Phenomena, or appearances, are attributes that make accessible to sensible perception the objects of the visible world. They are interpreted variously. According to parmenides, they are the "untrue." For Protagoras, they are subjective and relative; as the thing appears to a person, so it is for him (frag. 1). For aristotle, not every phenomenon is necessarily true (Meta. 1010b 1–29); however, when critically evaluated, phenomena make objective truth accessible and one should therefore study them (Meta. 986b 31). In the thinking of I. kant, the phenomena are generally valid and objective, but only for man since he constitutes them. More specifically, perceptions are formed by space and time, "which contain a priori the condition of the possibility of objects as appearances" (Critique of Pure Reason, A 89); i.e., they are the pure intuitions that are contained a priori in sensible nature. The phenomena are then conceived by reason, through its a priori concepts and categories, as objects, while cognition remains limited to the thing–for–us, and never reaches the thing–in–itself (ibid. B 164). Likewise, we know "our own subject only as appearance" (ibid. B 156). As opposed to this view, E. husserl returns "to the things themselves"; these he understands as the contents of consciousness that manifest themselves as the result of eidetic and phenomenological reduction and are comprehended by intuition or ideation (see phenomenology).
See Also: noumena; kantianism; phenomenalism.
Bibliography: g. caprone braga, Enciclopedia filosofica, 4v. (Venice–Rome 1957) 2:329–334. r. eisler, Wörterbuch der philosophischen Begriffe, 3 v. (4th ed. Berlin 1927–30) 2:415–416.
[j. b. lotz]
"Phenomena." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 9, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phenomena
"Phenomena." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved December 09, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/phenomena
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.