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Noetic theory or noëtics (from Greek νοητικός “mental” from νοεῖν “to think” from νοῦς – noûs) is a branch of metaphysical philosophy concerned with the study of mind and intuition, and its relationship with the divine intellect. Among its principal purposes one can mention the study of non-rational ways of knowing and how they relate to reason; it also refers to the study of relationships between human and divine intuition. That is why noetic theory often had very close links with metaphysics. In the Western tradition and Arab philosophy noetic theory was strongly influenced by the theories of philosophers such as Anaxagoras, Plato and Aristotle.

In modern dictionaries, “noetic” is often defined as meaning “intellect,” whereas noesis is translated as “insight” or “intellection”. This practice derives from medieval theologians and philosophers who used the Latin word “intellectus” – but for them, this typically meant what we today would call “intuition.”


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