§31. The schematism of the pure concepts

visible, in some way, what the content of the rule prescribes. The rule entails having a pre-view of both the concept that prescribes the rule and simultaneously of that wherein the something is to be sensibly depicted according to the rule. Through the rule and its constitutive previews, the depicted and what does the depicting are connected. In the rule (i.e., in the schema) I think the concept not simply as such, but in such a way that I understand it as what prescribes the synthesis speciosaof the imagination. Therefore, in the rule (the schema), the concept is understood in its prescribing function: it prescribes the manner and mode of the synthesis, of the forming-into-an image. Consequently the concept, in its prescriptive function for the actual forming of the image, is at the same time the visible aspect that can be seen in the image that gets formed. Therefore, the schema, as the rule of the synthesis speciosa,contains both the prescribing concept (the prescription itself) and that in which the prescribed formation of the image is to be carried out and given. To put it in objective terms: The rule combines the concept that is to be sensibly depicted with the image that is to make the concept visible. That lies in the very structure of the rule, which Kant did not analyze any further. So the notion of the schema in general is to be understood as follows. The schema is the rule governing the imagination’s figurative synthesis, a rule which is prescribed by a concept and which itself prescribes the sensible depiction of the concept.

e) Sensibilization of the pure concepts of understanding

With the above we are sufficiently prepared to understand the fourth point: the sensibilization of the pure concepts of understanding. In this case it is a matter of a transcendental schema, and when we clarify that, we will understand what is meant by the schematism of the pure concepts of the understanding, viz., as a procedure of the spontaneity of the understanding with regard to schemata. We will understand the schematism as the way the spontaneity of the understanding is enacted in the form of the spontaneity of the productive imagination as figurative synthesis. [376]

What pertains to a transcendental or pure schema? The concept of schema was explained earlier. The question now is:

• Can a priori concepts have an a priori depiction in something that is a priori given?

• Can there be a rule governing this depiction?

• Is there something that can show up a priori in such a way that something can be a priori depicted in it?

• Is there an a priori image for a priori concepts?

But Kant says that “the schema of a pure concept of the understanding is something that can never be brought to an image” (B 180). To say

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

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