Transcendental philosophy is said to have at its basis a perspective on reality that, by necessity, has to oscillate between phenomena and noumena. In his fight against rationalism and empiricism, Kant does squarely meet their fundamental opposition and formulates the transcendental vision of reality in his famous statement “Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind” (CPR A51/B75). The articulation and application of this vision to the varied realms of experience makes it necessary for Kant to distinguish between approaching reality from two fundamentally different viewpoints of phenomena and noumena. The world of experience or the object of experience given through sensibility and understanding is phenomena, i.e., objects of actual and possible sense experience, the knowledge of which is made possible through the application of the categories. Although Kant denies throughout the Critique any knowledge beyond the application of the categories, i.e., any metaphysical knowledge in the dogmatic sense, he does hold that that which appears has something beyond appearance, which
he calls noumenon.
(Source: BPY008/Block 4/Unit 1/Page 15)