Schematism and Imagination

  • Gary Banham


The chapter on schematism in the Critique forms the hinge between the discussion of the Transcendental Deduction and the actual principles themselves although it is also succeeded by an account of the nature of transcendental synthetic judgments in general that emerges on the basis of the treatment of schematism. The first question in treating the chapter on schematism, however, concerns how its purpose is distinct from that of the Transcendental Deduction. This question has persistently troubled philosophers writing on the Critique. Paul Guyer for example argues that it is in the schematism (and the Analytic of Principles) that Kant really provides the deduction of the categories.1 In a fundamental sense Martin Heidegger agrees with this verdict writing: “the schematism grounds the transcendental deduction, although Kant did not understand schematism in this way” (Heidegger, 1927–8, p. 292). The rationale for this argument in Heidegger’s case rests upon his conviction that Kant discovers the solution to the question of the ground of relational connection between substances in something that goes beyond the condition of substantiality and even that of the divine, namely temporality itself.2


Empirical Concept Transcendental Philosophy Analytic Judgment Pure Intuition Pure Image 
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  1. 7.
    Geof frey Warnock (1949) “Concepts and Schematism”, Analysis, Vol. 8, p. 82. In arguing that this objection is Wittgensteinian I am only suggesting it has the same basic form as the problem with rules that Wittgenstein himself adduced.Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    Edmund Husserl (1894) “Psychological Studies in the Elements of Logic” in E. Husserl (1994) Early Writings in the Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics, translated by D. Willard, Dordrecht and London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1994, p. 154. Whilst Husserl is here speaking of arithmetic it is evident that his example can be extended easily to geometry.Google Scholar
  3. 11.
    Howard Caygill (1989) Art of Judgement, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, p. 5.Google Scholar
  4. 13.
    Caygill’s claim about an aporia of judgment has been subjected to a critical assessment by Paul Crowther (1998) “Judgment, Self-Consciousness and Imagination: Kant’s Transcendental Deduction and Beyond” in Herman Parrett (ed.) (1998) Kants Aesthetics, Walter De Gruyter: Berlin and New York, whose central claim seems to be the following: “Sensibility and the intellect are brought into alignment in judgement—not by some paradoxical more fundamental judgement, but rather by the reciprocity of subject and object of experience. Particular judgements can only be made insof ar as they exemplify that general categorial framework whose use also defines unity of self” (p. 133).Google Scholar
  5. 17.
    Heidegger attempts to prevent this problem from emerging when he writes: “pure space is no less rooted transcendentally in the transcendental power of imagination than ‘time’, insof ar as this is understood merely as what is formed in pure intuition as the pure intuited, the pure succession of the sequence of nows. In fact, space in a certain sense is always and necessarily equivalent to time so understood” (Heidegger, 1929, pp. 139–40). The succeeding paragraph makes clear however that in fact time is understood by Heidegger to still be axially prior to space due to the fact that it makes possible self-affection. Hence Heidegger both attempts to eliminate this problem and then re-opens it, exactly as occurred with his attempt to eliminate the problem of transcendental judgment. For a classic statement of the view that space is insufficiently attended to in Kant’s treatment of schematism, see Gregg E. Franzswa (1978) “Space and the Schematism”, Kant-Studien, Vol. 69.Google Scholar
  6. 21.
    As Howard Caygill remarks: “This means that the conditions for a coherent experience also determine the objects of such experience—marking a philosophically sophisticated attempt to align being and logic which is characteristic of the entire critical philosophy” (Caygill, 1995, p. 333).Google Scholar

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© Gary Banham 2005

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