Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics [48-49]

§10. Time as the Universal Pure Intuitiona

Pure intuition is required as the one essential element of ontological knowledge in which the experience of beings is grounded. But as pure intuition, space gives in advance merely the totality of those relations according to which what is encountered in the external senses would be ordered. At the same time, however, we find givens of the "inner sense" which indicate no spatial shape and no spatial references. Instead, they show themselves as a succession of states of our mind (representations, drives, moods). What we look at in advance in the experience of these appearances, although unobjective and unthematic, is pure succession. Therefore, time is "the form of inner sense, i.e., of the intuiting of ourselves and our inner state."62 Time determines "the relation of representations in our inner state. "63 " ... time cannot be a determination of outer appearances; it has to do with neither shape nor position, etc."64

In this way both pure intuitions, space and time, are allotted to two [different] regions of experience, and at first it appears to be impossible to find a pure intuition which constitutes every instance of knowledge of the Being of experienceable beings and which, therefore, permits the problem of ontological knowledge to be formulated universally. Now to be sure, in addition to the association of both pure intuitions with the two regions of appearances, Kant states this thesis: "Time is the formal a priori condition of all appearances whatsoever."65 Hence, time has a preeminence over space. As universal, pure intuition, it [time] must for this reason become the guiding and supporting essential element of pure knowledge, of the transcendence which forms knowledge.

The following interpretation shows how time shifts more and more to the forefront in the course of the individual stages of the laying of the ground for metaphysics, and hereby first reveals its own particular essence in a more original way than the provisional characterization in the Transcendental Aesthetic permits.

How does Kant now ground this priority of time as universal, pure intuition? At first it may strike us that Kant denies the external appearances of the determination of time, especially when it is in the everyday experience of

62. A 33, B 49.

63. A 33, B 50. [Heidegger's page citation (B 49) corrected-tr.!

64. A 33, B 49f.

65. A 34, B 50.

a. On time and modes of time see 55 1930 [Vom Wesen der menschlichen Freiheit. Einleitung in die Philosophie. GA, vol. 31], p. 152ff., in particular p. 158f.; WS 1935/36 [Die Frage nach dem Ding. Zu Kants Lehre von den transzendentalen Grundsätzen. GA, vol. 41], p. 231ff.; see below p. 72f., p. 75f.