Part of speech: noun
Origin: Greek, 18th century
(in Kantian philosophy) a thing as it is in itself, as distinct from a thing as it is knowable by the senses through phenomenal attributes.
Examples of Noumenon in a sentence
"The subject of my philosophy dissertation is the Kantian noumenon."
"Natural elements such as mountains are often used as an example of a “noumenon” in philosophy class."
Popularity Over Time
“Noumenon” is based on the Greek “νοούμενον,” meaning “something that is conceived with the mind.” This was in direct contrast to “phenomenon,” which came from the Greek “φαινόμενον,” meaning “that which appears visibly.”
Did you Know?
German philosopher Immanuel Kant coined the word “noumenon” (and the plural “noumena”) in 1783 in an effort to describe things occurring outside of appearances visible to human beings. “Noumenon” describes a transcendental thing too great to be fully conceived with limited human capacities. Kant used the word in direct contrast to “phenomenon,” which is a fact or event perceptible to humans through their senses.