antinomy

Linked Glossary of Terms
(references to De Wijsbegeerte der Wetsidee, unless indicated. See concordance for correlation with pages in the New Critique. The concordance is in pdf format.)

antinomous
antinomy I, 23, 71, 85
II, 421

‘Antinomy’ means ‘contradiction between laws.’ The laws of different modal aspects may not contradict one another, but this is what happens when we absolutize certain aspects or when we try to reduce one aspect to another. Antinomy is distinguished from contrariety within a modal sphere, as in logical contradiction (NC II, 37). Kant’s mistake was trying to find the starting point for synthesis in the antithetical relation itself (NC I, 54). In other words, Kant took the theoretical antithesis as fundamental, and regarded the antinomies as necessary. Kant did not take into account the synthesis with the supratemporal self.

A ‘special use’ of antinomy helps us to differentiate aspects. But in its general sense, antinomy occurs when we absolutize any part of temporal reality, overstepping the limit of the order of cosmic time (NC I, 37, 38). There is then a polar tension between the first absolutized aspect, and its correlata (NC I, 64). This religious dialectic has the character of a polar tension (NC I, 123), revealed in antinomies (WdW I, 467). Such a religious dialectic reflects a dualism that is distinguished from mere logical distinction.

An example of an antinomy is the identification of cosmic diversity with logical diversity (NC I, 19). In his last article, “De Kentheoretische Gegenstandsrelatie en de Logische Subject-Objectrelatie,” Philosophia Reformata 40 (1975), 83-101, Dooyeweerd accuses D.F.M. Strauss of exactly such a “real antinomy.”

In a similar way, Baader sees dualistic Ground Principles (or antinomies) arising whenever we absolutize one part of creation.

So wie man versucht die Materie (das Zeitlich-Räumliche) als etwas in sich Ganzes (Absolutes) zu begreifen, wird man die dialektischen Fortbewegung aus ihr inne, welche sich jedem Vereint- und Festhalten- (zum Standbringen-) Wollen des in sich Veruneinten und also Bestandlosen widersetzt. […] Diese Materie weist uns hiermit auf eine Anomie und Antinomie, welche ihrem Enstehen und Bestehen unterliegt, und wie sie nur zufolge einer Differenzierung zum Vorschein kommt, so muß sie mit der ingetretenen Reintegration des in Differenz Gekommenen wider verschwinden (Werke II, 488: PhilosophischeSchriften II, 103; Weltalter 331).

[If one tries to understand matter (the temporal-spatial) as something whole or absolute in itself, then one brings forth the dialectical movement out of the inner [nature], which is opposed to every attempt to unify and hold fast (to bring to a firm state) that which is disunified and transitory…With this, this matter exhibits an anomie and antinomy underlying its origination and its continuance, and as it comes into appearance as a result of a differentiation, so must this difference again disappear in the coming reintegration.]

Any attempt to absolutize the periphery (the temporal), or to attempt the coordination of points on the periphery without their subordination to the Center will results in a polar dualism or antinomy.

Revised Dec. 27/04; Dec 23/16