CriticaLink | Plato: Phaedrus | Terms


The term phenomenon comes from the Greek word for "appearance". Phenomena are the elements of the world that appear to us through our sense experience, including organizations such as "society" and instances of abstractions such as a "just" ruling in court. In Plato's idealist philosophy, phenomena are transient, defective copies of the eternal, perfect Forms and so are not truly real.

In his essay "The Question Concerning Technology" Martin Heidegger uses a Greek term related to "phenomena", apophainesthai, which means "appearing".