Disclosure of the Origin of Categories [98-99]

emissions from things. Rather appearances are objects themselves, or things. Furthermore, appearances are also not other things next to or prior to the things themselves. Rather appearances are just those things themselves that we encounter and discover as extant within the world. However, what remains dosed off to us is the thing itself insofar as it is thought as object of an absolute knowledge, i.e., as object of an intuition which does not first need the interaction with the thing and does not first let the thing be encountered, but rather lets the thing first of all become what the thing is through this intuition.

The difference between the thing itself and appearance always refers to things themselves. However, [this difference refers to] things themselves- under the title of "appearance" insofar as they are encountered by finite intuition, under the title "thing in itself" insofar as they stem from an infinite intuition which first of all produces these things. This intuition which freely produces things must necessarily and from the beginning already intuit what things are by themselves in their interior, as it were. But this ""in itself" remains hidden from every finite intuition insofar as this intuition does not first produce [things] and put [them] in place, but lets something already existing [dastehend] be encountered. "The thing in itself (ens per se) is not another ob-ject but another relation (respectus) of representation to the same ob-ject."7 Various titles express that the same thing can be the correlate of totally different modes of intuition (of intuitus onginarius as well as of intuitus den·vativus). What a being is for intuitus originarius remains completely inaccessible to us as finite beings who can intuit only derivatively.

But what is an object in appearance as opposed to just this same ob-ject as the thing in itself? This difference lies not in ob-jects, but merely in the difference of relation as to how the subject which apprehends the object of the senses is affected for the sake of bringing forth a representation in the subject {in its consciousness}.8

Along with the assumption of an absolute intuition, which first produces things, i.e., along with the assumption of a concept of being in the sense of being produced and being extant (which originates in andent ontology), the concept of a thing in itself also dies away. But things do not thereby vanish into phantoms and images—phantoms and images which we produce for ourselves. For appearances are the things themselves, and they are the things that they are without these things having to be thought as things in themselves on the basis of an untenable concept of being and on the basis of the assumption of a representing

7. Kant, Opus posthumum (Akademie, XXIT, 26).

8. Ibid., p. 43.