phenomenon

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phe·nom·e·non / fəˈnäməˌnän; -nən/ • n. (pl. -na / -nə/ ) 1. a fact or situation that is observed to exist or happen, esp. one whose cause or explanation is in question: glaciers are unique and interesting natural phenomena. ∎  a remarkable person, thing, or event. 2. Philos. the object of a person's perception; what the senses or the mind notice.

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Phenomenon ★★½ 1996 (PG)

Average small town schmoe George Malley (Travolta) is turned into a genius when he's struck by a bright light on his 37th birthday. This development brings him to the attention of the scientific community and, of course, the military. The locals scorn him, thus fulfilling the Hollywood stereotype of rural folks fearing anything they don't understand. Good-natured weeper plays the Gump card (but turns too paranoid) and wins as Travolta gets to be the nice guy, while attractive Sedgwick is fine as romantic interest Lace. 123m/C VHS, DVD . John Travolta, Robert Duvall, Kyra Sedgwick, Forest Whitaker, Richard Kiley, Brent Spiner; D: Jon Turteltaub; W: Gerald Di Pego; C: Phedon Papamichael; M: Thomas Newman.

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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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phenomenon, pl. -mena thing or fact perceived or observed XVII; notable or exceptional fact or occurrence XVIII.
Also, in early use, phaino-, phaeno-; — late L. phænomenon — Gr. phainómenon, sb. use of prp. pass. of phaínein show, pass. be seen, appear.