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logical/real opposition

Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


E pistemology, metaphysics A dichotomy that Kant introduced in his Attempt to Introduce the Concept of Negative Quantities into Philosophy. A logical opposition is an abstract relation between a proposition and its negation, namely logical contradiction , which can be discerned through conceptual analysis. A real opposition involves opposing forces or tendencies that exist in the qualities of external things and can be discovered through empirical methods rather than through logical analysis. The distinction undermines the claim of rationalism that reason alone is the guarantee of knowledge , because we cannot understand real oppositions through reason alone. This distinction developed into the distinction between reason and sensibility in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason . “Two things are opposed to each other if one thing cancels that which is posited by the other. This opposition is two-fold: it is either logical through contradiction, or it is real, that is to say, without contradiction.” Kant, Theoretical Philosophy, 1755–1770 ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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