phenomenon

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phenomenon,

an observable fact or event; in philosophy the definitions and uses of the term have varied. In the philosophy of AristotleAristotle
, 384–322 B.C., Greek philosopher, b. Stagira. He is sometimes called the Stagirite. Life

Aristotle's father, Nicomachus, was a noted physician. Aristotle studied (367–347 B.C.
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 phenomena were the objects of the senses (e.g., sights and sounds), as opposed to the real objects understood by the mind. Later, phenomena were considered the observed facts and were contrasted with the theories used to explain them. Modern philosophers have used "phenomenon" to designate what is apprehended before judgment is applied. For 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 phenomenon was the object of experience and was the opposite of a noumenonnoumenon
, in the philosophical system of Immanuel Kant, a "thing-in-itself"; it is opposed to phenomenon, the thing that appears to us. Noumena are the basic realities behind all sensory experience.
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, the thing-in-itself, to which Kant's categories did not apply.

Phenomenon

 

(1) An uncommon object or events; a rarity.

(2) A philosophical concept denoting an object or event that is perceivable by the senses. Aristotle used the term “phenomenon” to mean that which is apparent or illusory. G. W. von Leibniz, who defined phenomena as facts known through experience, distinguished a category of “real, well-established phenomena.” For G. Berkeley, D. Hume, and the advocates of positivism and Machism, phenomena are the data of consciousness—the empirical elements, in the subjective idealist sense—that constitute the only existing reality. According to I. Kant, a phenomenon is anything that can possibly be the object of experience; phenomena are juxtaposed to noumena, or “things in themselves.” In the phenomenology of E. Husserl, phenomena are directly given to consciousness as the contents of intentional acts.

V. F. ASMUS

phenomenon

Philosophy
a. the object of perception, experience, etc.
b. (in the writings of Kant) a thing as it appears and is interpreted in perception and reflection, as distinguished from its real nature as a thing-in-itself
References in classic literature ?
Making himself very amiable to the infant phenomenon, was an inebriated elderly gentleman in the last depths of shabbiness, who played the calm and virtuous old men; and paying especial court to Mrs Crummles was another elderly gentleman, a shade more respectable, who played the irascible old men--those funny fellows who have nephews in the army and perpetually run about with thick sticks to compel them to marry heiresses.
Smike, the boys, and the phenomenon, went home by a shorter cut, and Mrs Grudden remained behind to take some cold Irish stew and a pint of porter in the box-office.
I have among the papers that were sent me by the young man, after the affair was over, a note-book of his, in which a complete account is given of the phenomenon of the disappearance of the "matter" of the assassin, and the thoughts to which it gave rise in the mind of my young friend.
"Just so," continued Barbicane; "and when it has passed the point of equal attraction, its base, being the heavier, will draw it perpendicularly to the moon; but, in order that this phenomenon should take place, we must have passed the neutral line."
The first movement seems to be an immediate consequence of the earthquake affecting differently a fluid and a solid, so that their respective levels are slightly deranged: but the second case is a far more important phenomenon. During most earthquakes, and especially during those on the west coast of America, it is certain that the first great movement of the waters has been a retirement.