Hyponoetics - Essays
Hyponoesis and Noemes
Abstract: Noemes are mental and physical representations or manifestations of Hyponoesis. The make-up and configuration of different kinds of Noemes determine our inner and outer world of knowledge and experience. The divergent philosophies regarding the existence of an independent physical world are reconciled through Hyponoetics by postulating the mind and the world as a dynamic, and interrelated system. Both mind and world determine each other mutually in a constitutive manner.

The fundamental reality, called Hyponoesis, manifests itself in a variety of differentiated aspects, which I call Noetic Representational Entities, short Noemes. A Noeme can be manifested as a physical entity, such as our world consists of, or a mental entity, such as consciousness. What I called in other essays the Individual Mind (Exonoesis) is a complex Noeme. Simple Noemes constitute more complex Noemes, such as the self-consciousness of a human being. A complex physical Noeme is for example the biological organism.

Since every kind of Noeme has the same origin, i.e. is derived from Hyponoesis, the traditional problem of interaction between ontologically different kinds of substances never occurs. Noemes are not exclusively physical or mental. They always consist of different noetic representational entities. There is however a certain primacy of a particular Noeme, which renders a special configuration or organization of Noemes the idiosyncratic structure that makes it a unique individual entity, intelligible as such by knowledge and experience.

The physical noemetic aspect is just another kind of manifestation of the same underlying reality, which I call Hyponoesis. Hyponoesis per se is neither physical nor mental nor any other kind of substance we might conceive of. Hyponoesis is pure potentiality that actualizes itself for example as the common subject-object pattern in our world or any other pattern in a different possible world.

The question that arises within discussions about subject and object or, as I rather put it, about physical and mental Noemes, is regarding the existence of an external world that is or is not independent of the perceiving mind or consciousness. My philosophy of Hyponoetics embraces all kinds of theories and allows for a holistic and comprehensive understanding. The world cannot be explained with just one theory. The world allows for different interpretations and explanations, depending on the thinking mind that comes up with these theories. The world is not an iron-cast system that just waits to be discovered and explained by our inquiring mind. It is rather the other way round: our discoveries and explanations mold the structure of the world. The world is primarily actualized out of its intrinsic potential nature, which points to its origin in Hyponoesis.

The question of an independently existing world can be answered as follows:

  1. yes, there is a world independent of the observer's mind. That gives credence and corroboration to hypotheses of materialism, positivism, realism, physicalism, etc.
  2. no, the structure of the world is dependent on the observer's mind. That supports theories of idealism, mentalism, constructivism, etc.
  3. no, there is no world outside of the observer's mind. This allows for monistic theories, such as mentalism or Berkeleys immaterialism.

According to Hyponoetics, all three kinds of theories could be coextensive within the framework of a higher, synthesizing theory, which my philosophy of mind intends to be. Whether mind is postulated as primary or matter is of no relevancy. There will never be a conclusive argument for either side, not because we lack complete knowledge of all facts, but because there is no final and absolute theory that explains it all. The world (objective Noemes) and the mind (subjective Noemes) are both interdependent, interrelated and therefore affect the structure and nature of each other. If the world is active (as a processual reality), this very activity is determining the way we perceive and the empiric contents of our experience. On the other side, if the mind is active, it also determines the structure of the perceived or conceived world. There is a constant flux of interchangeable determinations between different kinds of Noemes. This reflects the fundamental potential nature of Hyponoesis, which is not static but a interactive and dynamic whole (cf. Essay on Generative Mind).

Thus, mind and matter, or subjective and objective Noemes, are not strictly separated substances, but highly dynamic aspects that inhere all manifestations or individuated entities of Hyponoesis. The ratio of one aspect to another may vary in different manifested Noemes. The complexity of the physical Noemes for example determines the degree of expression or manifestation of the mental Noemes, such as can be found in the brain-mind relationship. It is a commonly received fact amongst evolutionary scientists, that consciousness emerged only when a particular complexity of the brain evolved. That is, however, not evidence for the theory that consciousness is an emergent or epiphenomenal occurrence in nature, but rather, that the complexity of the brain allowed the intrinsic mental aspect of the organic Noeme to become manifest and express itself as consciousness and finally as self-awareness.