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n. pl. nou·me·na (-nə)
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.

[German, from Greek nooumenon, from neuter present passive participle of noein, to perceive by thought, from nous, mind.]

nou′men·al (-mə-nəl) adj.


(ˈnuːmɪnən; ˈnaʊ-)
n, pl -na (-nə)
1. (Philosophy) (in the philosophy of Kant) a thing as it is in itself, not perceived or interpreted, incapable of being known, but only inferred from the nature of experience. Compare phenomenon3 See also thing-in-itself
2. (Philosophy) the object of a purely intellectual intuition
[C18: via German from Greek: thing being thought of, from noein to think, perceive; related to nous mind]
ˈnoumenal adj
ˈnoumenalism n
ˈnoumenalist n, adj
ˌnoumeˈnality n
ˈnoumenally adv


(ˈnu məˌnɒn)

n., pl. -na (-nə).
something that can be the object only of a purely intellectual, nonsensuous intuition.
[1790–1800; < Greek nooúmenon a thing being perceived, n. use of neuter of passive present participle of noeîn to perceive]
nou′me•nal, adj.

noumenon Kantianism.

1. that which can be the object only of a purely intellectual, nonsensuous intuition, the thing-in-itself (Ding an Sich).
2. an unknowable object (as God), the existence of which is not capable of proof. — noumenal, adj.
See also: Philosophy
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.noumenon - the intellectual conception of a thing as it is in itself, not as it is known through perception
cognitive content, mental object, content - the sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned
References in classic literature ?
exposition of noumena offer a rich field for what Lewes calls "the
Then noumena, which are not in your minds when you are born, have no way of getting in - "
Positive science deals only with phenomena, yet you are foolish enough to strive to be ontologists and to deal with noumena.
But Noumena, a collective of designers, engineers and architects, is looking at AI and robots more practically.
When Descola defines "naturalism" as a dual cosmology that asserts physical commonality and spiritual individualization, he highlights the prioritization of the western spiritual experience of the world over the necessary production of empty signs or noumena.
Again, Kant asserts a possible difference between noumena and phenomena.
I have been using the terms object and thing in order to mark an ontological difference, and here I follow Bill Brown, whose discussion of "thing theory" returns us to the Kantian problem of distinguishing between the phenomena we can know and the noumena we cannot, a problem that has been usefully reinterpreted by phenomenology, particularly in the work of Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty.
This is typical of the difference in the perception of phenomena and noumena.
I flew for a second; it was the pure joy of naked innocence, Of seeing without thought, Of sensing without reason, Of the later unknowable, of Kants noumena.
Through the postulation of a realm of unknowable noumena (things in themselves) over against the realm of nature as a realm of appearances, Kant manages to make place for practical concepts that are central to our understanding of ourselves even while grounding our scientific knowledge of nature as a domain governed by deterministic causal laws.
Lo que se expresa en cada una de estas oposiciones no es la preeminencia de una alternativa sobre otra, sino la igualdad de condiciones, podriamos decir, en que cada fenomeno o noumena se encuentra respecto de la verdad:
For example, Kant famously made the distinction between the physical, sensed phenomena and the metaphysical, divine noumena.