The First Antinomy and Spinoza

British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (4):683 - 710 (2011)
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Scholars commonly assume that Kant never seriously engaged with Spinoza or Spinozism. However, in his later writings Kant argues several times that Spinozism is the most consistent form of transcendental realism. In the first part of the paper, I argue that the first Antinomy, debating the age and size of the world, already reflects Kant's confrontation with Spinozist metaphysics. Specifically, the position articulated in the Antithesis ? according to which the world is infinite and uncreated ? is Spinozist, not Leibnizian, as commonly assumed. In the second part of the paper, I raise the chief Spinozist challenge to the Antinomy, arising from Spinoza's reliance on a cosmological `totum analyticum' ? an infinite whole which is prior to its parts. In conclusion, I begin to elaborate a defence of the Kantian position, confronting Spinoza's infinite whole with Kant's account of the absolutely infinite in his discussion of the sublime



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Omri Boehm
The New School

References found in this work

Letter to Dedekind.George Cantor - 1899 - In J. Van Heijenoort (ed.), From Frege to Gödel: A Source Book in Mathematical Logic, 1879--1931. Harvard University Press. pp. 113--117.

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