noumenon

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noumenon

(no͞o`mənŏn'), in the philosophical system of Immanuel KantKant, Immanuel
, 1724–1804, German metaphysician, one of the greatest figures in philosophy, b. Königsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia). Early Life and Works
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, a "thing-in-itself"; it is opposed to phenomenonphenomenon,
an observable fact or event; in philosophy the definitions and uses of the term have varied. In the philosophy of Aristotle phenomena were the objects of the senses (e.g., sights and sounds), as opposed to the real objects understood by the mind.
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, the thing that appears to us. Noumena are the basic realities behind all sensory experience. According to Kant, they are not knowable because they cannot be perceived, but they must be thinkable because moral decision making and scientific investigation cannot proceed without the assumption that they exist.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Noumenon

 

a term widely used in medieval and modern philosophy to signify something that can be perceived by the mind, unlike the phenomenon, which is given in experience and is perceived through the senses.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.