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Phenomenalism is a name for certain philosophical teachings that emerged in the 19th century and is derived from the Greek phainomenon , which means something like appearance . Accordingly, it is meant that a thing-in-itself cannot be known through experience , but rather that its appearance is an object of experience-related knowledge . Thus, the knowledge of an object can only relate to the conscious sensory impressions , but not to the thing in itself . Furthermore, a distinction must be made whether a reality is supposed to be behind the appearances at all, as is the case with Immanuel Kant , or whether the appearances are viewed as mere sensory impressions or objects of consciousness and a reality is not viewed as given, as is the case with, for example Ernst Mach can be found. The former is referred to as objective phenomenalism , the latter as subjective phenomenalism . Realism can be seen as the opposite of phenomenalism .

See also: phenomenology