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22.1 Minds

The contents of the mental degree are thoughts, along with the affections that motivate and accompany those thoughts. The collection of all the thoughts and affections of a given person is that person’s mind. Usually a mind contains many thoughts and affections. Each thought is a particular mental object, and such objects exist together in some appropriate kind of space: a different space (with different metric and topology) for each degree or sub-degree. Each object persists for some time before fading away. While existing, it interacts with other thoughts, often resulting in the creation of new thoughts. This is what we call thinking.

We do not yet know the topologies or metrics of those mental spaces, but scientific investigations should be able to make theories on that subject and test them by observing cognitive activities and products of thinking organisms (animals as well as humans). I speculate that the spaces are of an ‘associative’ nature, in which objects that have some similar meanings are ‘closer together’ and hence more likely to interact.

On the grounds of theism given in Chapter 17, we further expect that our ideas, in their space, are contained within some overall frame or body, just as our body is a framework for containing our physiological activities. We could call the ‘body’ for the mind our ‘mental body’. It lasts much longer than the more ephemeral ideas that exist within it.22.1


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