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Although the definition is fine, it seems to me limited in terms of depth. I first came across the word “antinomy” in a translation of Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason,” Bloom translation. Kant used the word to speak of two valid conclusions that appeared to contradict each other, but that could be resolved when it was seen that they were from two distinct and exclusive sets. He spoke of phenomena and nomena\nomina, or appearance and reality, as the two sets in the problem of first cause. In the set of phenomena, everything is causal, and thus a “first cause” must have something that caused it. However, the nomena is not causal, and has no linear time progression, so a first cause could exists in this set without causing contradiction. So the idea behind the word, at least as Kant through Bloom postulated it, seems to say that no paradox exists, but only the inappropriate application of an idea from one set, being applied to another, thus causing a seeming paradox. So I would like to see something in the definition that conveys this, that is if my reading of Kant is accurate (it has been a while). Something along the lines:

A seeming contradiction between valid conclusions resulting from an idea being applied from one set to a different and mutually exclusive set.

I commend you however, on having this word in the dictionary. I believe I have generally run across it only in the OED, or other multi-volume dictionaries. I think it is a good and valid word, and would like to see it convey something more than just paradox.


I copy-edited part of what you said about and added it as a note; see the 'pedia article, to which you might want to contribute. (That is how we get encyclopaediac depth on a given subject ;-) Robert Ullmann 10:03, 13 December 2006 (UTC)


No. Definition Genus Note
1 An apparent contradiction between valid conclusions; a paradox. contradiction The current definition.
2 Contradiction or opposition, especially between two laws or rules. contradition, opposition Entered by anonymous, reverted by me.
3 A contradiction between principles or conclusions that seem equally necessary and reasonable. contradiction Entered by anonymous, reverted by me.

Created as a basis for discussion. --Daniel Polansky 07:18, 9 June 2008 (UTC)