XI KANT KONGRESS, XI Congresso Kantiano Internazionale

The Cost of Discarding Intuition: Russell’s Paradox as Kantian Antinomy

Christian Onof

Edificio: Palazzo dei Congressi
Sala: Conference Room
Data: 26 maggio 2010 - 14:30
Ultima modifica: 13 aprile 2010


This paper argues that the rejection of intuition as a source of knowledge in post-Kantian philosophy lies at the root of Russell’s paradox. After an examination of the paradox and how it emerges from Frege’s work, the shortcomings of standard solutions to it are examined. Russell and Quine’s solutions suffer from a certain ad hocness. The intuitionists have a broadly Kantian approach to mathematics which avoids the paradox, but this offers a limited diagnosis of the problem. A transcendentally idealist solution is proposed which conforms to Kant’s requirement that an object be determined through both intuition and concept. This solution involves showing that, once one extends Kant’s logic beyond what was available to him at the time, it is possible to view Russell’s paradox as one of two antinomies resulting from a formalistic illusion.