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The NSTP (Non - Spatial Thinking Process) Theory

Module by: Kedar Joshi. E-mail the author

Summary: The NSTP theory is a (philosophy of mind) semi-idealistic as well as semi-dualistic theory that the material universe, where some peculiar phenomena like quantum non-locality exist in, is exclusively a group of superhuman as well as non-superhuman thinking processes existing in the form of (non-spatial physical/material) feelings (i.e. states of consciousness). In computer terminology, it regards the (material) universe as a non-spatial computer, with hardware of (non-spatial) feelings and software of superhuman as well as non-superhuman thoughts/ideas, including those of space, which is then an illusive/virtual/merely apparent entity. The mere existence of the superhuman thoughts is responsible for the empirical (i.e. a posteriori) order in the non-superhuman ones. The theory, however, accepts the possibility of the reality of space, the space where the phenomena like quantum non-locality do not exist in. The theory is constituted of 6 axioms, 1 theorem, and 3 conjectures. The key strength and novelty in the theory lies in its axiomatic/self-evident foundation, its innovative semi-idealism and semi-dualism, and, in general, its road to idealism and dualism.

THE NSTP (NON – SPATIAL THINKING PROCESS) THEORY

Copyright  KEDAR JOSHI 2007

The NSTP theory is a (philosophy of mind) semi-idealistic as well as semi-dualistic theory that the material universe, where some peculiar phenomena like quantum non-locality exist in, is exclusively a group of superhuman as well as non-superhuman thinking processes existing in the form of (non-spatial physical/material) feelings (i.e. states of consciousness). In computer terminology, it regards the (material) universe as a non-spatial computer, with hardware of (non-spatial) feelings and software of superhuman as well as non-superhuman thoughts/ideas, including those of space, which is then an illusive/virtual/merely apparent entity. The mere existence of the superhuman thoughts is responsible for the empirical (i.e. a posteriori) order in the non-superhuman ones. The theory, however, accepts the possibility of the reality of space, the space where the phenomena like quantum non-locality do not exist in. The theory is constituted of 6 axioms, 1 theorem, and 3 conjectures. The key strength and novelty in the theory lies in its axiomatic/self-evident foundation, its innovative semi-idealism and semi-dualism, and, in general, its road to idealism and dualism.

Contents -

  • Axiom 1: Feeling is non-spatial.
  • Axiom 2: Feeling is real and physical/material.
  • Axiom 3: Any experience, even an abstract thought I know I am having, is, in fact, a feeling.
  • Axiom 4: The self/I is ‘feeling’.
  • Axiom 5: The self/I is a stream of feelings.
  • Axiom 6: Every feeling represents some idea/concept/thought.
  • Theorem 1: The self/I is an NSTP (Non – Spatial Thinking Process).
  • Conjecture 1: Space, where the peculiar phenomena like quantum non-locality exist in, is mere (non-spatial) feeling.
  • Conjecture 2: Superhuman thoughts, representing the empirical laws (i.e. being responsible for the empirical order, e.g. gravity, quantum non-locality, etc., in the non-superhuman NSTP/s), exist in the form of (non-spatial) feelings.
  • Conjecture 3: There is a possibility of the reality of space, the space where the phenomena like quantum non-locality do not exist in.
  • The NSTP Theory's Semi-Idealism and Semi-Dualism
  • The NSTP Theory's Resemblance with Berkeley's Idealism and Descartes' Dualism
  • Notes

Axiom 1: Feeling1Throughout this work, the term ‘feeling’ means phenomenal mind / consciousness / qualia. is non-spatial.

In other words, no kind of feeling, e.g. feeling of bodily pain, can be represented by any spatial structure.

The feeling of bodily pain, for example, is conceptually distinct from its bodily counterpart (i.e. identification of some electrochemical signal in brain).2A point following an axiom, a theorem, or another point, is meant to be its explanation and/or justification.

  1. This conceptual distinction is self - evident / axiomatic.
  1. The knowledge of the process of identification of electrochemical signal is neither necessary nor sufficient to have the knowledge of the feeling of bodily pain, for example.3For more information see Jackson, Frank. 1982. "Epiphenomenal Qualia", Philosophical Quarterly 32, pp. 127-136.

Axiom 2: Feeling is real and physical/material.

Axiom 3: Any experience, even an abstract thought I know I am having, is, in fact, a feeling.

Axiom 4: The self/I is ‘feeling’.

In other words, the self/I is not something different from ‘feeling’ that ‘feels’, but is itself ‘feeling’. For example, ‘I’m feeling pain’ is altogether a feeling. There is no ‘I’, which, in nature, is not a feeling and still feels something.

Axiom 5: The self/I is a stream of feelings.

Suppose I feel to have felt seeing blue colour. Now, though the feeling of seeing blue colour itself is not ‘the feeling of self/I’4‘The feeling of self/I’ is nothing but what means by axiom 4. , the former feeling is (conceptually) associated with the latter.

Axiom 6: Every feeling represents some idea/concept/thought.

The feeling of blue colour, for example, is the same as the idea/concept/thought of blue colour.

The six axioms stated above are meant to be ‘self-evident truths’. That is, they are not mere postulates. Now, it may be that none of them are self-evident according to the reader. However, all of them are self-evident according to the author. A simple mathematical axiom, like if p implies q and p is true then q is true, for example, may be self-evident according to a human of average intellect, for it involves simple, easy-to-understand concepts. On the contrary the 6 axioms involve relatively much profound, hard-to-understand concepts, thus potentially becoming ‘non-self-evident’ (i.e. axiomatically incomprehensible) according to a human of average intellect.

Theorem 1: The self/I is an NSTP (Non – Spatial Thinking Process).5Theorem 1 is implied by the axioms 1, 5, and 6.

Conjecture 1: Space6Space as a room or void out there: whether three or higher dimensional, bounded or unbounded, where the peculiar phenomena like quantum non-locality exist in. is mere (non-spatial) feeling.

In other words, space, where the peculiar phenomena like quantum non-locality exist in, is a virtual (i.e. an unreal) entity. It is a mere illusion.

The problem of quantum non-locality -

‘In 1997 experiments were conducted in which light particles (i.e. photons) originated under certain conditions and travelled in opposite directions to detectors located about seven miles apart. The amazing results indicated that the photons interacted or communicated with one another instantly or in no time.’7Nadeau, Robert and Kafatos, Menas (1999) The non-local universe: the new physics and matters of the mind. OUP, Oxford.

A Solution -

1. No real spatial action can make the photons appear to communicate with one another instantly or in no time.8This point attempts to show that Bohmian mechanics is vague and absurd on two basic grounds. Bohmian mechanics essentially postulates the existence of a subtle force called “the quantum potential” which pervades all space and provides direct connections between quantum systems. It suggests that a total order in the whole universe is contained, in some implicit sense, in each region of space and time. And the quantum potential corresponds to such “implicate order”. The first of the two grounds states that no idea of (spatial) force, e.g. gravitational or magnetic force or the quantum potential, can be a substitute for any simple or, moreover, complex intelligent (spatial) structure, e.g. a neural structure found in human brain, as the concept of force is a mere abstraction, a vague idea, which does not provide (spatial) mechanistic explanations. (For example, Newton’s idea of gravitational force fails to explain “action at a distance”.) Therefore, a region of space and time, though containing quantum and possibly infinite number of super…quantum potentials, simply cannot contain a neural order, for example, unless containing an appropriate (spatial) “structure” representing the order. The second ground considers the Bohmian mechanistic idea/remark that “the (spatial) implicate domain”, corresponding to the (spatial) quantum potentials, could equally be called Idealism, Spirit, Consciousness. This idea/remark means that Bohmian mechanics considers consciousness to be spatial which, however, contradicts the NSTP (Non – Spatial Thinking Process) theoretical axiom/“self-evident truth” that ‘consciousness is non-spatial’.

2. Space, where the peculiar phenomena like quantum non-locality exist in, is not real.

3. Axiom 3 implies that there is (non-spatial) feeling of space.

Points 2 and 3 imply conjecture 1.

Conjecture 2: The Superhuman Engine.

Superhuman thoughts, representing the empirical laws (i.e. being responsible for the empirical order, e.g. gravity, quantum non-locality, etc., in the non-superhuman NSTP/s), exist in the form of (non-spatial) feelings.

1. A Non-Superhuman NSTP- Let’s take a simple example of gravity. Consider an observer x holding a ball at distance d from the ground. At time t=1 x has the feeling of dropping the ball.9On the basis of axiom 4 and axiom 5 we can say that at time t=1 x is nothing but a feeling of dropping the ball. At t=2 x has the feeling of seeing the ball at ¾d. At t=3 x has the feeling of seeing the ball at ½d. At t=4 x has the feeling of seeing the ball at ¼d. And lastly, at t=5 x has the feeling of seeing the ball at d=0. Now, referring to theorem 1 this temporal process of feelings is an NSTP (Non – Spatial Thinking Process).

2. i) Since the empirical (i.e. a posteriori) order10 That is, the order of gravity- if, under the same conditions, the experiment in point 1 is repeated for innumerable times the same kind of gravity would be experienced.0 in this NSTP, for example, is not logically necessary there should be something else, physical/material, responsible for it.

ii) Also, any change/modification in such physical/material entity would change/modify the empirical order, which, being logically not necessary, should otherwise be changeable/modifiable.11 In analogy with (spatial) personal computers (PCs), the order in the dynamic pattern on the monitor screen is created by some central hardware representing some intelligent software, and if the software instructions or parameters (ultimately some hardware pattern) are changed, the dynamic pattern on the monitor screen could be changed, or even be destroyed.1

3. The Superhuman Engine- Such physical/material entity is nothing but some superhuman12 The thoughts are supposed to be superhuman because non-superhuman, in particular- human, thoughts, in general- mind, are incapable of causing anything like gravity. 2 thoughts that represent the empirical laws and ideas, for example the law and idea of gravity in the case of the NSTP mentioned in point 1. The superhuman thoughts also exist in the form of (non-spatial) feelings.13 It is a conjecture.3 Thus, returning to the example of gravity, the feelings of gravity14 All 5 feelings at times t=1 to t=5 where gravity is experienced. 4 are produced in an orderly sequence because (superhuman) thoughts, representing the empirical laws, exist.15 Due to the existence of the superhuman thoughts, more than one observer may also experience the feelings of gravity simultaneously. 5 Such superhuman thoughts could collectively be entitled as 'The Superhuman Engine'.

4. Superhuman vs. Non-Superhuman NSTP/s- As each superhuman thought exists over time, its mere temporal existence constitutes an NSTP (Non – Spatial Thinking Process). Thus, to sum up, the mere existence of the superhuman NSTPs is responsible for the orderly existence of the non-superhuman NSTP/s16 It may be that I am the only non-superhuman NSTP to exist, for there may not be any (non-superhuman) NSTPs corresponding to the non-superhuman (illusive) spatial objects. 6.

Conjecture 3: There is a possibility of the reality of space, the space where the phenomena like quantum non-locality do not exist in.

In other words, space may be really existing, the space where phenomena like quantum non-locality do not exist in.

1. Conjecture 1 only denies the reality of space, the space where the peculiar phenomena like quantum non-locality exist in.

2. Physical phenomena like quantum non-locality are not logically necessary. Therefore it is otherwise possible that quantum non-locality does not exist.

Points 1 and 2 imply conjecture 3.

If, in case, it happens that we find no quantum non-locality existing at some time (where it should otherwise be existing), that does not necessarily mean that we, as non-spatial entities, are associated with the space that possibly exists according to conjecture 3, because superhuman thoughts may contain order to execute no feelings representing quantum non-locality, for some time.

Also, the NSTP theory could conjecture that space, where the phenomena like quantum non-locality exist in, is real, and the sheer presence of the superhuman thoughts make the photons communicate with each other in no time. However, such conjecture would make the model of the (material) universe “unnecessarily” complex since there would be three entities involved (viz. superhuman thoughts, non-superhuman thoughts, and space, where the phenomena like quantum non-locality exist in) instead of just two (viz. superhuman thoughts and non-superhuman thoughts).

The NSTP Theory's Semi-Idealism and Semi-Dualism -

1. The NSTP theory is semi-idealistic in that, though, alike (pure) (ontological) idealism, it reduces space to non-spatial mind, the space where the phenomena like quantum non-locality exist in, it conjectures a possibility of the reality of space, the space where the phenomena like quantum non-locality do not exist in, whereas (pure) (ontological) idealism accepts no possibility of the reality of space.

2. The NSTP theory is semi-dualistic in that, it reduces space, where the phenomena like quantum non-locality exist in, to non-spatial mind, whereas (pure) (mind-body) dualism accepts no such reduction. Also, unlike (pure) (mind-body) dualism, the non-spatial and the spatial (that possibly exists according to conjecture 3) ontologies in the NSTP theory bear no correlation with each other, for the former involves the phenomena like quantum non-locality, whereas the latter involves no such phenomena.

The NSTP Theory's Resemblance with Berkeley's Idealism and Descartes' Dualism -

1. The NSTP theory, as an idealistic theory, resembles Berkeley's idealism as the spatial material entities, even when, at times, not experienced by non-superhuman NSTP/s, exist because superhuman NSTPs exist, representing them, the spatial material entities, as ideas.

2. The NSTP theory, as a dualistic theory, resembles Descartes' Dualism as, within its axiomatic framework, it asserts the existence of non-spatial ontology with certainty, and, within its conjectural framework, it asserts the existence of spatial ontology with uncertainty.

Notes -

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