17
§4. [24-25]

but rather is already the determination of the essence of human knowledge. "On the other hand, any knowledge of what concerns man {in distinction from 'God or another higher spirit'} consists of concept and intuition."29

The essence of finite human knowledge is illustrated by the contrast between it and the idea of infinite divine knowledge, or intuitus originarius.30 Still, divine knowledge is intuition - not because it is divine but because it is knowledge in general. Now the difference between infinite and finite intuition consists in the fact that the former, in its immediate representation of the individual, i.e., of the unique, singular being as a whole, first brings this being into its Being, helps it to its coming-into-being (origo).i Absolute intuiting would not be absolute if it depended upon a being already at hand and if the intuitable first became accessible in its "taking the measure" of this being. Divine knowing is representing which, in intuiting, firstj creates the intuitable being as such.31 But because it immediately looks at the being as a whole, simply seeing through it in advance, it cannot require thinking.k Thinking as such is thus already the mark of finitude. Divine knowing is "intuition (for all its knowledge must be intuition and not thinking, which always shows itself to have limits)."32

But the decisive element in the difference between infinite and finite knowledge would not be grasped and the essence of finitude would be missed if one were to say that divine knowing is only intuiting while human [knowing] on the other hand is a thinking intuiting. The essential difference between these kinds of knowledge lies instead primarily in intuiting itself, since properly speaking even knowing is intuition. The finitude of human knowledge must first of all be sought in the finitude of its own intuition. That a finite, thinking creature must "also" think is an essential consequence of the finitude of its own intuiting. Only in this way can the essentially subordinate place of "all thinking" be seen in the correct light. In what does the essence of finite intuition lie, then, and with it the finitude of human knowledge in general?



29. Ibid.

30. B 72.

31. B 139, 145.

32. B 71.


i. See Fortschritte (Vorlander), p. 92.

j. Altogether first; it has already as such allowed its "object" to come forth.

k. It is "free from all sensibility and at the same time from the need for knowing by means of concepts" (ibid.).

l. "primarily"?


Martin Heidegger (GA 3) Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics