<metaphysics, ontology> an object as it is (or would be) independently of our awareness of it; the noumenon. As Kant showed, we cannot know things-in-themselves but can only postulate their nature from what we know about observable phenomena. Recommended Reading: Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, tr. by Werner S. Pluhar and Patricia Kitcher (Hackett, 1996); Sebastian Gardner, Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason (Routledge, 1999); Gerold Prauss, Kant und das Problem der Dinge an sich; and Rae Langton, Kantian Humility: Our Ignorance of Things in Themselves (Clarendon, 1998).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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