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[an-tin-uh-mee] /ænˈtɪn ə mi/
noun, plural antinomies.
opposition between one law, principle, rule, etc., and another.
Philosophy. a contradiction between two statements, both apparently obtained by correct reasoning.
1585-95; < Latin antinomia < Greek antinomía a contradiction between laws. See anti-, -nomy
Related forms
[an-ti-nom-ik] /ˌæn tɪˈnɒm ɪk/ (Show IPA),
antinomical, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for antinomical


noun (pl) -mies
opposition of one law, principle, or rule to another; contradiction within a law
(philosophy) contradiction existing between two apparently indubitable propositions; paradox
Derived Forms
antinomic (ˌæntɪˈnɒmɪk) adjective
antinomically, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin antinomia, from Greek: conflict between laws, from anti- + nomos law
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for antinomical



1590s, "contradiction in the laws," from Latin antinomia, from Greek antinomia "ambiguity in the law," from anti- "against" (see anti-) + nomos "law" (see numismatics). As a term in logic, from 1802 (Kant).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for antinomical


in philosophy, contradiction, real or apparent, between two principles or conclusions, both of which seem equally justified; it is nearly synonymous with the term paradox. Immanuel Kant, the father of critical philosophy, in order to show the inadequacy of pure reason in the field of metaphysics, employed the word antinomies in elaborating his doctrine that pure reason generates contradictions in seeking to grasp the unconditioned. He offered alleged proofs of the two propositions that the universe had a beginning and is of finite extent (the thesis) and also of a contrary proposition (the antithesis). Similarly, he offered proofs both for and against the three propositions: (1) that every complex substance consists of simple parts; (2) that not every phenomenon has a sufficient "natural" cause (i.e., that there is freedom in the universe); and (3) that there exists a necessary being, either within or outside the universe. Kant used the first two antinomies to infer that space and time constitute a framework imposed, in a sense, by the mind. Kant's "Copernican Revolution" was that things revolve around the knower, rather than the knower around things. He resolved the four antinomies by drawing a distinction between phenomena (things as they are known or experienced by the senses) and noumena (things in themselves; see noumenon). Kant insisted that we can never know the noumena, for we can never get beyond phenomena.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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