3 Answers

  1. I am not a philosopher, and I did not study at the Faculty of Philosophy, but, like many people who received higher education, I had philosophy courses. So I'll try to explain how I understood it myself.

    Noumenon is a concept from the field of philosophy, which denotes some non-obvious and intangible entity. Something that can't be touched and experienced. In general, the word “noumenon” in the original Greek means “mind”. That is, we can say that a noumenon is something that can be known only and exclusively by the power of reason without using any senses.

    For the first time, this term appears in Plato's dialogues and is interpreted as an intelligible phenomenon. Kant called it ” the thing in itself “(in many sources,” the thing in itself”) and interpreted it a little differently – as an exclusively intelligible object that exists only thanks to our logical judgments. This is something that is not based on experience. (The Q expert wrote quite well in this question.) From here we can come to the concept of a priori knowledge introduced by him.

    In turn, a phenomenon is something given in sensory perception. That is, something that we can understand by experience, that is, a posteriori knowledge.

    And now, against the background of these introductory notes, I will try to answer the question and write a simple example.

    I have a club in my office. Absolutely standard white – nothing remarkable. What can I say about her? It is white, smooth, weighty, has a shape similar to a cylinder, you can pour water into it, which then will not pass through the walls of the mug, and so on. In other words, my idea of a circle is a combination of the characteristics I described above. It's all phenomenal, so I can tell by interacting with the mug.

    And now the question is-if you give me an introduction to the fact that I have something white, heavy, smooth, holding water, and so on-will I be able to immediately collect these characteristics in the image of a mug? Most likely yes, but the trouble is that the same characteristics can simultaneously describe the toilet. And the fact that I'm used to thinking of my mug as a white object and all that doesn't guarantee that this set of characteristics doesn't mean a toilet bowl.

    And now let's try to do an exercise and take turns to deprive the mug we are looking at of all its characteristics in general. Let's discard the color, weight, impenetrability, hardness or softness, in general, everything that we are used to determine from an object.

    All the same, there will remain something intangible and incomprehensible that makes the existing characteristics exactly a circle – circularity. (As in the meme about ” explain your smallness.”)

    And so, if we thus discard in any empirical concept all the properties that are known to us from our experience (the phenomenal), we will not be able to discard something that makes us think of this concept as substance. And that is exactly what you can know only with your mind – and this is the noumenon.

  2. Simply put, all that we see and feel is a phenomenon, a noumenon -something that we are not able to recognize, like thinking, time, derivative (something that is not amenable to our senses).

  3. Phenomenon and noumenon? Is the boundary between these two concepts so rigid?

    Generally accepted:

    A phenomenon is something known by our senses (sight, smell, hearing, taste, touch), that is, a posteriori knowledge.

    Noumenon is a concept that denotes some non-obvious and intangible entity. Something that can't be learned by experience. In the original Greek – “mind”, something known only and exclusively by the power of reason without using any senses.

    Why is this disputed? Let's start with the first concept – PHENOMENON:

    Our sensory organs (fingers, skin, nose, ear, tongue…) cannot function independently, in isolation from the brain. In any case, the signals of the nerve endings enter the central nervous system, are analyzed, cataloged, and give a response (synthesis of the received knowledge from the senses). That is, the mind in this case has a lot to do with it!

    Consequently, a PHENOMENON, as a concept of an object-phenomenon, is perceived with the participation of reason.

    Further. Perception (of an object, phenomenon) depends on:

    1. from the acuteness of our senses. Blind (or visually impaired, colorblind) – will not determine the color, spectra, color details; palm with calluses, will not feel small roughness (cracks, bends…); weak sense of smell – smell… etc. The sharper senses, the deeper we penetrate into the essence of the subject-phenomena: telescopic sight allows you to see details on the moon, for example; x-ray – that we are not able to see normal vision, microscopic vision will allow us to see the detail of the rock, where we see separately the components (in granite, quartz, mica, feldspar), knowing already more detailed and deeper in his nature; and seeing (we can assume the existence of such a view?) molecules, vibrating atoms-we are approaching a perception that is adequate to the NOUMENON.
    2. the experience of previous acquaintance with the object-phenomenon will allow you to give out more accurate information about them-so the blind man finds his way where he was before, that is, the Brain works (and therefore the Mind), the mole searches for food using the nose… Conversely, a person who is blind from birth (who has never seen or understood what light or color is) has no such experience and has a completely different perception, since his Brain (Mind) processes information differently.
    3. Environment (spatial)! Imagine an alien on a planet with no atmosphere, therefore – there are no smells, and there are no sounds (the atmosphere is the medium of propagation of molecules); on a planet orbiting a star with a different spectrum, or the sun that has gone out, or in its absence, it perceives light, colors-differently,or does not perceive at all, perhaps the organ of vision is missing, and the green leaf
    4. Wednesday (temporary)! Let's say (somehow) a medieval man, a Stone Age man, discovered a television set… At this time, there is no electricity, telecommunications, Wi-Fi?.. The same sensory organs, with a sharpness similar to ours ,( perhaps sharper), a brain comparable to ours, but without our technological experience. The concept of a Phenomenon will be different from our Phenomenon?! Sure. And, of course! – Brain and Mind, here-and! And our perception of the object-phenomenon, for Australopithecus, will be closer to the concept of Noumenon.
    5. Modern technologies that allow us to see deeper, sharper and further (telescopes, microscopes, X-rays, echoes…); hear better (sound technology at the borders (ultra and infra); smell odors at the level of single molecules, and so on, are nothing more than simply SHARPENING our PERCEPTION ORGANS, therefore the Brain receives new, more complete and detailed information about the subject – phenomenon.

    I think there is no doubt that the evolution of the Brain-directly depended on our organs of perception of the environment, the accumulation of experience about objects and phenomena. The brain could not have come into being without the tools of information acquisition, and throughout the entire period of evolution, our Mind (Brain) was the Main Tool of Perception, allowing us to see, hear, perceive smells, touch. Hence is it possible to conclude that the perception of the subject-a phenomenon in terms of the Phenomenon-Noumenon, is conditional on the border, which slides in the direction of the Phenomenon, given the worsening of our Senses (technology), experience, knowledge; and (second and most importantly), to refute the fact that the perception of the subject phenomenon as a Phenomenon that occurs without the participation of the Mind, and the perception of the subject-a phenomenon as Noumenon without Experience? I Think-Yes!

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