Antinomy

Antinomy

:"Antinomia redirects here. For the brachiopod genus, see "Antinomia (brachiopod).Antinomy (Greek αντι-, against, plus νομος, law) literally means the mutual incompatibility, real or apparent, of two laws. It is a term used in logic and epistemology.

The term acquired a special significance in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, who used it to describe the equally rational but contradictory results of applying to the universe of pure thought the categories or criteria of reason proper to the universe of sensible perception or experience (phenomena). Empirical reason cannot here play the role of establishing rational truths because it goes beyond possible experience and is applied to the sphere of that which transcends it.

For Kant there are four antinomies connected with
#the limitation of the universe in respect of space and time,
#the theory that the whole consists of indivisible atoms (whereas, in fact, none such exist),
#the problem of freedom in relation to universal causality
#the existence of a necessary beingabout each of which pure reason contradicts the empirical, as thesis and antithesis.This was part of Kant's critical program of determining limits to science and philosophical inquiry. Kant claimed to solve these contradictions by saying, that in no case is the contradiction real, however really it has been intended by the opposing partisans, or must appear to the mind without critical enlightenment. It is wrong, therefore, to impute to Kant, as is often done, the view that human reason is, on ultimate subjects, at war with itself, in the sense of being impelled by equally strong arguments towards alternatives contradictory of each other. The difficulty arises from a confusion between the spheres of phenomena and noumena. In fact no rational cosmology is possible.

It can also be argued that antinomies do not highlight limitations in the power of logical reasoning. This is because the conclusion that there is a limitation is (supposedly) derived from the antinomy by logical reasoning; therefore any limitation in the validity of logical reasoning imposes a limitation on the conclusion that there is a limitation on logical reasoning. (This is an argument by self-reference.) In short, in terms of the validity of logical reasoning as a whole, antinomies are self-isolating: they are like scattered discontinuities within the field of logic, incapable of casting doubt on anything else but themselves.

This carefree position is incompatible with the principle of explosion. In mathematical logic, antinomies are patently not "self-isolating", and are usually seen as disasters for the formal system in which they arise (as Russell's paradox in Frege's work).

ee also

*Interesting number paradox
*Richard's paradox
*Ship of Theseus
*Sorites paradox
*Mereological nihilism - Philosophical theory that may avoid antinomies

References

*John Watson, "Selections from Kant" (trans. Glasgow, 1897), pp. 155 foll.
*W. Windelband, "History of Philosophy" (Eng. trans. 1893)
*H. Sidgwick, "Philos. of Kant", lectures x. and xi. (Lond., 1905)
*F. Paulsen, "I. Kant" (Eng. trans. 1902), pp. 216 foll.
*1911
*FOLDOC


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Antinomy — An*tin o*my (?; 277), n.; pl. {Antinomies}. [L. antinomia, Gr. ?; ? against + ? law.] 1. Opposition of one law or rule to another law or rule. [1913 Webster] Different commentators have deduced from it the very opposite doctrines. In some… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • antinomy — index inconsistency, opposition, paradox Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 antinomy …   Law dictionary

  • antinomy — (n.) 1590s, contradiction in the laws, from L. antinomia, from Gk. antinomia ambiguity in the law, from anti against (see ANTI (Cf. anti )) + nomos law (see NUMISMATICS (Cf. numismatics)). As a term in logic, from 1802 (Kant) …   Etymology dictionary

  • antinomy — *paradox, anomaly Analogous words: opposite, contradictory, contrary, antithesis (see under OPPOSITE adj): contradiction, denial (see corresponding verbs at DENY): conflict, variance, *discord …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • antinomy — ► NOUN (pl. antinomies) ▪ a paradox …   English terms dictionary

  • antinomy — [an tin′ə mē] n. pl. antinomies [L antinomia < Gr antinomia: see ANTI & NOMY] 1. the opposition of one law, regulation, etc. to another 2. a contradiction or inconsistency between two apparently reasonable principles or laws, or between… …   English World dictionary

  • antinomy — A paradox . In Kant s first Critique the antinomies of pure reason show that contradictory conclusions about the world as a whole can be drawn with equal propriety. Each antinomy has a thesis and a contradictory antithesis. The first antinomy has …   Philosophy dictionary

  • antinomy — noun (plural mies) Etymology: German Antinomie, from Latin antinomia conflict of laws, from Greek, from anti + nomos law more at nimble Date: 1592 1. a contradiction between two apparently equally valid principles or between inferences cor …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • antinomy — antinomic /an ti nom ik/, antinomical, adj. /an tin euh mee/, n., pl. antinomies. 1. opposition between one law, principle, rule, etc., and another. 2. Philos. a contradiction between two statements, both apparently obtained by correct reasoning …   Universalium

  • antinomy — noun /ænˈtɪnəmi/ An apparent contradiction between valid conclusions; a paradox Syn: paradox …   Wiktionary


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