phenomenon, an observable fact or event; in philosophy the definitions and uses of the term have varied. In the philosophy of Aristotle phenomena were the objects of the senses (e.g., sights and sounds), as opposed to the real objects understood by the mind. Later, phenomena were considered the observed facts and were contrasted with the theories used to explain them. Modern philosophers have used "phenomenon" to designate what is apprehended before judgment is applied. For Immanuel Kant a phenomenon was the object of experience and was the opposite of a noumenon, the thing-in-itself, to which Kant's categories did not apply.
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Publication information: Article title: phenomenon. Encyclopedia title: The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. © 2012 The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia © 2012, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. Used with the permission of Columbia University Press. All Rights Reserved. Publisher: The Columbia University Press. Place of publication: Not available. Publication year: 2013.
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