NOTE ON THE FIRST ANTIMONY

Kant holds that the antinomy or contradiction which arises when we consider the character of the world as spatial and temporal, viz. that we are equally bound to hold that the world is infinite in space and time, and that it is finite in space and time, is due to regarding the world as a thing in itself. He holds that the contradiction disappears, as soon as it is recognized that the world is only a phenomenon, for then we find that we need only say that the world is capable of being extended infinitely in respect of time and space.1 Objects in space and time are only phenomena, and, as such, are actual only in perception. When we say that a past event, or that a body which we do not perceive, is real, we merely assert the possibility of a `perception'. "All events from time immemorial prior to my existence mean nothing else than the possibility of prolonging the chain of experience from the present perception upwards to the conditions which determine this perception according to time."2 "That there may be inhabitants of the moon, although no one has ever seen them, must certainly be admitted, "but this assertion only means that we could come upon them in the possible progress of experience."3 The contradictions, therefore, can be avoided by substituting for the actual infinity of space and time, as relating to things in themselves, the possible infinity of a series of `perceptions'.

____________________
B. 532-3, M. 315.
B. 523, M. 309.
B. 521, M. 308.

-101-

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