The first antinomy of Kant's Theory of Pure Reason concerns the size of the universe. Next, he used antinomies of realism to argue against speculative metaphysics.

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), a German philosopher, defines it as a contradiction between two metaphysical propositions, each of which is justified by equally valid explanations – i.e., two equally valid reasons for the same facts. To him, the only world one may have any knowledge of is natural phenomena. Antinomy is the consequence of a finite entity trying and failing to grasp the infinite.

Definition of antinomy

Antinomy is a Greek compound word composed of the elements anti, which means “against or in opposition to,” and nomos, which means “law.” The term antinomy is derived from the Latin word antinomia, meaning a legal phrase that originally signified a clash of laws, a contradiction, or “saying-against,” which is analogous to a conflict of ideas. To summarize, the antinomy is based on the second law of logic, sometimes referred to as the “law of excluded middle.”

In philosophy, antinomy refers to the conflict between two mutually exclusive or contradictory laws. Antinomy occurs when two properly designed, logical conclusions contradict one another.

Antimony refers to the fact that there are two equally legitimate reasons for the same occurrence and that the two explanations contradict one another.

Example of antinomy

The line “This sentence is false” is a basic example of antinomy.

In this case, the speaker’s assertion (it is true that the sentence is false) cancels out the basic statement. The concept of antinomy takes greater significance when applied to various contexts.

Antinomy can be seen in statements like “There is no absolute truth.” The claim contradicts itself. To assert that reality cannot ever be absolute contradicts the speaker’s claim to express the truth.

The Antinomies Of Realism

Fredric Jameson discusses the essential art and literature theories based on realism. He looks at them by treating the issue from the perspective of social and historical conditions that led to the formation of realism. The realist novel focused on the body and its emotional states, emphasizing the individual’s desire for self-realization within the limitations of history.

This is the main antinomy of realism. The récit or story narrative form specifies all narrative occurrences within a predetermined temporal of “linear time” or past-present-future.

Kant’s antinomies

Immanuel Kant famously used the term antinomy. In this context, Kant articulated the conflict between rationality and sensory perception. He was convinced that empirical reasoning could not establish rational truth.

Kant classifies four “antinomies” of pure reason in two classes: “Mathematical” and “Dynamical.”

They have a relationship with;

  • The world is either finite or infinite.
  • Objects are either irreducible or reducible.
  • There is either freedom or determinism.
  • Either God exists, or he does not.

“Mathematical” antinomies” have been applied to the first two because they dealt with spatiotemporal issues, which fall under rational cosmology’s domain.

The last two antinomies were named “dynamical” since they dealt with causation, a subject of rational theology. These are rationalist moral statements, whereas antitheses are empiricist physical claims in each antinomy.

The Antinomy of Pure Reason:

The rationalists believed that all knowledge originated in the mind, and reality was often a construction of the mind made of pure ideas. Conversely, the empiricists felt that knowledge was obtained via our sensory experiences with the world.

Kant’s philosophical system is referred to as “Transcendental Idealism.” It asserts that there are two worlds: the phenomenal (sensory) and the noumenal (intelligible). The phenomenal includes appearances we know via sensory experience intuition, filtered through mental categories. The second, the noumenal, refers to things-in-themselves, the ultimate reality of objects.

Kant’s transcendental dialectic analysis of antinomies makes sense: It is dialectical as it is a problem of conflict and antagonism. An antithesis follows a thesis.

The Mathematical Antinomies

Kant believed that mathematical antinomies were fundamentally unverifiable, making them problematic in linguistics. They are always positive. They move from the metaphysical to the empirical.

The Dynamical Antinomies

Kant referred to the dynamical antinomies as regulative in function. According to Kant, constitutive principles are also a way to refer to mental categories because they physically constitute, or give shape to and establish, the universe. They are vital and integral. Regulation, direction, and guidance are reserved for rational principles.

God and free will are transcendental, outside the range of experience, and so disprovable as the world and soul.


Antinomy is not synonymous with contradiction. Truth and error through distinct reasoning cause the contradiction. Using logic and other theories, the contradiction can be resolved successfully. However, adjusting the underlying logic philosophy is essential to determine the antinomy. Indeed, antinomy catalyzes the advancement of research. There are many ways to solve logical contradictions like antinomies.

Unlike the nominal logical contradiction, the antinomy of movement does not require the logical theory of outcome to analyze assertions about movement, which is how it is commonly represented.


When two contradictory facts are confirmed by evidence, antinomies can be said to exist. For compatibility with other things, selecting one such object for study has the right to exist. Maintaining antinomy requires balancing the experimental world. This is accomplished by improving the quantity and quality of tests and analyzing the sources of the antinomy using logic.

Antinomy is a system whose hypotheses are discovered through rigorous methodological investigation. Antinomies in hypotheses with unexplained assertions and abstractions make people want to formalize their theories.

The Antinomies of Realism preserves a significant distance from contemporary debates about realism as a concern or aesthetic possibility.


The human mind is limited, and our intellect is susceptible to error. This is not what we want to accept, but that is the truth. As Kant demonstrated, one can compare two equally and true rational statements and disprove them both. This should indicate something to us. Antinomy’s very existence shows that there are features of the world that we cannot comprehend.


Frequently asked questions

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What is the history of antinomy?

Ans. If two conflicting propositions appear rational and true, it is called an antinomy. An antinomian noun ...Read full

What are antinomies in philosophical terms?

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What is the meaning of the Falsidical paradox?

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