Hyponoetics - Essays
 
The Infinity of Thought
Abstract: The human being is limited and unlimited simultaneously: we are finite concerning our body and its actions, infinite in our mind and thought. Kant's criteria of the mind hold for the rational mind or common-sense thought, but there is a higher faculty in human beings that transcends these artificial limitations: Paranoesis (Transrational Thinking). Philosophical reflection as such is a transcendence of the rational mind and presupposes an inherent though latent infinity of thought in our mind.
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More often than not, the human being in general is conceived as a finite being, bound in historicity and the subjectivity of his own nature. If we reflect on this statement by using the method of philosophical inquiry, we must arrive at an inherently logical absurdity of this assumption about the human being.

The first question we must direct at the proponents of the "homo finitus"-sentence is, how do they know that human beings are finite? What do they mean with the term "finite"? What is finite in us? Our thinking? Our emotions? Or our body? The term "finite" is obviously a quite vacillating and equivocal word, leaving much room for interpretation. We know about one kind of finiteness, that is our body. We are clearly limited in our actions and expressions through our body. We cannot for example lift up a one-ton heavy rock, nor run as fast as an airplane can fly. All these limitations are naturally set within the biological structure of our body. What about limitations in our mind? Do any exist at all?

Some thinkers (the above homo-finitus advocates) believe that we cannot know everything. There is a limitation to what we can come to know, even in thousands years from now. This inherent limitation of the mind can be retraced to Kant's postulate of the "thing-in-itself", which is not an object of experience, and therefore can never be known by us. Kant defines the categorical structure of our mind as being dependent on experience and vice versa. He thinks, that this mutual interdependence of experientia and ratio cannot be transcended lest we entangle ourselves in the dialectical errors and illusions of metaphysics. Although Kant contends that transcendental Ideas do have a practical value, they are nevertheless unintelligible by our rational mind. Kant's clear demarcation line splits our mind artificially into two antagonistic realms, the empirical and the intelligible. Although both parts depend on each other, the intelligible realm including the thing-in-itself is not accessible to our rational faculty. It's the irony of history, that some years later, Schelling again introduces the Intuitive Faculty to get an immediate insight into the truth and reality of things.

Throughout the history of philosophical thinking, the greatest and most eminent philosophers always believed in one or another form of intuitive faculty, a faculty with which it is possible to transcend the limitation of the intellect or purely rational faculty and to come to direct and immediate insights and knowledge of absolute truth.

There is another logical argument against the homo-finitus sentence. To put up this sentence, reflection is needed, that is, you have to be able to reflect on the mind itself in order to see its limitation. Reflection, however, always presupposes a standpoint outside of the reflected matter. You have to stand above the rational mind to think about the rational mind. In order to analyze the mind you must necessarily transcend the boundary of the mind, otherwise it is not possible to say something meaningful about the mind. From within the presumed boundary of the mind, you cannot define that boundary. Although I concede a boundary of the rational faculty of the mind, I declare an inherent potential infinity of thought. By proposing the human being to be finite, you have already transcended that finiteness you want to assert. This eccentricity [1] of the human being includes both the aspect of being inside and outside of the boundary circle (in-centric and ex-centric: in- and ex- centrum. Note: incentric means as much as egocentric). We stay inside, as long as we apply common-sense thinking that is determined by the individuality and a multitude of external influences, such as society, education, norms, morale, etc. In philosophical and Transrational Thinking (Paranoesis) we can step out of the tethering circle and move into the infinite space of thought. This space is still for most part undiscovered and unresearched.


[1] This term, used in philosophical anthropology, means the double aspect of our finiteness and infinity. Knowing to be finite transcends at the same this limitation. There is a potential infinity in the nature of the human being.