§23. Time in the Transcendental Analytic

makes the greatest advance into the problematic of ur-temporality, although without breaking through to it. Once again it is clear, especially in the note later added to that Preface, how Kant was never sure (in a good sense!) about his position but was always starting over in an effort to check his theses against the facts. From this constant effort of Kant’s were born the insights that more or less clearly underlie these arguments. [294]

c) Form of intuition and formal intuition

In the whole problematic of space, Kant never takes up the more original question about how pure geometric space could be discovered by starting from the space of the lived world. That is because he does not thematize the whole phenomenal realm of the lived world but instead, from beginning to end, sticks with his question about measurable space. Within that realm he distinguishes, of course, between space as a form of intuition—an original presenting of this pure manifold as next-to-each-other—and “formal intuition” (Transcendental Deduction §26, note; B 160–161).

What is meant by space as a form of intuition as distinct from a formal intuition? First, a very general remark. In and through the formal intuition, space is first determined as the object of a science: the object of geometry. A form of intuition is the pure manifold, the pure manifold as such. That is, it is the pre-viewed basis-on-which, and as such it is unthematic. This basis-on-which can itself be made thematic and can be comprehended and determined. But determining is a synthesis, and a synthesis is an act of bringing-together into a unity. The formal intuition, Kant now says, is what gives unity: it attains a determinate spatial something. Every determinate spatial something—everything determined in that formal intuition—is for Kant a limiting of the whole of space. So we could interpret formal intuition as the intuited and thematized object of a pre-view insofar as it is determined in the pure synthesis “which does not belong to the senses” (as Kant says in that note). This thematized object of a pre-view, this basis-on-which [appearances are ordered]—in other words, the form of sensible intuition, the form that gets determined in formal intuition—is possible only insofar as the form [of intuition] underlies formal intuition, that is, only insofar as the form already contains the object of the pre-view as a pure manifold of the corresponding relations.61 [295]

Thus formal intuition is founded on the form of intuition. Insofar as this is the case (and Kant never understood this in his interpretation),

61. [That is, the pure form antecedently has (as the content of a pre-view) space and time as pure manifolds, but always and only in terms of the relations that give them their form.]

Martin Heidegger (GA 21) Logic : the question of truth

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