I think alot depends on training method. Most techniques can be done in a similar way to ju-jitsu, and still be called 'aikido'.
I would say some understanding of the link between aikido philosophy and technique only begins when you can approach a situation with a degree of 'emptiness'. i.e. no pre-conception of what will be. Thus response can be appropriate.
Saying this, I expect we have very different views on what aikido philosophy is!