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Talk:Phenomenon (Kant's philosophy)

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 Definition Something that is shown, or revealed, or manifest in experience, as opposed to a noumenon. [d] [e]
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Gareth, you've made this a "CZ Live" article, but quite honestly, I don't know what the point of the article is--I never did. I can see an article about Kant's use of "phenomenon," but the rest of the article is, well, simply an elaboration and application of the dictionary definition of "phenomenon." The only thing substantial in the article is

Phenomena make up the raw data of science. It was an attempt to explain phenomena like earthquakes, lightning, rain, fire, sunrise, thunderstorm, rusting that lead to the development of modern science. Phenomena are often exploited by technology.

And perhaps:

Some observable events are commonplace, others require delicate manipulation of expensive and sensitive equipment. Some are significant experiments which led to groundbreaking discoveries.
There is a class of phenomena which lie outside generally accepted knowledge which knowledgeable scientists tend to discount. They are collected and discussed under the topic anomalous phenomenon.

That's a pretty slender thread to hang an article on.

As to the list of kinds of phenomena, if you look at the Wikipedia article, you'll see that "biological phenomenon" redirects to "biology," "chemical phenomenon" redirects to "chemistry," and so on. Quite right, too.

Given the utter absence of enough information in this article beyond the purely semantic, I'd actually be inclined to delete it. But perhaps someone can demonstrate to me a tradition and knowledge base concerning the very concept (not the meaning) of phenomena, and if so, I'll relent.

--Larry Sanger 09:00, 26 January 2007 (CST)

I'd like to hear from some of the other philosophers here. I'd propose to remove the Kant stuff to its own article (phenomenon (Kant)) and delete the rest. --Larry Sanger 23:22, 19 March 2007 (CDT)

I'd delete the list of phenomena for different subjects (one or two of entries could stay as "see alsos" or incorporated into the text), and the section of quotations. The material on Kant needs to be expanded and improved. The article would probably be mainly on Kant, though I think that there should be a section on Greek philosophy, and perhaps on "phenomenology" (not the Continental school, but the notion of the "what it's like to experience something") and "phenomenalism" (as found in writers like Mill and the Logical Positivists). --Peter J. King  Talk  06:51, 20 March 2007 (CDT)

Cut from the article

General sense

In general, apart from its specialized use as a term in philosophy, "phenomenon" stands for any observable event. Phenomena make up the raw data of science. It was an attempt to explain phenomena like earthquakes, lightning, rain, fire, sunrise, thunderstorm, rusting that led to the development of modern science. Phenomena are often exploited by technology.

It is possible to list the phenomena which are relevant to almost any field of endeavor. For example, in the case of optics and light one can list observable phenomena under the topic optical phenomenon.

The possibilities are many, for example:

Some observable events are commonplace, others require delicate manipulation of expensive and sensitive equipment. Some are significant experiments which led to groundbreaking discoveries.

There is a class of phenomena which lie outside generally accepted knowledge which knowledgeable scientists tend to discount. They are collected and discussed under the name "anomalous phenomena".

Colloquial or casual use

In casual usage, "phenomenon" is often taken to mean a "surprising development" or "unusually successful person".[1] [2] [3].

See also

Quotations

  • "No phenomenon is a phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon" Niels Bohr.
  • "Scientific theory is a contrived foothold in the chaos of living phenomena." Wilhelm Reich
  • "To study the phenomenon of disease without books is to sail an uncharted sea, while to study books without patients is not to go to sea at all." Sir William Osler
  • "If we knew all the laws of Nature, we should need only fact, or the description of one actual phenomenon, to infer all the particular results at that point." Henry David Thoreau

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