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[noo-muh-non] /ˈnu məˌnɒn/
noun, plural noumena
[noo-muh-nuh] /ˈnu mə nə/ (Show IPA)
the object, itself inaccessible to experience, to which a phenomenon is referred for the basis or cause of its sense content.
a thing in itself, as distinguished from a phenomenon or thing as it appears.
Kantianism. something that can be the object only of a purely intellectual, nonsensuous intuition.
1790-1800; < Greek nooúmenon a thing being perceived, noun use of neuter of present participle passive of noeîn to perceive; akin to nous Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for noumenon


/ˈnuːmɪnən; ˈnaʊ-/
noun (pl) -na (-nə)
(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 phenomenon (sense 3) See also thing-in-itself
the object of a purely intellectual intuition
Derived Forms
noumenal, adjective
noumenalism, noun
noumenalist, noun, adjective
noumenality, noun
noumenally, adverb
Word Origin
C18: via German from Greek: thing being thought of, from noein to think, perceive; related to nous mind
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for noumenon

1796, "object of intellectual intuition" (opposed to a phenomenon), term introduced by Kant, from Greek noumenon "that which is perceived," neuter passive present participle of noein "to apprehend, perceive by the mind" (from noos "mind"). With passive suffix -menos.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for noumenon

in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, the thing-in-itself (das Ding an sich) as opposed to what Kant called the phenomenon-the thing as it appears to an observer. Though the noumenal holds the contents of the intelligible world, Kant claimed that man's speculative reason can only know phenomena and can never penetrate to the noumenon. Man, however, is not altogether excluded from the noumenal because practical reason-i.e., the capacity for acting as a moral agent-makes no sense unless a noumenal world is postulated in which freedom, God, and immortality abide.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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