Friday, August 27, 2010

Antinomy versus antimony

Antinomy and antimony are two words that very much look the same in print and also sound very similar, but their meanings differ widely. The abstract noun antinomy derives from the Latin prefix anti, meaning against or contra, and the Greek noun nomos, meaning law. The term antinomy is typically used to express the contradiction between two statements that nevertheless both appear reasonable or true. Philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Zeno and Kant included antinomy-based arguments in their thinking and metaphysical explanation of the world [1].

Less abstract, antimony is the name of the chemical element with atomic number 51 and symbol Sb. This name derives from Greek anti - monos, meaning not - alone: a metal not found alone [2,3]. Alchemists used the term antimonium [4]. The Latin name is stibium, from which the atomic symbol has been derived.

[1] N. I. Kondakow, E. Albrecht and G. Asser: Wörterbuch der Logik. 2. neubearbeitete Auflage, VEB Bibliographisches Institut Leipzig, German Democratic Republic, 1983; pp. 33-34.
[2] D. R. Lide (Editor-in-Chief): CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. 88th Edition, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 2007-2008; page 4-4.
[3] Etymology of the Elements at
[4] Antimony at

No comments:

Post a Comment