Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 6, 2016

Hegel, Kant and the Antinomies of Pure Reason

Stephen Houlgate
From the journal Kant Yearbook


Hegel argues that Kant’s antinomies of pure reason are important because they implicitly show the categories of thought to be contradictory. In so doing Hegel disregards much of what interests Kant about the antinomies and interprets the latter “against Kant’s intention”. He also gets Kant wrong when he claims that Kant’s “trivial” resolution of the antinomies simply shifts contradiction from things in themselves to appearances. Nonetheless, I contend that Hegel’s interpretation is defensible, insofar as the antinomies do, indeed, show (what Hegel regards as) the categories of the “infinite” and the “finite” to be both opposed to and inseparable from one another. I also argue that Hegel is right to maintain that Kant’s proofs of the theses and antitheses in the antinomies assume what they are meant to prove and that Kant’s resolution of the antinomies is unsatisfactory.

Published Online: 2016-8-6
Published in Print: 2016-8-8

© 2016 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston