexity—together referred to as the complexity worldview. The article highlights the potential importance to scientific knowledge of this currently less favored worldview.


Digestive enzyme secretion History of science Intuition Unconscious cognition Subliminal perception 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Women’s Studies Research CenterBrandeis UniversityWalthamUSA

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