What philosophies or philosophers made attempts to unify noumena and phenomena as indistinct from each other, that is to show that they are all mere pattern representations* in a "mindspace"**? The result of which would be/is a type of blindness or indifference in a way similar to how our organs work without us being specifically aware of how.

  • *loosely speaking, I am calling a pattern representation a given set of relationships that becomes(?) apparent from objects in the physical world/those experienced through our senses and those in our minds. Maybe a simplified example is how a stock-market profile reflects the profile of a mountain range; as in the self-similar patterns one sees in fractals. Or how gravitational attraction and attraction between beings are simply one facet(s) of the same pattern representation. In abstract space there may be no difference between the "structural controls" of each; the differences we choose to see may simply be in the combination of patterns.

  • **loosely speaking mindspace is the all-encompassing, multi-dimensional (including the physical world) space that we reside in, having infinite(?) or at least high multi-dimensional power. Pattern representations are noticeable in this mindspace.

  • 2
    What do you mean with "mere pattern representations" and "mindspace"? It sounds like you already have some ideas; maybe you could share these or explain how you got to this question? Also, please consider making the headline more precise, because the answer to the head question would be "yes, obviously they are", and that's not what you want to hear.
    – iphigenie
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 13:02
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    You're welcome. Now, one more time for the headline...: the noumenal and phenomenal WHAT? Or do you mean "noumena and phenomena"? And still the question "are they connected" is not what you're looking for, because we already know that they are, Kant said so; what you're looking for is an answer to the question how they're connected, isn't it?
    – iphigenie
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 19:28
  • I see - thanks again for the correction. You say these are connected by Kant and I didn't know this (part of my question was to find this out). As you say, my next question would be to see how he connected these 2 concepts, so I've started to read him/about him. Is there a specific reference that you could point me to in order to understand this connection better?
    – val
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 20:28
  • What would it mean to unify them? Part of Kant's purpose is to not unify "them" but rather see these as separate epistemic realms. In a sense, Hegel could be said to try to unify them but he does so in part by abandoning this as a good distinction.
    – virmaior
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 7:16

2 Answers 2


I really can't help with the mindspace problem, and I'm not sure I understand your representations, but I do know where to look for Kant's explanation, so here comes.

The place you'll have to look is the third chapter of the Critique of Pure Reason, Of the Ground of the Division of all Objects into Phenomena. Although I might tell you right away that you won't find a lot there, which is why people have been discussing this issue ever since. Check out Stanford Encyclopedia on the two-objects interpretations and the two-aspects interpretation. A contemporary advocate for the first interpretation is Guyer, check out Kant and the Claims of Knowledge. The two-aspects reading is advocated by Allison, e.g. in Idealism and Freedom: Essays on Kant's Theoretical and Practical Philosophy.

  • I'll take a look at what you've given me. Thank you. Sorry about my "terminology"... I just don't know the lingo so I describe it as I see it.
    – val
    Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 21:59

Kant emphasizes that our experience is not an image but a construction. Our understanding constructs experience with the help of two types of intuition, space and time, and the categories. The intuitions and the categories are a priori.

We do not know anything about the thing-in-itself, because we have no direct contact. As a first approximation, thing-in-itself is a synonym to noumenon. And phenomenon is a synonym to experience.

The concept of mind-space seems a risky term in this connection. Better calling the domain of experience mind-space. Because it is result of our constructive experience. The outer world of the thing-in-itself is sometimes named reality. But one has always to check how the author in question defines his terms.

Kant is a philosopher who separates noumena and phenomena in a strict way. He does not aim at unifying them.

  • Can you substantiate the sentence "As a first approximation, thing-in-itself is a synonym to noumenon"? Other than that, I would agree with your answer.
    – virmaior
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 22:48
  • In Critique of Pure Reason, B310, Kant equates the two concepts. Before, in B300/301 he distinguishes whether one takes a noumenon in the positive sense or in the negative sense. But one can discuss whether that makes any difference compared to the thing-in-itself, which cannot be known at all (A30).
    – Jo Wehler
    Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 4:30

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