§37. Time as an existential of human existence

his starting-point only because of the fact that Kant orients himself dogmatically in terms of Descartes, and at the same time in terms of the idea of [408] of a certain preeminence of formal logic—of the “I combine” and its possible modes.

Certainly, Kant does not simply deduce the “we know nature” from the empty “I combine”; rather, here he must slip in, as it were, the a priori of time as an essential factor. Time (understood as the autonomous multiplicity of a now-sequence) has to function as that which is given a priori. And so, even though Kant attributes time to the subject, time in a certain sense comes to the subject enigmatically from outside. It is there as something already given, a blind factum pre-given for the spontaneity of thinking, which itself stands outside time. Let us prescind from Kant’s dogmatic motivations: the major thing that prevented him from seeing the time-character of the “I think” is found in his inadequate interpretation of time itself. Although he makes use of the more original structures of the now in his schematism, in his theory Kant always takes the now and the now-sequence in the sense of the traditional conception of time. “In his theory” means: in the inadequately clarified theoretical orientation of the connection between time as intuition and the spontaneity of the “I think” in the conception of the ontological wholeness of the self.

Kant could interpret the knowledge of nature only in such a way that he discovered time within the very structure of cognition itself. Time is not just the form within which the act of cognition runs its course. No, it belongs to the very act of cognition. But on the other hand, the predominance of the traditional concept of time—time as that within which something runs its course—hinders Kant from seeing the structure of time (which he makes use of in the schematism) in its fundamental significance as the structure of human existence itself. [409]

§37. Time as an existential of human existence— temporality and the structure of care. The statement as a making-present

Our construal of Kant’s conception and interpretation of time should have made it concretely clear that time functions in the being of human existence (and, in the present case, first of all in knowledge) structurally and not marginally. With that, however, we have also demonstrated the possibility of a different understanding of time, and we have already sketched out its most proximate positive determinations. And taking that as our starting point, we are finally in a position to answer our initial question—the question about the time-character of

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