Hyponoetics - Essays
 
Metaphysics of Thinking
Abstract: Introducing the two basic concepts of a metaphysical study of thinking: Hyponoesis (Universal Mind) and Exonoesis (Individual Mind). Demonstrates the necessity of reflective thouhgt, of thinking insofar as it is thinking. A genuine metaphysics of thought is only possible by harnessing the highest faculty of our mind: Paranoesis (Transrational Thinking).
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Hitherto, philosophers and scientists as well have only studied the material structure of thinking, its functions, capacities, faculties, that is, thinking as a causal process, as a physiological, neurochemical process.

But it is also necessary to make philosophical investigations into thinking from a totally different point of view. We need a Metaphysics of Thinking. The object of this metaphysics is thinking per se, or thinking insofar as it is thinking (Denken insofern es denkend ist).

The latter I call Hyponoesis (Universal Mind), and the functional or causal thinking, I call Exonoesis (Individual Mind).

Aristotle tried to postulate a metaphysics of being, by defining being on the basis of its accidents as presented within science, but on the basis of its primary substance, that is insofar as it is. Why then haven't we up to now attempted to define thinking not in its accidentality (i.e. its features as materialized within the mental processes of our mind), but instead tried to elucidate the very basis or substance of thinking, on which all these secondary effects take place and are made possible in the first place?

We have studied thinking only from a practical point of view. We used the capacities of our mind as a useful tool and expedient for our life and for the development of technology and culture. In the 20th century even philosophers embarked on a tour de force against any manner of metaphysics and resorted to the realm of analytical philosophy that exclusively deals with the secondary processes of thinking. It is an idiosyncrasy of modern philosophy that its proponents are interested more in effects than in causes, more in pragmatical and utilitarian principles than in primary and absolute principles, more in the ornamental style of the edifice than it its apriori and unconditioned foundation.

Thus, a system of metaphysics of thinking deals with thinking insofar as it is thinking. That means, we are not interested in the outcome of thought, in its effects and processes, but what thought is as such in its innermost primary essence, what its roots and apriority is. Thinking, as we experience it, is ineluctably joined with our consciousness and our mind. It is part of our being human, actually the differentiating part, which separates us from other species of living beings. If we resort to pure thinking, apriori thinking, thinking independent of outer influences and even independent of inner sensory influences, we will be able to reflect upon thinking as such and postulate a metaphysics of thinking without being exaggeratedly speculative or deviating from a course of sound rationality.

This self-reflective act of pure thinking can only be realized with the help of a supreme mental faculty: Paranoesis or Transrational Thinking. With its help, a metaphysics of thinking uses a phenomenological and descriptive approach in order to study thinking insofar as it is thinking or as it is in itself.

"This operation of the mind seems most remarkable to me. It seems that when I think of myself thinking and already know...what I think of my thoughts , and a little later marvel at this triplication of reflection, then I turn upon myself wondering and do not know how to admire this admiration..
...Anyone who desires an experience of these matters should begin to think of himself and his thinking sometime in the middle of the night,.... so that he comes gradually to turn more and more within himself or to rise above himself... He will wonder that he has never before experienced this state of mind."
Source: G.W. Leibniz (Paris Notes, in G.W.Leibniz's Monadology, by Nicholas Rescher, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1991, p.77)