Kant and Tabatabaei On “Thing in Itself” and “Phenomena”

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD.C. in Islamic Philosophy at Tarbiat Modarres University

2 Professor in Islamic Philosophy at Tarbiat Modarres University


This paper intends to find an answer to the problematic description of the “thing in itself”, “phenomena” and the relation between the two in Kant and Allameh Tabatabaei’s philosophy and to consider how Allameh can solve the existing challenges in Kant’s philosophy. This research shows that since Kant accepts some necessary relation between “intelligible essences” and phenomena, he considers the existence of intelligible essences as a certain fact. In spite of accepting the intelligible essences, he believes noumena remain always unknown, because they cannot be known by experience. On the other hand, Allameh argues that the appearances in mind (quiddity) are representations of the reality of the things (existence). Therefore he makes a meaningful relation between ‘the thing in itself’ and the phenomena; similarly, the related challenges in Kant’s philosophy can be answered through Allameh’s philosophy.