from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Plural of noumenon.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Plural form of noumenon.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The germ of the conception of what the philosopher speaks of as the noumena, or actualities, back of phenomena or appearances, had perhaps this crude beginning.

    A History of Science: in Five Volumes. Volume I: The Beginnings of Science

  • To know “things in themselves” or noumena, that is, what ultimately causes them to affect us as they do or what governs their existence or consti - tutes their essence, we should have to possess some direct insight into their nature.

    Dictionary of the History of Ideas

  • Nay, further, this conception is necessary to restrain sensuous intuition within the bounds of phenomena, and thus to limit the objective validity of sensuous cognition; for things in themselves, which lie beyond its province, are called noumena for the very purpose of indicating that this cognition does not extend its application to all that the understanding thinks.

    The Critique of Pure Reason

  • 'noumena' of the phenomenal bread and wine are the same with that which was the 'noumenon' of the phenomenal flesh and blood of Christ when on earth.

    The Literary Remains of Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  • German philosophy after Kant could be summarized as hankering after the noumena, and thus as more “Platonic” than Kant.

    Matthew Yglesias » Time For a Blogger Ethics Panel

  • Kant seems to nod in this direction with his (dubious) noumenal/phenomenal split, but he was quite firm that we cannot apprehend the noumena.

    Matthew Yglesias » Time For a Blogger Ethics Panel

  • Then noumena, which are not in your minds when you are born, have no way of getting in —

    Chapter 36

  • Positive science deals only with phenomena, yet you are foolish enough to strive to be ontologists and to deal with noumena.

    Chapter 36

  • They talk the argot of evolution, while they no more understand the essence and the import of evolution than does a South Sea Islander or Sir Oliver Lodge understand the noumena of radioactivity.

    The Other Animals

  • In particular, he thought that the unobservable entities postulated by scientific theories were Kant's noumena or things in themselves.

    Structural Realism


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Meaning things in themselves or the 'thing-in-itself'. This is in contrast to phenomena which has the applied meaning of 'things as they appear'. See Johann Gottlieb Fichte, German philosopher 1762-1814. He did not endorse Kant's argument that noumena was a supra-sensible reality that lay beyond the catagories of human reason.

    September 17, 2008