I know we’ve hashed this out a few times already, but I want to get add my two cents. Caitlyn L. compared the conflict of the Empiricists and Intuitionists to Republicans and Democrats, and then Adam compared them to science and religion respectively. I can see the connections they make, but I also see it as the conflict between engineering and the arts. Empiricism methods involve getting your hands dirty and understanding the inner mechanisms of the machine. Intuitionist methods are focused on feeling the vibrations of the elevator and visualizing shapes based on those feelings.
Another comparison can be made to the nine different types of intelligences. The theory of multiple intelligences is a theory often applied to teaching. It describes nine different types of intelligences, or different ways that people think and learn. The one that most closely fits the Empiricists is the Logical/Mathematical Intelligence category. The people who fit in this category think in terms of algorithms and complex models, numbers and patterns. They look for rational explanations and they have an inner desire to know how things work. They are the engineers, accountants, programmers, and mathematicians.
The Intuitionists fit under the Visual/Spatial Intelligence category and the Musical Intelligence category. Visual/Spatial learners are good at visualizations and spatial imagery. They can easily picture concepts in their head and can remember places vividly. They are good at solving puzzles and recognizing patterns. They can also be engineers, but it is less common unless they also posses the Logical/Mathematical intelligence. Musical Intelligence learners are good at recognizing patterns and tones. When thinking of the Intuitionists, this is the pattern of the vibrations they feel and the sounds they hear when they inspect an elevator. They are looking for patterns in the vibrations to tell them what is wrong.
A person can fit into multiple categories of learning styles, but it’s hard for them to learn a new one. I think this is one of the reasons the Empiricists dislike the Intuitionists so much. The Empiricists don’t understand how the Intuitionists interpret the vibrations, just like those of us without spatial or musical abilities don’t understand how people can visualize complex objects they’ve never seen or tell if an instrument is in tune. It seems like hocus pocus. Which is why when it comes to engineering, they don’t trust it.