law), the opposition of one law or rule to another law or rule.
In Kant's philosophy, it designates the
conflict or self-contradiction (held by Kant to be inevitable)
which emerges when the Reason deals with problems concerning the
universe. It arises, according co Kant, from the attempt of
Understanding to solve the problems of Reason, from
the attempt to construct, by aid of the categories of the
former, objects adequate to the
ideas of the latter (Critique of Pure Reason,
Transcendental Dialectic, bk. II. ch. II.; Meiklejohn's
Translation, p. 266; Max Müller, II. 351).
The following are his antinomies in cosmology:—
Thesis. I. Antithesis.
The world has an origin in time, The world has no beginning and and is
space shut up in boundaries. no bounds.
Every compound substance in the No composite consists of simple world
consists of simple parts; and parts; and there exists no what simple there is
nothing but the simple, or in the world. that which is compounded from it
It is requisite to assume a Free There is no Freedom. Everything causality to
explain the phenomena in the world happens according to of the world. the laws
To the world there belongs some- There exists no absolutely neces- what which,
either as its part or its sary Being, neither in the world cause, is an
absolutely necessary nor out of the world, as its cause. being.
Semple (Introd. to Metaphysic of Ethics, 1st ed., p. 95), says: —At the bottom
of the two first antinomies lies the absurdity of "transferring to
the world in itself predicates which can be applied only to a world of
phenomena." We get rid of the difficulty by declaring that both thesis
and antithesis are
false. With regard to the third, an act may be in respect of the causality of
reason "a first beginning," while yet, in respect of the sequences of
phenomena, it is no more than "a subordinate commencement," and so be, in the
first respect, free; but in the second, as mere phenomena, fettered by the law
of the causal nexus. "The fourth antinomy is explained in the same manner; for
when the cause qua phenomenon is contradistinguished from the cause of the
phenomena, so far forth as this last may be a thing in itself, then both
propositions may consist together."