What is Phenomenism?July 2, 2021
Phenomenism or Eventism is a philosophy doctrine that asserts that there is nothing but phenomena, that is, events and phenomena that occur in time or space and can be the subject of experiment. Since the unmediated subject of experiment is always an imagination, the history of phenomenism is at many points confused with that of idealism. For example, Berkeley does not accept a material ore. According to Berkeley, what is real is only finite minds and infinite minds, namely God. David Hume does not accept the existence of not only bodies but also minds as substances.
According to Hume, the idea we get about the self, like the idea we get about bodies, can be reduced to a collection of conscious states. The principles that we see as the basis of the laws that phenomena obey (for example, the principle of causality) do not have the nature of necessity. These are just mental habits; They emerged as a result of experimentation and association of ideas. Hume’s skepticism about the necessity and universality of the laws of nature arises from these thoughts.
Kant argues that the human mind can only comprehend phenomena. But being imaginations, these phenomena have to obey the laws of our mind or the categories of the mind. Hence, in Kant’s eyes, the science of phenomena cannot be doubted. Also, this philosopher says that behind the phenomena there are noumenas, the knowledge of which we cannot obtain but whose existence is certain.
Renouvier initiated a different revival of the concept of phenomenism. For Renouvier, phenomena are necessarily and absolutely dependent on the categories of the mind. But apart from conscious subjects, there are no things-in-themselves, that is, noumena.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer Yıldırım