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n. Philosophy
The doctrine, set forth by David Hume and his successors, that percepts and concepts constitute the sole objects of knowledge, with the objects of perception and the nature of the mind itself remaining unknowable.

phe·nom′e·nal·ist n.
phe·nom′e·nal·is′tic adj.
phe·nom′e·nal·is′ti·cal·ly adv.


(fɪˈnɒmɪnəˌlɪzəm) or


(Philosophy) philosophy the doctrine that statements about physical objects and the external world can be analysed in terms of possible or actual experiences, and that entities, such as physical objects, are only mental constructions out of phenomenal appearances. Compare idealism3, realism6
pheˈnomenalist, pheˈnomenist n, adj
pheˌnomenalˈistically adv


(fɪˈnɒm ə nlˌɪz əm)

1. the doctrine that phenomena are the only objects of knowledge or the only form of reality.
2. the view that all things, including human beings, consist simply of the aggregate of their observable, sensory qualities.
phe•nom′e•nal•ist, n.
phe•nom`e•nal•is′tic, adj.


the doctrine that phenomena are the only objects of knowledge or the only form of reality. — phenomenalist, n.phenomenalistic, adj.
See also: Philosophy


nPhänomenalismus m
References in periodicals archive ?
Comnes understands Carpenter's Gothic as the bleakest of Gaddis's first three novels, in part because it "records indeterminacy as a subject meant to be comprehended phenomenalistically, without the accompaniment of an interpretative aesthetic pattern" (134).
Zavarzadeh argues that bireferential nonfictional narratives tend to present facts phenomenalistically, "post-mimetic, non-verisimilar, anti-symbolic," while monoreferential nonfictional narratives tend to present facts "comprehensionally .
But none of the classic defenders of the 'relativity of motion', including Leibniz and Mach, understood relations among bodies purely phenomenalistically.