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From Ancient Greek ἀντί (antí, against) + νόμος (nómos, custom, law). Surface analysis anti- (opposite) +‎ -nomy (law)


  • enPR: ăntĭ'nəmē, IPA(key): /ænˈtɪnəmi/
  • (file)


antinomy (plural antinomies)

  1. An apparent contradiction between valid conclusions; a paradox.
    • 1645, Robin Jeffs, Fast sermons to Parliament, 14:
      The Antinomians: These Gospell-truths, these sweet Sermons of Free-grace, that setting up of naked Christ on his Throne, which hath seduced so many thousands of well-meaning souls, do now appear in their own colours, and to any common eye may be seen to be nothing but the grosse Antinomy of the old Libertines.
    • 1884, Charles Carroll Everett, Fichte's Science of Knowledge: A Critical Exposition, 12:
      This introduces the antinomy that has followed us through the whole study. The solution of this antinomy is found in making the Not-me, which interrupts self-consciousness, really reflect self-consciousness, by manifesting the nature of the I—in other words, by making it conform to the ideal of the soul.
    • 1991, Vann McGee, Truth, Vagueness, & Paradox: An Essay on the Logic of Truth, 67:
      Of the work that has been done on the liar antinomy, possibly the most profound and certainly the most influential has been that of Tarski
  2. Misspelling of antimony.
    • 1668, P. Thibaut, tr. “A Fellow of the Royal Society”, The Art of Chymistry, 94 (perhaps printer's error):
      There is also made with the Regulus of Antinomy, and Niter calcin'd together, an excellent Diaphoretick Antimony, but observe, that that which is made, either with crude Antinomy, or with Regulus of Antimony, provokes vomiting, except it be very well washed, whereas that which is made with the Regulus of Mars, never incites to vomit.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Kant used antinomy (Critique of Pure Reason, Bloom translation) 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. So no paradox exists, only the inappropriate application of an idea from one set—being applied to another—causes a seeming paradox.


Derived terms[edit]