from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. In the philosophy of Kant, an object as it is in itself independent of the mind, as opposed to a phenomenon. Also called thing-in-itself.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. In the philosophy of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) and those whom he influenced, a thing as it is independent of any conceptualization or perception by the human mind; a thing-in-itself, postulated by practical reason but existing in a condition which is in principle unknowable and unexperienceable.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The of itself unknown and unknowable rational object, or thing in itself, which is distinguished from the
phenomenonthrough which it is apprehended by the senses, and by which it is interpreted and understood; -- so used in the philosophy of Kant and his followers.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In the Kantian philosophy:
- n. That which can be the object only of a purely intellectual intuition.
- n. Inexactly, a thing as it is apart from all thought; what remains of the object of thought after space, time, and all the categories of the understanding are abstracted from it; a thing in itself.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the intellectual conception of a thing as it is in itself, not as it is known through perception
If, by the term noumenon, we understand a thing so far as it is not an object of our sensuous intuition, thus making abstraction of our mode of intuiting it, this is a noumenon in the negative sense of the word.
What, therefore, we call noumenon must be understood by us as such in a negative sense.
The noumenon is a bit difficult to locate; it can be apprehended only be a process of reasoning -- which is a phenomenon.
Behind the phenomena of human history, the noumenon is the Human
And we cannot call a noumenon an object of pure thought; for the representation thereof is but the problematical conception of an object for a perfectly different intuition and a perfectly different understanding from ours, both of which are consequently themselves problematical.
Some hold that the universal nature of things of any kind is an Idea existing (apart from the things) in the intelligible world, invisible to mortal eye and only accessible to thought; whence the Idea is called a noumenon: that only the Idea is truly real, and that the things (say, trees, bedsteads and cities) which appear to us in sense-perception, and which therefore are called phenomena, only exist by participating in, or imitating, the Idea of each kind of them.
Now the 'phænomenon' is in time, and an effect: but the 'noumenon' is not in time any more than it is in space.
Pure action, that is, the will, is a 'noumenon', and irreferable to time.
The substrate or 'causa invisibilis' may be the 'noumenon' or actuality,
Surely not the visible, tangible, accidental body, that is, a cycle of images and sensations in the imagination of the beholders; but his supersensual body, the 'noumenon' of his human nature which was united to his divine nature.