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Marcel Chelba

The Antinomy of Pure Reason and Logical


Paradoxes
Or about antinomic schematism and his possible
ontological significance.

Excerpt published in the volume of studies:


Logică şi Ontologie, Ed. Trei, Bucureşti, 1999
(Logic and Ontology, Publishing Trei, Bucharest, 1999)

− text revised and added to the 29 January 2009 –

Translation: Marcel Chelba

Let's start with the first antinomy (first conflict of


transcendental ideas), as it appears in Kant.
This antinomy, and others, in fact, is reduced to two
contradictory statement, called thesis and antithesis, and
a so-called “demonstration” in apagogic method
(reduction to absurdity), which, ultimately, the two
assertion may be “deducted” one from another.
The whole problem is reduced, ultimately, to
understand the mechanism and significance of this logical
phenomenon, by which any predication made on totality
(as world) „slide” or „switch” (transcends) in its opposite.
In this first antinomy is put in question the boundary
problem of the world in space and time.
The thesis is “The world has a beginning in time and
is also limited in space” and the antithesis is “The world
has no beginning, no limits in space but infinite in time
and space”. (CPR, A 427-428, B 455-456)
Kant, as is known, is based, in his demonstration, in
a speculative manner, on the concept of series (Reihe), a
concept of mathematical provenance, which had already
(at that time) a nice career.
As could be seen in Kant's demonstrations, the
development of infinite series takes place when outdoors,
as progress, while inside, as regression of determinations.

Synthetic, Kant's demonstration in the first antinomy


is:
In respect of time, if we recognize that the world has
no beginning, it means that until the given world (this
world now) has elapsed an eternity (a infinite series of
successive states of the world), but as an infinity of states
can not never be exhausted, means that the world
(whereas just is) have a beginning.
Conversely, if we recognize that the world has a
beginning, it means that the given world, even from the
first moment of its presence, has behind it (in its past)
“Nothing”, an absolute vacuum, but as this given world
can not result only from another state of itself, also given,
it means that behind any given state of the world is an
infinity of past states − so the world, through its past, is
infinite (has no beginning).
In respect of space, if we recognize that the world is
infinite, then, as it is given, you should assume that is
finished what may never be finished: the emergence
(„listing”, says Kant) of all its parts − so the world is finite.
Conversely, if we recognize that the world is finite,
then it should be bounded by anything, but as beyond its
hypothetical borders is nothing on which to limit, being an
absolute whole, it is infinite.
Logical-philosophical literature is rife with
approaches of this paradox. Unfortunately, however, they
have delayed too much on their formal support, logical-
mathematical, rather than looking in a manner as
synthetic possible for their general schematism, as it is, I
believe, essential.

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This first kantian antinomy could be presented
(synthetic) so:
Concerning space, given world, if is infinite, then is
bordered with „Nothing”, but since everything is given,
„Nothing” is „something” too − so the world is finite.
Conversely, if given world is finite, it is bordered by
„something”, but because it is everything, that
„something” is „Nothing” − so the world is infinite.
Concerning time, the scheme is the same: if the
given world is infinite in the past, it is bordered by
„Nothing”, but „Nothing” is „something” too, because,
otherwise, the current world would have been impossible
− so the world is finite; concerning the future, present
world could not „volatilize” in „Nothing”, as if it were to
disappear, it would disappear in „something” − so the
world is finite in the future too.
Conversely, if given world is finite in time, means
that it is bordered in the past and future with
„something”, but because it is everything, that
„something” is part of it − so the world is bordered by
„Nothing” − is infinite.

Finite is what borders with something.


Infinite is what borders with nothing.
Here's why the ontological condition of indisolubile
unity and absolute freedom of Transcendent is absolute
loneliness − the neighborhood with "Nothingness".
Absolute freedom, to Hegel, is an exclusive
prerogative of absolute being, because only absolute
being, in its condition of „whole” or „historical totality of
an unending self-confirmation process", lies, ontological,
in absolute loneliness condition.

But look more closely at this schematism.


It is noted that each time the world is „introduced”
as being given, present in its entirety. This release gives

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the world, at once, all possible attributes of an object, so
the world is introduced here as representation, although
its concept has not resulted in a complete synthesis of the
diversity given in sensibility, but clearly from a
transcendental source.
But any representation implies automatically a limit,
a conceptual determination.
From here starts the whole game.
Besides the current use in relation to „sensibility”,
our faculty of representation has in addition the
extraordinary ability to receive in its space, as pure forms
of intellect, concepts whose origin is not synthetic, based
on experience, but intuitive and aprioric, as a kind of a
reversed synthesis of a transcendent presence, namely,
from the „synthetic a priori unity”, absolute, which
appears at a time self-awareness as a determinant-self
(thinking itself), not determinable-self, as „thinking
subject”, so much above (or beyond) than that „I think” of
Descartes.
But putting the world as a given infinity in to the
representation's space is the same as putting it in a limit,
and asserting, in addition to it, a new concept − an
„uninvited guest”, says George Enescu − namely, simple
its difference from any possible determination.
At this stage, put just as simple possible infinity, any
determination of the world will be equal to its opposite,
that the world be so, or we could say (at once) everything,
as about the supreme god in oriental religions, or we can
not say anything, as about the „One” of Parmenide.
Since the purpose of research, in kantian
antinomies, is to distinguish and determine an absolute
presence (transcendent) in relation to „thinking subject”,
this first step of putting the world as „possible infinity”
ends poorly, with its simple determination as being
indefinite.
Due to the need to find the world (as representation)
a sufficient determination, reason will join the world,
always, with the concept of „totality” − a synthetic
product of our imagination faculty − which is not a
concept of empirical extraction − but a kind of cardinal

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that we put (by incomplete induction) at the end of the
series all our representations, as a limit − as a set from
that, another, larger, is not possible (such as
mathematicians say).
Kant called amphiboly just the usual (instinct or
reflex) of the intellect to confuse representation with the
phenomenon, to superimpose its pure a priori form over
an given empirical content and to consider as given in the
phenomenon, which actually is only in itself.
In these circumstances, should be noted that the
situation created by this first antinomy is not a amphiboly
in the true sense of the word, since the concept „totality”
can not be a genuine empirical content of the concept
„world”, which is not simply a product of our productive
imagination.
It is rather a transcendental simulation of an
amphiboly − a kind of mental experiment, that was not
given to us by „mother nature”, we are entitled to believe,
only to help us discover the limits of our rational thinking
(Kant's „solution”), but just to help us discover something
beyond the limits of reason (Hegel's „solution”). But about
this, I will talk later.

For now I would like to pay my duty to clarify the


concept of representation's space (or transcendental
space), which, although it appears nowhere in Kant,
however, may be placed in the kantiene concepts family
of transcendental place, logic place, logical horizon and
transcendental topic. (See CPR, A 268-270, B 324-326 and
A 659, B 687.)
If, after „Note to the amphiboly of reflection
concepts”, Kant no longer speaks nowhere explicitly on
transcendental topic is because ultimately, the whole
„Critic of Pure Reason” is such a topic, meant to
distinguish the reflection planes, and remove us from the
vicious circle of amphiboly (transcendental illusion).
This subject is an immensity that would deserve a
separate research, although, in background, I talk about

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the same thing here. A deepening of this topic can be
found in Critical Introduction (2004), in chapter Dilema
and method of metaphisics (not yet translated into
English).
I hurry, therefore, to mention that the concept of
space of representations, I do not refer only to common
place of all representations as representations − common
horizon within which they can be compared as
representations and classified in some categories, which I
will call plans (ontological plans).
And another thing: the concept of neighborhood, in
the space of representations, is the representation of
difference to any possible determination of a given
concept, as contingent and contiguous with respect to
him (in the same ontological plane), but also necessary
(hence, located in another ontological plane), there is no
talking about given objects in the world of experience, but
about things given only as being possible in the field of
pure thinking, of reason free of any external constraints.
Ontological difference, in this space of
representations, is not only the limit of a given concept,
but the intersection (the common place) with the opposite
concept, located in an conjugate (orthogonal) plane.
Or, geometrically speaking, the only „area” of space
that can be „present” simultaneously in two orthogonal-
conjugate (perpendicular) planes is the „zero zone” − the
nul element of space − the intersection of two planes.
In other words, the nul element (death in the
mythological vision) is the common element (the
contiguity zone and crossing corridor) of opposites (of
being and nothingness).
Opposites (sincategorematic concepts, as they say)
are not contradictory, in that geometric vision of kantian
antithetik, since they „live” in different ontological plans
− some plans are no longer parallel (separate), as in
classical (euclidiano-artistotelian) vision, but orthogonal,
as in noneuclidian geometry. (See Critical introduction,
chapter Towards a new paradigm of science.)
Hence the possibility of thinking an ontology in
several dimensions, as a kind of generalization of classical

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ontology, dualist, built on the foundation of pairs of
opposing concepts. In this hiperconsistent vision, a
concept may have several opposites (an infinity). But this
is another issue on which we could wear only after we
conclude this.
Thus, ontological terms, sincategorematic concepts
are some objects that reside in transcendent plans − that
just makes each other to be practically absent and
intangible (the projection of each in ontological plane of
the other is the nul element of the space of
representations).
Only in this hyperbolic architecture of our
transcendental space our sincategorematic concepts may
remain each ontological limit of another, without denying
each other.
Only on this area of intersection (of logical
contiguity) between contingent and necessary,
respectively, between conditionate and unconditionate,
i.e., only on the ground of cosmological ideas we may
assert, in eleat method, that is all that can be thought.
Therefore, only in the space of representations is
necessary, outside the world (as given infinity), to be
something, because something is thought as a limit of the
world, even by thematic proposal of Nothingness.
In the space of representations even Nothingness
(ontological gap) is something.
The transcendent, as in theology, is the beyond
world − but, as in the fairy tale „Youthfulness without
oldness and life without death” or in the ballad „Mioriţa”,
the transcendent is accessible by death.
Nothingness (the zero element of space of
representations) is the small sheepfold between earth and
heaven („On the crest of the hill, at an ace of Heaven’s
sill”), the threshold between transcendent and
transcendental.
The land is, as Kant says, full of danger and risk to
stray or fall into ravine lies in ambush, waiting for us at
every step.

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To go further, however, confident in our forces, and
try to arrange the data of this first antinomy in a diagram.

It can be seen at first glance how the concepts of


finite and infinite (sincategorematic concepts) pass each
other - that is, when one concept is applied to the world
(as totality), it goes in the other, turning inside out all
determinations of the world.
Then, we can see how the concept of the world is
superimposed over that of totality which, in turn, is
integrated into the world − a amphiboly similar to that in
which we look at an apple and we would seem that see in
it the space itself or the cardinal points. Finally, by the
ceaseless passage of something to nothing and vice
versa, see how (in the sphere of totality) can produce a
something from nothing, as a limit (or difference) of the
world, and then the resorption of that something in
nothing, as a part of the world, leaving, again, the outside
world an „empty space”.
Follow, again, the reasoning on chart:
If the world is finite, it is neighboring to something,
but because the world is all those who are, that means
that something (outside world) is nothing. So the world is
infinite − but carefully, only as infinite progressive
activity, through the inexhaustible production and
resorption of its determinations.

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Conversely, if the world is infinite, it is bordered by
nothing, but because the world is given as a „totality of
everything that is” anything beyond should no longer be
possible, or mere implementation of the concept of
neighborliness, even empty of any content, is something
already existing outside world − so the world is finite −
but carefully, only as representation, because only here,
in the space of representations, we may consider that
something necessarily exist, whereas it may be thought.
On this occasion we produced, finally, that
separation of plans, sought and recommended by Kant.
If the first diagram, these two plans appear confused
and the outcome of each approach was a flagrant
contradiction of the premise, now a new chart is
necessary, which will see that they are actually two
planes „parallel”, which communicate among themselves
through entire concept, which makes possible a tilting of
the conclusion, always, in the other plane, symmetrically
of the assumption was made.
Here's the diagram:

It can be seen how the world, given as infinite (the


premise), appears (as totality) to be finite in the other
plan, and vice versa, given as finite, appears (as totality)
to be infinite in the symmetric plan.
Synthetic, the antinomy is as follows:
Infinite world, given as totality, is finie.

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Conversely, finite world, given as totality, is infinite.
This cyclical discursive movement may continue
indefinitely. Separation of plans has not led to the
destruction of antinomy. By introducing a new dimension
on which we can not yet pronounce, was created only the
possibility to distinguish this two plans.
Figure two-dimensional (1/a) can be imagined in an
three-dimensional space where, rotated a little to be seen
in profile, appears (under it) another plan, standing (until
now) hidden.

Kant seems to be satisfied that the denial of world's


determinations (given in premise), no longer produces in
the same „logical place” (in the same plan), but in a
symmetrical plan (complementary), it no longer a
contradiction in terms but only a relationship of
contrariety, his „solution” seeming to be at this point just
the sepparation of antinomy in two paralogisms.
Hegel seems to be pleased that this miraculous
overthrow of the opposite (twisting) continue; that, in
other words, despite any distinctions, the game between
the two plans can not be stopped, its result is always a
return to the beginning, to the premise, to the ground.
„Essence came from being and concept from
essence, and so from being. But this becoming has its
specific effect that of returning upside-down its own way,
so that the outcome is rather the unconditioned and the
original” − Hegel, Science of logic (§ 1325).
Hegel considered, therefore, that the two plans,
although distinct, should be further held together, and let
the game continue on larger spaces.
Kant, on the contrary, held that separation of the
two plans is sufficient to ensure peace and the smooth
running of the reason in its regulative use.
To observe in passing that if we want to recompose
antinomy chart (1/b) and instead overlap the two plans,
join them in the same plane and compresses them into

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one unit, get the famous Yin-yang diagram − and this is
not a random coincidence.

But let's go further, to research with our own means


unless there is a pure schematism of reason that Kant
recognized as such (as natural antithetic of reason) (see
CPR, A 407, B 433] but to stand not only the foundation of
antinomies, but also paradoxes, in general, if not even the
foundation of syllogism − the meaning of Hegel.
If there is, this schematism could be establishet as
pure form of totality or undeterminate in absolute sense
and, as such, it could be put to the foundation of somme
possible inferenţe on a global reality, possible in absolute
sense.
These inferences would be the only who could be
admitted as exceptions to the principle of knowledge -
founded by Kant (and not just postulated, as in Hume) -
that the only way to purchase and validation of a true
knowledge is experience.
Since this global presence, external and objective,
can not be given in any experience as such, i.e. in its
entirety, this antinomic schematism of pure reason, as a
form of self-consciousness (the only presence given they
themselves in an absolute way and put before they
themselves as being objective), which may be a genuine
"model" of global presence, ie, as a priori appropriate
form of an object, which does not show in the experience
than by its parts and only in succession. (See Critical
Introduction, chapter Towards a new paradigm of science,
which says explicitly that modern physics, the unified field
theory, will inevitably be a metaphysical, whereas just the
subject they study, the universe in its entirety, there will
never be an object of our empirical experience.)
Therefore, we can not experience Totality itself, just
as it is only a synthetic concept − a synthetic a priori
intuition − that we associate (only under the formal title,
for lack of other guide marks) with that alleged global

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presence, objective and imuabile, which, although
transcendent, however, affect our senses.
Even just a hypothesis, this meeting in absolute of
self-consciousness with the transcendent (as a global
presence), with the concept of "everything", will produce
actually only ontological justification of the existence of
formal compatibility between reason (the faculty of
principles, says Kant) and the so-called laws of nature,
promising a further elucidation of our original dilemma, on
the primacy of spirit over the nature, or of nature over the
spirit.
With Hegel (which, however, take things to the
absolute, without any critical precautions) we can see that
this working hypothesis − this settlement in the mirror
(face to face, one as an shattered image of the other) of
being (as absolutely undetermined) and self-
consciousness (as historicaly determined state of that
ineffable presence, generic called being) − is, however,
an ontological productivity more than it could imagine
Kant.
This working hypothesis has been taken as an
ontological solution since immemorial times − the texts of
oriental religious tradition make the most convincing
evidence that the man always had access to this idea, and
that this ontological solution is intrinsically linked of
human nature itself, whatever the stage of civilization
that is, faith and religious thinking being for human a
sufficiently strong support to sustain such a metaphysical
construction.
Obviously, in search of that schematism, I will not
propose to me, now, a exhaustive approach to
antinomies, paradoxes and Hegel's sylogistic. I will only
touch the problem, treating casuistry in selectively.
To conclude the discussion on first antinomy, I would
not want to emphasize only that its reiteration, as
relationship of the world with time, would be similar to the
relationship of the world with space, and would not bring
any formal news about schematism.

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Time would not appear in this algebraic entry to this
problem than another space, complementary, but
identical in terms of determinations (laws of composition).
World, put in a unilateral report with time, behaving
(logically) as in its unilaterally report with space.
How could behave world in a simultaneously report
to both spaces, yet it is not appropriate to discuss here.

Let's get to the second antinomy.


If the first antinomy was one in which world reported
themselves as absolute totality of composition, in terms of
quantity, the second antinomy corresponds to a self
reporting of the world as absolute totality of
decomposition, in terms of quality.
Therefore, the second antinomy will start the
following statement:
„Any composed substance in the world consists of
simple parts and there is absolutely nothing anywhere
than the simple or composed of simple” − thesis, and „No
composed object in the world consists of simple parts and
there is nowhere something simple in the world” −
antithesis. (CPR, A 434-435, B 462-463]
This formulation is, how you can see, something
more confusing than the first antinomy.
The conflict is actually between the following
assertion: the world is absolutely simple or absolutely
composed?
This antinomy should go like this:
If we assume that the given world is absolutely
simple (if suppress any composition in mind − as Kant
says), then would disappear every distinct thing, including
world; but because given world is distinct as a totality of
those who are, means that it is distinct from it, at least,
this totality (even if it is an empty lot); so, since is
something distinguished into the concept of the world, the
world is composed.
If we assume that given world is absolutely
composed, then, since it is all, means that any thing is

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infinitely composed and in turn integrated into the
composition of something with an infinity of other things;
but given world, as all of those who are, is no more
composed with anything else, so that, as totality, world is
completly indistinct; being completely indistinct, it is
absolutely simple.
It is noted that the first demonstration of the thesis,
the world appears finally to be composed and that this is
based on the very fact that it is given (the premise).
Because the world is given, however, in the thesis and
antithesis, Kant had the impression that he must begin, in
the thesis and antithesis, from something composed.
That is why Kant chose the wording quoted above;
they are practically equivalent to the following statement:
there is absolutely nothing anywhere than simple things,
or what is composed of simple parts, so the world, as a
compound thing, is composed of simple parts (thesis) and
there is absolutely nothing anywhere than compound
things or what is composed of compound parts, so the
world, as a compound thing, is composed of compound
parts (antithesis).
If, in Kant’s wording, antithesis is tautological, thesis
is contradictory.
Indeed, if there is anything anywhere than simple
things, this means that there is no compounded things
and vice versa, if there is nowhere only compound things,
this means that there is no simple things. But in
antinomy, if the world is given as being simple, it appears
to be composed and vice versa, if is given as being
composed, it must appear to be simple. It is true, world's
limit (its composition) is given in thesis, but it still lies
hidden in the premise, it coming to the surface only after
application of the totality concept. The wording: „Any
composed substance in the world consists of simple
parts”, is even the amfiboly that thesis and antithesis to
be dismantled. This little slip of formulation has puzzled
many commentators, including Kant.
To recover algorithm that antinomy it is necessary,
first, to postulate two definitions:

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Definition 1: Tell about something that is absolutely
simple, if not within his or outside his relative to him, we
can no longer distinguish anything.
In this release, an absolutely simple thing is
completely blurred, it is given in a complete shutdown in
itself, completely inaccessible, lacking any relationship to
anything inside or outside it. In this release, the world will
appear as a completely closed space, whose interior is not
different from its exterior (since they are empty, are
identical); the world appears as an catabasic space (like
said Lucian Blaga), a monad completely closed and hazy,
which, besides the fact that it is, we can not know
anything.
Definition 2: Tell about something that is completely
composed, whether in relation to him, we can distinguish
as many things, both inside and outside its limits.
One thing, put that way, there will instantly grind to
an infinity of distinctions, both in relation to his inside, and
its outside, this distinction „inside-outside” being for us
even the first possible distinction. World, put that way, it
will appear as a completely open space − a anabasic
space (in Blaga’s terminology), ie an infinitely lull and
infinitely extended space.
In both definitions, taken separately, the world
appears in some hypostases non-contradictory. The
problem occurs when we want to define the world as
totality. In the definition of „the world is the totality of
what is and ever will be” amfiboly is produced, whereas
we identified in definition the synthetic concept of the
world with analitic concept of totality. Therefore, the
representation of world will appear a contradiction, due to
the overlap of the two images of his emergence as a
completely closed space, and as absolutely open space.
Reason to try to get out of this situation in creatively
combining the two representations of intellect:
The world, given as an absolutely simple thing, so
that an absolutely closed space, put as totality will appear
to be open, so composed. The proposed image will be that
of a world which closure appears as a limit in relation to

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an infinity of things disticte in it, so in relation to an inner
infinite divisibility.
Conversely, the world, given as an absolutely
composed thing, so that an absolutely open space, put as
totality will appear to be closed, so simple. The proposed
image will be that of a world whose openness appears as
a infinite expansion in relation to a possible limited
distinction of things inside it, so in relation to a limited
interior divisibility.
What to do reason in this situation? To reject these
two representations to be false or to simply recognize the
functionality of their practice?
Regarding the schematism of that antinomy I think it
may be reduced to that of the first antinomy.
Indeed, if we associate the concept of simplicity to
that of infinity and that of the composition with that of
finity, then we can associate the concept of absolute
closure to that of the neighborhood with a “zero” which
becomes “something” by the decomposition of the world
as totality (a process called catabolism, in biology) and
that of absolute openness with the neighborhood with a
“something” that is always passed through assimilation (a
process called, in biology, anabolism).
It's simply irresistible temptation to join in a
systematic way the concept of metabolism (in biology)
with dynamic stability of the antinomic game studied here
- but this is another problem

Now we get to the third antinomy, therefore, after


Kant, corresponds to a self-reporting of the world as
absolute totality of genesis, from the point of view of the
relationship.
Kant launches discussion on this antinomy with the
following statement:
„Causation by the laws of nature not only of which
can be derived all world phenomena. To explain them is
necessary to assume a causality through freedom” − the
thesis, and: „There is no freedom, but everything in the

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world happens only by laws of nature” − antithesis. [CPR,
A 444-445, B 472-473].
Again we are forced to notice that the sentence,
Kant "filed" in fact the whole amfiboly apparently resolved
even by a difference of degree or weight distribution of
the two forms of determinism. Thesis, to be in a perfect
symmetry with the antithesis, should be: no
determination by external and objective laws of nature,
but only through freedom as absolute spontaneity.
Synthetic, the unfolding this antinomy could be as
follows:
If the world is subject to natural determinism, then
everything is subject to a natural determination, outer
and objective, ie every given thing exist only through
another thing, given as a condition or cause of it. Should
the world itself have given something beyond, something
that they cause, a premium cause or a first engine. But
since the world is everything, outside is not something
else, so it is free, its occurrence is spontaneous, a result
of his own freedom.
Conversely, if given world is free, then everything is
free, ie, every given thing exists only as effect of his own
freedom, the world would be absolute chaos − possibly
all, not could provide anything. But the world as a whole
can not be something given separately and outside of this
anarchy, it is only and only as a whole of this anarchy, so
the world is caused by something, and that is determined
by all other existing things, the former or possible once, it
means that it is subject to natural determinism, namely to
a rule that maintain (in the general chaos) its unity.
But if there is this natural law of conservation of the
world, then everything is subject to natural
determinations and ... the cycle of such paradoxical
judgments is taken from the beginning. (All modern
cosmology spins around these two hypotheses.)
It is noted that this antinomy can be placed in the
same schematism:
Raised to be absolutely determined, the world ask
(outside) a first motor, but as totality the world is

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bordered by nothing, so it will appear to be absolutely
free (self-determined).
Conversely, released as absolutely free, the world
makes possible absolute spontaneity of things, but as
their entirety, the world appears to be determined and
always exceeded by its infinity.
Again we see how the world, by reporting it to
themselves, because identification of the two
complementary plans in which it is given − once as
absolutely free and, sometimes, as absolutely determined
− enters in relation to its proximate genus: the totality,
wich establishes itself as specific difference and
contingency, turning inside-out all initial determinations of
the world.

Now we get to the fourth antinomy, which


corresponds to a "self-reports of the world" as "absolute
totality" of its dependence in terms of modality.
This antinomy of necessity seems to be a summary
of the first three, such kantian category of modality
appears to be some kind of synthesis of the other three
categories: quantity, quality and relationship.
Therefore, in this antinomy, Kant put global problem
if the world is related to something existing as a
determinant of them and completely independent of it,
something which, by its presence as a supreme legislative
court, to submit the World to its need, or who, by his
absence, to let the world drift hazard.
Obviously, the subtext, Kant thinks there is the
presence of God, but in „Note to fourth antinomy”,
referring euphemistic to the deity as a supreme being,
however, Kant states that in this antinomy is not about
trying to find evidence of the existence of God (see CPR, A
456, B 484).
In Kant’s formulation, the thesis and antithesis of
the fourth antinomy are following statements:
„World implies something that, either as a part of it
or as a cause of it, is a absolutely necessary being” and

18
„There is nowhere a absolutely necessary existence, not
in the world, nor outside the world, as a cause of the
world” (CPP, A 452-454, B 480-482).
As can be seen, although conscious, Kant left
seduced him once (in problem formulation) of
transcendental illusion of divine connotations, that this
antinomie can not, however, avoid, namely that God
exists, and as such He is a „part” of the world, is
contingent in relation to it, is its specific difference, but as
supreme court, He is completely separate from it, „lives”
outside world, is transcendent, is its proximate genus.
So, the amfiboly called into question is, inevitable,
this paradoxical image of a unilateral relationship
between world and God, where God is the only
determinant for the world, the reverse being not possible
any determination.
But Kant berth holistic vision that would have to
assimilate God to the world − of course, for reasons of
dogmatic caution − the transcendence of God had
provided in any case − but also convinced that this
antinomy, as seen above, it is not about the divine
attributes, since it can not preach on this issue nothing
more than an uncertainty.
Indeed, if we make the thesis: the world involves
something that, either as a part or cause, either as
totality, is an absolutely necessary being, and antithesis:
there is nothing necessary, nor into the world, nor outside
it, even the world itself, we see that the whole issue is
actually transferred, as in other antinomies, on the
concept of the world as pure representation.
Thus we can also recast thesis that antinomy, not
because of doctrinal caution, but that, indeed, the issue of
God, if we may say so, must be raised elsewhere.
So, the unfolding this antinomy could be as follows:
If given world is absolutely necessary, then (since
everything is necessary) it is necessary to have a
supreme court, but this instance (since it is necessary)
may not exist as such, so the world is not necessary.
Conversely, if the world is not necessary, then, given
as chaos, it is bordered in a necessary way with

19
something different, which is by its own will and can not
be controlled, but because the world is totality, it means
that in the world is a will or a supreme court, which thus
made to be something necessarily, so the world is
necessary.
As we see here, defining the world as a whole and
identifying (in representation) synthetic concept of the
world with analytical concept of totality, is going the same
continuous upheaval of the world's attributes into their
opposite.
Schematism is the same:
Put as being absolutely necessary, the world
possesses necessary in it, as being contingent, a supreme
court. Identified with totality world is split into two parts:
interior and exterior. The place of court will be sent
outside, just so it will retain its required attributes in
relation to given world, namely noncontingecy and
indetermination. But world, as totality of those who are,
absorbed in themselves this court also, whereas just
there. Therefore: if the world is given as necessary, then it
is not possible a authentic (absolute) court or, for lack of
an absolute court, means that nothing can be necessary,
therefore, the given world is not necessary.
Conversely, if the world is put as absolutely chaotic
(anarchic), then identified with totality, it will split again
into two parts: interior and exterior. If inside the world can
continue to remain as placed at the top, anarchic, the
outside world should be (necessary) something different
from it. Outside world will therefore be something
absolutely necessary, subject to a supreme court. But as
the world is all those who are, means that outside world
with the supreme court are present in it. So the world is
absolutely necessary.
At this point we can say that all four kantian
antinomies are subject to the same schematism.
We can represent them in a single diagram:

20
In summary, we could present the whole picture of
kantian antinomies as follows:
1. Put as completely finished, composed,
determined and necessary, the world is put (hidden) in an
appropriate relationship with its own infinity as inner limit.
Identified with totality the world is split into two parts:
interior and exterior. Everything was determinant for the
world will be sent outside themselves, as in a
transcendent neighborhood containing something: its own
limit. In that place will find infinite space and eternity,
simple alterity of the world, the prime engine and the
supreme court. Only this external position, which is
transcendent in relation to given world, can ensure their
condition of determinants and indeterminate factors, ie
non-contingent in relation to the given world. But world
(like totality of those who are) also embodies the outside
of it, whereas once with it. Consequently, outside world
remains always vacuum that its authentic (absolute) limits
does not exist. So, the given world is not finite, composed,
determined and necessary. If the world is not finite,
composed, determined and necessary, it can not be other
than infinite, simple, free and chaotic.

21
To see that only in the latter inference is actually
reaches the so-called apagogic demonstration and that it
is based also on the totality concept, which divide
absolute infinity of possible in symmetrical pairs of
sincategorematic categories (one as reverse the other),
third category being excluded. Only under this originating
division we can infer that since there is only predicate
pairs a and non-a, p and non-p, etc., if an object exists
and he has no property a, then he certainly has the
property of non-a etc. Or vice versa.
Underlying principle is: an existing object should be
linked in one way or another to all existing predicate −
provided that it be all (or totality).
In other words, the entire apodictic certainty is
based on a categorial holism or sincategorematic
exclusivity of predicate, and they are based in turn on the
natural limits of intellect, that of not being able to operate
than bipolar distinctions, no another knife at hand than
the totality concept that cut the determined presence of
any object in an interior and an exterior.
2. Conversely, if the world is put as being infinite,
simple, free and chaotic, then, identified with totality or
released as totality, it will split again into two parts:
interior and exterior. If inside the world can continue to
remain as it was put, infinite, simple, free and chaotic,
outside world must necessarily be something different
from it. Outside them, even nul in relation to the world (as
world filled everything in its infinity) will be necessarily
something, something different than the given world, ie
completely limited, composed, determined and necessary,
which contains an implicit and absolute landmark, a rule
or a absolute court. But as the world is all those who are,
means that its absolutely determined outside (together
with the absolute determining court) are present in it. So
if world can not be absolutely infinite, simple, free and
chaotic, it is absolutely limited, composed, determined
and necessary.
And here, world, put as infinity, enters a kind of
dialogue with its diversity (with the totality concept). At
first world puts out its diversity, then, that outer world,

22
given simultaneously with the world (in its infinity and
absolute spontaneity), is absorbed in the world, moment
in which (in the world) appears the absolute benchmark of
an determination, and all initial determinations of the
world are turned inside-out: it now becomes absolutely
limited, composed, determined and necessary.
If, in the first case, when the world is put as finity, its
determination (as totality) falls outside them, in the
second case, when the world is put as infinity, its
determination (as totality) falls within them. But, as
totality, world found themselves as an outrunning its own
infinity (in the first case), respectively, as being exceeded
by its own infinity (in the second case). Given as being
finite, world will transcend in its own infinity, and given as
being infinite, it will fall in its own finity, leaving it again
exceeded by its own infinity. So the game is how the
world as representation (ie, put as totality into a limit of
the intellect), related to its infinity, which occurs when
inside, when outside it. Amfiboly appears in juxtaposition
of the two hypostases of the world: with „infinity inside”
and „infinity outside” − such as said Constantin Noica
(see Marcel Chelba: Last ideea of Constantin Noica and
endless road of philosophy). From this identity will result a
situation of indetermination in which we can say that the
world is both finite and infinite, so determined and so
indeterminated and so on.

This amfibolie is so profound that it even born in


field concept of existence. To call antinomy of existence.
It can be unfold so:
If the world is, then, as it is, it is neighboring (as
totality) winth nothing. But, whereas nothing is, the world
is not.
Conversely, if the world is not, then, as it is still
given as nothing, it is neighboring with something that is.
But, as it is something, the world (as totality) is.

23
It is noted that all these amfibolies works on the
permanent confrontation of two principles: „what limits
should be different from what is limited” − the analytical
principle, also formulated by Kant (A 515, B 543), that the
world throw out its determinations as specific differences,
setting in fact they limit as proximate genus and
transcendent alterity, and I say, the eleat principle of
absolute identity: what limits should be identical whith
what is limited, that limit again becomes contingent in
relation to limited, its proximate genus now becomes its
specific difference, and so giving the concept of world, by
resorption they limit, the ability to climb, row on row, all
its possible determinations − a principle that applies in
respect of any something given in the absolute sense, as
world (in the case of kantian antinomies) or One (in the
case of Parmenide).
Moreover, this principle of diversity identity or
oposites contingency has been recognized and used as
such by Kant. In Note to the Fourth antinomy, from which I
quoted, it calls euphemistic: „another principle of reason”,
ie a principle which, operating with the concepts of
„contingent beings in general (since they are considered
only as objects of understanding), [...] link through simple
concepts these beings by a necessary being.” (A 456, B
484)
A discussion on this principle, Kant finds it
appropriate not only in a „transcendent philosophy” −

24
that Kant has not ever given it − because its founding
principle was unable to be substantiated (but thus left
open field for Hegel). This principle should be the
„transcendental ideal”, ie the concept of „absolute
necessity” (A 607, B 635) and, I would add, of simplicity,
freedom and absolute indetermination, all linked in one
single: „absolute unconditioned” or „unconditioned
necessity” − but all these concepts, as Kant, can not be
found as such since they can not be found by any possible
experience and therefore they can not be authentic
source of knowledge.
Here's what he says:

“Unconditioned necessity, which, as the ultimate


support and stay of all existing things, is an indispensable
requirement of the mind, is an abyss on the verge of
which human reason trembles in dismay. Even the idea of
eternity, terrible and sublime as it is, as depicted by
Haller, does not produce upon the mental vision such a
feeling of awe and terror; for, although it measures the
duration of things, it does not support them. We cannot
bear, nor can we rid ourselves of the thought that a being,
which we regard as the greatest of all possible existences,
should say to himself: I am from eternity to eternity;
beside me there is nothing, except that which exists by
my will; whence then am I? Here all sinks away from
under us; and the greatest, as the smallest, perfection,
hovers without stay or footing in presence of the
speculative reason, which finds it as easy to part with the
one as with the other.” (A 613, B 64 − translation of
Meiklejohn)

Therefore, Kant considered that since this concept of


an absolute indetermination can not be linked to anything
under the aesthetic principles of knowledge, that is,
through sensibility and experience, he is doomed to
remain a simple „ideal” of pure reason.

25
Before going further, to see that in these judgments
concept of the World appeared in two hypostases,
respectively, with two purposes:
1. One of these hypostases is the concept of a
transcendent object, absolutely unconditioned, possible in
general as „regressive synthesis of the diversity in
phenomenon”.
Put in this way, the world appears as an absolute
and problematic totality (taken only as possible) of an
infinite series of conditions, fully given in it.

„The absolute totality of the series of conditions to a


given conditioned is always unconditioned; because
beyond it there exist no other conditions, on which it
might depend. But the absolute totality of such a series is
only an idea, or rather a problematical conception, the
possibility of which must be investigated – particularly in
relation to the mode in which the unconditioned, as the
transcendental idea which is the real subject of inquiry,
may be contained therein” [A 417, B 445].

So, the totality, as a synthesis or limit of an infinite


series, is not contingent with the terms thereof, but is part
of another plan, transcendent.
The world is in this sense, the concept of a
transcendent object which can not enter the field of
experience but whose infinity is given inside of it and can
be found as such in any of its parts. The world appears to
be suspended over its possible infinity.
2. Other hypostases of the concept of the world is
that it appears as Nature, as aggregate, as an unfinished
amount (and therefore finite) of all its possibilities, the
series of all phenomena, that seems to continue forever
outside world as a „dynamic whole”.
World (given in this way) appears as a well-
determined attendance. As such it admits a limit, a first
term of the series, which is called „in relation to past
time, the beginning of the world; in relation to space, the
limit of the world; in relation to the parts of a given limited
whole, the simple; in relation to causes, absolute

26
spontaneity (liberty); and in relation to the existence of
changeable things, absolute physical necessity” [A 418, B
446].

The distinction appears, therefore, between the


concept of a world possible in general (necessary, but
undeterminate) and the problematic concept of a world
possible in particular (contingent, but determinate).
Kant does not look too sure of the importance of this
distinction, but it meets (fortunately) with another Kant's
distinction of the rum ending of Analitic.

„Before ending this transcendental analytic, we


must make an addition, which, although in itself of no
particular importance, seems to be necessary to the
completeness of the system. The highest conception, with
which a transcendental philosophy commonly begins, is
the division into possible and impossible. But as all
division presupposes a divided conception, a still higher
one must exist, and this is the conception of an object in
general – problematically understood and without its
being decided whether it is something or nothing” [A 290,
B 346].

But I have suspicion that these ideas about pure


uncondiţionate and original division possible-impossible
(interior-exterior, transcendent-transcendental etc.) are
essential.
Before, however, we decide on their ontological
significance, have yet to investigate whether antinomic
schematism can be high indeed to the rank of an
universal schematism, ie, whether it is present in all
paradoxical forms of our thought.

Therefore to go ahead and let us now recall the well


known sentences of Epimenide's paradox, so-called liar
paradox:
Epimenide, the Cretan, says:

27
All Cretans are liars.
How is Epimenide, honest or a liar?
That is the theme.
The deployment of this paradox is as follows:
If Epimenide is sincere, then the truth about Cretans
is that they are liars. But Epimenide is Cretan, therefore,
he is a liar. Conversely, if Epimenide is a liar, then the
truth about Cretans is that they are sincere. But
Epimenide is Cretan, so he is honest.
Also, in pursuit of this paradox, we can observe a
movement of the concepts similar to that of kantian
antinomies, which can be represented in a similar chart,
where Epimenide falls in the position of the „world” and
Cretan in the position of „totality”.
The first sequence of thought, with serenity of a true
politician, I would say, Epimenide separates itself from the
rest of Cretans, as a rest of a set of which, however, he
belongs, and which thus appears as one's neighborhood
(specific difference). Then, considering himself a
privileged part of the Cretan, so completely separated
from it, exercises its right to issue categorical judgments
on it. If Epimenide had said that „all Cretans are sincere”,
everything would be okay, but he put himself in a
negative relationship with the Cretans (Class of Cretans,
which he belongs), precisely because otherwise no
distinction between him and the Cretans (Class of
Cretans) could not be possible.
But the next sequence, that Epimenide's semantic
rest (neighborhood or specific difference of Epimenide's
concept) become what should have been from the
beginning, namely: general class of Cretans (Epimenide's
proximate genus). In this new position of Cretans, all that
was true about them become true about Epimenide: if
Epimenide is placed in the premises to be honest, will
appear at the end to be a liar and vice versa.
To have a structure of Epimenide's paradox identical
to that of Kantian antinomies, we are entitled to believe
that this unceasing reversal in their opposite of
determinations of a concept (given absolutely, ie in
relation only with itself, to be given) should be manifest if

28
we question the determination, not of Epimenide, but the
Cretan, so if we change Epimenide's position with that of
the Cretan and vice versa.

In this case, the deployment of the paradox should


be the following:
If all Cretans are liars (if to be Cretan means to be a
liar), then what Epimenide said is true, so Epimenide is
sincere, but (carefully!) Epimenide is Cretan, so Cretans
are sincere. Obviously it does not work. Backside would
collide with the same difficulty.
We see now that in this new release of the problem,
last inference (from the particular to general) occurs only
if beyond Class of Cretans there is no other category, and
this, indeed, put so, absolutely, no longer be any
difference in her womb, is identical with any part of it
(here Epimenide's person) − only under this condition,
any attempt to determine the Class of Cretans will be
continually converted into its opposite.
This „defect” of the liar paradox is also present in
the first formulation of the problem:
1. Even if Epimenide is honest, we are not entitled to
believe that his statement is absolutely true, whereas, on
the one hand, he can not provide a global or exhaustive
experience on Cretans, in other words, his generalization
may be legitimate (absolutely) only upon a complete
induction, which is impossible, and on the other hand,

29
Class of Cretans is not a transcendental category, but a
empirical one, which supports inside any other specific
differences. Therefore, we must accept the conventional
way, otherwise the paradox does not work, namely, an
absolute identity (a perfect isomorphism) between
Epimenide (as a part) and Cretan Class (as a whole) in the
definition of the premise, because only under these
conditions is possible the inference from particular to
general and only in this way Epimenide's statements can
be extrapolated to the class of all Cretans. (Both induction
and deduction, in Aristotle's sense, can take place only in
terms of topological paradox Banach-Tarski-Hausdorff. But
this is a subject which I have reserved for the Antinomy of
pure reason and ontological antinomy − a work started in
1998 and still under development.)
2. Conversely, even though we know that Epimenide
is a liar, we could not conclude that, in respect of the
Cretans, the opposite of his assertion is true, because, on
the one hand, between honest and lying are practically a
lot of possible nuances and can not qualify any man
absolutely alone with these two attributes, and, on the
other hand, is again the same distinction, namely, failure
to reduce the Class of Cretans to these specific
differences (honest Cretans and liar Cretans). So in this
case, too, is an agreement: that there is only pair of
honest-lying sincategorematic categories and Class of
Cretans, as being given, must necessarily be determined
by one of these categories.
This paradox of a well-deserved fame, has the gift to
show us a much clearer, even with its flaws, the training
of the antinomy of pure reason and its place in the
landscape of thought.
What is Convention (in this paradox), as observed,
namely, the identity of Epimenide with the Class of
Cretans, in the antinomy of pure reason is the very nature
of transcendental concepts. This identity of the
individuals (as two ways of introducing the same concept,
in his attempt to determine itself by a negative reporting
to itself) is very indefinite and problematic nature of pure
concepts, cosmological essentially, as refers to an

30
absolute totality, and can be put in an absolute solitude,
in space of representations, only in themselves.
Hegel was right when he says that the antinomy of
pure reason is not only about the four Kantian categories,
but about any other concept or category.
Socrates (the greatest lifting to ideas man of all
time, as I like to tell) was wont to put all the concepts in
reflection with themselves − asking: how is beautiful,
beautiful or ugly? − how is good, good or bad? − then
pointing thinking of his interlocutors, with an unmatched
dexterity, to the pure idea of the absolute untying.

Parmenides, in Plato's dialogue, in the discussion on


One, seeking the same thing: a release of absolutely
undeterminate in front of knowing consciousness.
The whole parmenidean issue is guided by a single
underlying principle: something given absolutely, as
presence, can not tolerate anything else besides himself
− absolute presence (global) can not adjoin to anything,
any distinction in her itself, otherness or multiplicity, is
impossible.
Developing the idea, a little, that absolute presence
can not be neighboring even with absolutely vacuum, may
be at most replaced with absolute vacuum, with absolute
absence, as being equivalent, in their absolute
indeterminacy, in front of the consciousness, but this
route is impractical and therefore unproductive for
thinking.
Here's what Parmenides says in a passage:
„I want to tell you (but you have now attentively)
How many roads may wish to learn the truth:
One, that Being is, and may not not be;
This is the way of faith (and its follow the truth);
The other − that Being is not, nor it should be.
This way it (tell you) can not be investigated,
For non-Being can not know it (try is futile)
Nor talking about it.” (Fragment 4, Diels,
Vorsocratiker 4, I, 152 − rendered in its own translation

31
by S. Bezdechi in his introduction to Parmenides, 1943
edition, p. 9)
Therefore, the discussion can only begin from the
assumption „be One” − ie the belief that Something is.
That hypothetical release of One (the assumption
that there is something) will prove to be, at the end, all
that remains from the demonstration approach. Put in
relation to any other concept, the One, or breaks, or
multiply itself, denying its original status of absolute and
unique presence. But, as the One must remain so, are
rejected, one by one, all attempts of determination: The
One is not like or unlike − not with the other or the self −
not with the other, because it would multiply, not with the
self, because it would divide and would lose its absolute
unity. Similarly, the One can not be either identical or
non-identical, or equal or unequal, nor with another or
with itself, it is not located, either in space or time, neither
a whole nor composed of something, has no size or shape,
is not at rest or in motion, because if One had any of
these determinations would require something else
besides him: the One, as object, besides of the One, as his
own measure, as norm, as archetype or absolute
landmark in space or time, and thus would be jeopardized
its absolute unity.
What is the meaning of that negative henology, as
he calls Sorin Vieru?
In my opinion, this parmenidean demonstration,
which has undoubtedly his tragic grandeur, has its subject
beyond itself. Its significance lies not in the demonstration
technology, which are hidden, in my view, Kant's
antinomies (the larval state), nor in the conceptual
package that Parmenides is applied on One. This
endeavor of knowing consciousness, seemingly endless
and futile, to put somehow in front of her the absolute
unity, as real presence, it always running ahead and
always escape from any attempt of catching it within the
limits of a representation, is invaluable precisely through
its failure.
Under this tragic disclosure of powerlessness
of intellect to capture in its forms the

32
Undeterminate, under the predestination of
intellect to forever fail in any attempt to represent
in any way the Undeterminate, knowing
consciousness still get, finally, a victory: the fact
that she, despite any failure, do not miss the
Undeterminate theme, but can put it in front of her
again, and again, indefinitely.
Ultimate result of this parmenidean exercise is
that, through him, knowing consciousness notes
precisely her ultimate ability to grasp the absolute
being in it themselves, not capture it, not catch it,
because each attempt ends in a closing, a determination
of it in space of representations, but only to notice its
presence.
The mere implementation „be One” − find us at the
end − is already one of its determination, but one which,
apart to its mere metaphysical presence, we can not
make any other statement. Thus, negative henologia of
Parmenides, that no-no of the One (or neti-neti of the
appearance of divine beings, in Eastern mysticism),
ending not with a uncertainty, but with the only possible
certainty: the thematic presence of One (read Being).
The result is, therefore, absolute determination
of One to be absolutely undeterminate.
But can be man satisfied, ever, only with this alert,
only with this indirect determination of Being, namely
through its negativity, considering himself too weak to
enter in one way or another in possession of Being?
Is it enough for humans to stay only in the near of
Being and sniff it (as Heidegger says) within the
philosophical practice?
Absolutely not!
Same nature (of the womb that we encountered)
has planted in our souls the desire and courage to step
forward, namely, to transform that result of a simple
thematic disclosure of Undeterminate in front of
consciousness, in a ontological disclosure of
consciousness as pure Undeterminate − single step
that can make possible human connection to a
transcendent existence, given absolutely.

33
Kant also counted on this overturned result when
told about determined consciousness (as ego) that it is
the only thing in itself we can observe from the inside, or
when he postulated human reason the only possible
reason for any intelligent beings in the world, so that
universal intelligence.
We are, therefore, in front of an authentic amfiboly,
ie, one in which determined consciousness (as ego) it
overflows its own determinations on another determined
consciousness (as collective consciousness), given as a
multiple of its, so that as contingent neighborhood, or on
the absolute Being, given as proximate genus or as
absolute and indefinite presence of a transcendent
neighborhood.
This amphiboly is already present in the actual
formulation of the so-called solution given above, namely
that, by Undeterminate, conscience „sees” absolute
being in itself.
Indeed, this result can be interpreted in two ways:
1. whether as a thematic referral of Being, within the
determined consciousness,
2. whether as a ontological referral of Being, in which the
consciousness has penetrated, so to speak, by the gate of
Undeterminate.
The synthetic deployment of this antinomy is that,
absolute Being (as pure Undeterminate) is consciousness
and consciousness (as pure Undeterminate) is Being.
The thematic center is therefore the Undeterminate.
Being and consciousness are only two
sincategorematic determinations of Undeterminate.
Source of the antinomy is the double release of
Undeterminate: as absolute absence (no, no − in the
Parmenidean release) and as absolute presence, as pure
schematisme (and, and − in the Kantian release) − the
two equipolent hypostasis (thematic and ontological) of
Undeterminate.
Here is the diagram:

34
The synthetic deployment of this antinomy − which
we will call ontological antinomy, since it is not
surprising in fact only how determined consciousness
relates to itself as a transcendental object − could be the
following:
Pure Undeterminate, as being, is the pure theme,
but since there is nothing outside of him, he is his own
conscience or ontological self-reporting.
Conversely, if pure Undeterminate is consciousness,
ie ontological reference to something, therefore, since
there is nothing outside of him, he is thematical reporting
to itself as to his own object; is therefore being.
Obviously I will not develop here this subject, but I
will content to observe that Kantian antinomies
sketchiness appeared in ontological antinomy in the
posture of a universal sketchiness of Undeterminate in
general, put in dialogue with the other form of his
indetermination: the absence itself − by taking his play
not only the ontological perspective of a presence related
to conscience, as in Kant's view, but also the ontic or
thematic perspective of a presence reported to itself, as in
Hegelian vision, where consciousness arises only as
nothingness of being, or in the Heideggerian vision, where
self-awareness is raised, as self-ity, in Dasein, to the rank
of an absolute determining presence.

35
36