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(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.



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.

References in periodicals archive ?
The phenomenal (our constructed reality) is contrasted with noumena (the essence) as students make sense of and reorganize a worldview, uncoupling reality with their subjective interpretation of it.
Berrigan's poems move rhetorically from descriptions of external phenomena in the octave to descriptions of internal noumena in the sestet.
metaphysical entities, noumena, and so can only be experienced
3) Now, this realist definition of science and worldview will be problematic from within the perspective of the famous Kantian distinction, even demarcation, between noumena and phenomena.
No spirits, wraiths, hobgoblins, spooks, noumena, superstitions, transcendentals, mystics, invisible hands, supreme creator, angels, demons (Kantor, 1984).
Within the tales this metamorphosis has deadly results, but for readers the mediated feeling of terror conducted into their bodies through the text highlights the uneasy relation between the noumena and phenomena.
Trying mightily to allay his distrust, Kant proposed an interesting distinction between phenomena and noumena.
To a positivist taking for granted epistemological distinctions between noumena and phenomena, or between things perceived and their mental images, or between concepts and the language used to express them, this poetic theory would indeed have looked like mysticism as well as mystification.
In a more ominous light, Hopkins predicts that were the sciences to displace metaphysics and co-opt its claims to "action of the mind," metaphysics, confined to the outermost skyline of science," will offer only trite verbiage about the noumena.
Kant is criticized for his undialectical adherence to the central dualism of phenomena and noumena.
I did find myself quibbling with isolated interpretations en route here--for example, it is arguable that neither Parsifal with its structure of comedy, nor Tristan with its celebration of the night-death and the Schopenhauerian noumena, can really be called "pessimistic"--but Gorse is always strongest when bringing together the music, the text, and the drama.
Shifting the terms from "imagination" to "feeling," Lyotard's narrative pragmatics model repeats a problem of the aesthetical situated within Kant's conduit of imagination, the figure of genius, a figure key to Kant's attempt to bridge the gap between the world of phenomena - mere appearance - and the world of noumena - ideas.