Critique of Pure ReasonLecture notes, March 3, 1997: Freedom vs. DeterminismG. J. MatteyThe arguments of the Thesis and Antithesis of the First Antinomy are supposed by Kant to employ a common assumption, that the world is a thing in itself. This assumption is denied by transcendental idealism, which is then claimed to be the key to the solution of the conflict. Without the assumption, neither side is justified in its claims. If the world were a thing in itself, Kant maintained, it would be true that all past times are given (or as he put it more cautiously, "presupposed") in the present time. The existence of the world in the past times is a necessary condition for the existence of the world at this time, or else the present is the beginning of the world and there is no necessary condition for present existence at all. Thus every time is either follows an eariler time or is a first beginning. Since the whole series
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