§31. The schematism of the pure concepts

sible visible aspect, namely, what is pre-viewed in the pre-view: time. Time is that which is first determined and then schematized in the synthesis speciosa (which itself is ruled by the categories), so that, as an image—a specific form of pure self-showing—it shows something, makes it visible. Time does so precisely because it has been itself determined according to the transcendental determination of time, which in each case belongs to the pure schema and constitutes time. Likewise, time—or more precisely the transcendental determination of time—is the schema, “the sensible condition under which alone pure concepts of the understanding can be employed” (B 175). The schema, as the rule governing the figurative synthesis of time, presents time itself, or more precisely: it presents the category in the image of time. A schema is a transcendental time-determination.

To get a full, rich sense of the phenomenon of “pure schema,” let us define the notion of the pure schema in Latin:

Schema purum dicit: regula syntheseos speciosae temporis secundum unum syn-thesin puram intellectualem constituens sive secundum categoriam.

The pure schema [378] is the rule governing the figurative synthesis of time according to the unity constituting the pure synthesis of the under-standing, or in other words according to the category.

The schema is the regula syntheseos temporis [rule governing the synthesis of time]. Or again, briefly, the schema is the synthesis speciosa secundum categoriam [figurative synthesis in keeping with the category]. Or as Kant puts it in even shorter form (but I will expand his words): the schema is the categoria phaenomenon [category qua phenomenon]: the schema is the category as it shows itself, the phaenomenon. That is the abbreviated way of saying: “the rule of the self-manifestation of the category in the image of time,” the schema categoriae per speciem temporis [schema of the category in or through the image of time].

Of this procedure regulated in this fashion Kant says:

This schematism of our understanding with regard to appearances and their mere form is a hidden art in the depths of the human soul, whose true operations we can divine from nature and lay unveiled before our eyes only with difficulty. (B 181–182)

In point of fact Kant looks into an abyss here, but only so as to withdraw his view immediately and to forego actually discovering this basic structure. Perhaps as well, equipped with his methodic means for interpreting “the human soul” (i.e., the structure of our human existence), he found himself confronting a barrier. He even tries to excuse himself for backing off from a radical explanation of this structure:

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

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