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22 - T he arguments for the theses advanced by dogmatism...

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The arguments for the theses advanced by dogmatism and the antitheses advanced by empiricism are of the same type -- indirect. Each side assumes the position of the other and attempts to show that it is inconsistent with a high-level principle it takes to be true. Since each side can reduce the other to conflict, either the last argument given is the most persuasive, or one walks away in disgust, converted to skepticism. Now let us turn to the first Antinomy, specifically the part concerning a beginning of the world in time. The dogmatic Thesis is that the world has a beginning in time, and the empiricistic Antithesis denies that the world has a beginning. The argument for the thesis begins with the assumption that the world has no beginning in time. This means (says Kant) that the task of tracing backward through time is a process that cannot be completed: it is an infinite task. But this conflicts with a principle which
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