Later, in his movement towards Positivism, he strongly repudiates Kant's separation of phenomenon from noumenon, and affirms that our intellect is capable of grasping the whole reality.
Such a noumenon looks very like body or matter.
It may be urged in reply that the synthetic philosophy could be made consistent by transferring the knowable resistance and persistence of the unknowable noumenon to knowable phenomena on the one hand, and on the other hand by maintaining that all phenomena from the original nebula to the rise of consciousness are only ` 0 impressions produced on consciousness through any of the senses," after all.
Hence it is the office of the theory of knowledge to show that the Ego posits the thing per se as only existing for itself, a noumenon in the sense of a product of its own thinking.
Fichte thus transformed the transcendental idealism of Kant by identifying the thing with the object, and by interpreting noumenon, not in Kant's sense of something which speculative reason conceives and practical reason postulates to exist in accordance with the idea, but in the new meaning of a thought, a product of reason.
Thus the complete metaphysical idealism of Fichte's Wissenschaftslehre formed out of the incomplete metaphysical idealism of Kant's Kritik, is the theor y on its epistemological side that the Ego posits the non-Ego as a thing in itself, and yet as only a thing existing for it as its own noumenon, and on its metaphysical side that in consequence all reality is the Ego and its own determinations, which are objective, or valid for all, as determinations, not of you or of me, but of the consciousness common to all of us, the pure or absolute Ego.
Lastly, Fichte called this system realism, in so far as it posits the thing in itself as another thing; idealism, in so far as it posits it as a noumenon which is a product of its own thinking; and on the whole real idealism or ideal realism.
By changing the meaning of "noumenon " from the thing apprehended (voouµevov) to the thought (vOnya), and in the hypothesis of a common consciousness, he started the view that a thing is not yours or my thought, but a common thought of all mankind, and led to the wider view of Schelling and Hegel that the world is an absolute thought of infinite mind.
- Noumenal Idealism In Germany Noumenal idealism is the metaphysics of those who suppose that all known things are indeed mental, but not all are phenomenal in the Kantian sense, because a noumenon is knowable so long as by a noumenon we mean some mental being or other which we somehow can discover beyond phenomena.
Accord ing to Caird, Kant " reduces the inaccessible thing in itself (which he at first speaks of as affecting our sensibility) to a noumenon which is projected by reason itself " (Essays, ii.
405); and in the Transcendental Dialectic, which forms the last part of Kant's Kritik, the noumenon becomes the object of an intuitive understanding " whose thought," says Caird, " is one with the existence of the objects it knows" (ibid.
Kant, then, as interpreted by English Hegelians, already believed, before Hegel, that there is one intelligence common to all individuals, and that a noumenon is a thought of this common intelligence, " an ideal of reason "; so that Kant was trying to be a Hegelian, holding that the world has no being beyond the thoughts of one intelligence.
Though again in the Transcendental Dialect he spoke of pure reason conceiving " ideals " of noumena, he did not mean that a noumenon is nothing but a thought arising only through thinking, or projected by reason, but meant that pure reason can only conceive the " ideal " while, over and above the " ideal " of pure reason, a noumenon is a real thing, a thing in itself, which is not indeed known, but whose existence is postulated by practical reason in the three instances of God, freedom, and immortality.
In theology the fundamental problems of ontological philosophy were faced; the relationship of unity to multiplicity, of noumenon to phenomena, of God to man.
If we wish, said Kant, to give a real existence to the thing in itself or the noumenon we can only do so by investing it with the attributes found in our own internal sense, viz.
In the Biographia he avows that the writings of Kant "more than any other work, at once invigorated and disciplined my understanding"; yet the gist of his estimate there is that Kant left his system undeveloped, as regards his idea of the Noumenon, for fear of orthodox persecution - a judgment hardly compatible with any assumption of Kant's Christian orthodoxy, which was notoriously inadequate.