“If Mankind were to remove nuclear weapons from their arsenal and destroy them completely, it would be infact removing WW3 from the equation, changing the future altogether. We have today the Tree of Knowledge to change our future destiny for mankind, if we act together.”
– Contributed by Oogle.
In traditional philosophy, noëtics (from the Greek noētikos “mental” from noein “to perceive with the mind” and nous “mind, understanding, intellect”) is a branch of metaphysical philosophy concerned with the study of mind and intellect. Noetic doctrines include the doctrine of the agent/patient intellect (Aristotle, Averroes) and the doctrine of the Divine Intellect (Plotinus).
More recently the term “noetics” has been employed by several authors who write about consciousness, spirituality and cosmology.
Richard L. Amoroso, director of the Noetic Advanced Studies Institute, proposed a theory of noetics called Noetic Field Theory which centers on the idea that there exists an additional causal principle of purposefulness not found in ordinary matter but in fundamental cosmological principles of consciousness. He has suggested that thought and spirit are not, in fact, intangible, but are “Bose or photon-like” based aspects of the Unified Field, meaning essentially that the mind can be quantified by formulae which describe quantum materials such as light. Amoroso claims that his noetic model is the first theory of any kind to explain qualia in physical terms. In 2010, NASI partnered with Steriwave Quantum Computers, a limited liability British company, to develop a quantum computer prototype based on “conscious quantum computing.”
The Institute of Noetic Sciences proposes noetic sciences as an alternative theory of “how beliefs, thoughts, and intentions affect the physical world.”
The basic meaning of “nous” or “intellect” is “understanding”, but several sources or types of “understandings” are often distinguished from each other:
- Sense perception is a source of feelings, impressions, or raw data about things, but it needs to be interpreted in order for there to be converted into real understanding.
- Reason is a source of new understandings but it is built by putting together and distinguishing other things already understood.
Philosophical discussion of nous has therefore centred around the origin of the most basic understandings which allow people to make sense of what they see, hear, taste or feel, and which also allow them to start reasoning. These basic understandings are often felt to at least include such things as understandings of geometrical and logical basics, and also an ability to generalize properly into correct categories or universals, setting definitions. This mental step between perception and reasoning has sometimes been discussed as an aspect of perception or an aspect of reasoning, as will be seen below.
The question then also arose of whether there can really be any source of such basic understanding other than the accumulation of perceptions. Somehow the human mind sets definitions in a consistent way, because people perceive the same things and can discuss them. So the argument goes, as will be shown below, that people must be born with some innate potential to understand the same things the same ways. And in addition to this it has also been argued that this possibility must require help of a spiritual and divine type. The question of where understanding comes from, is therefore related to the question of what knowledge is, and how things can and should be defined or classified.
Another important philosophical discussion concerning nous stemming from these, involves not only human thinking, but the nature of the cosmos itself. As mentioned above, some philosophers proposed that the human mind must have an ability to understand which is divine, and independent of normal sense experience and physics. This ordering of the individual human mind, it is then argued, must be somehow derived from a cosmic mind which orders nature just like the human mind orders its understanding of nature. This was claimed from an early time, by Greek philosophers such as Anaxagoras. By this type of account, it came to be argued that the human understanding (nous) somehow stems from this cosmic nous, which is however not just a recipient of order, but a creator of it. Such explanations were influential in the development of medieval accounts of God, the immortality of the soul, and even the motions of the stars, in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, amongst both eclectic philosophers and authors representing all the major faiths of their times.