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  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: March 2014

Heidegger's Schematism of Life and its Kantian Inheritance: A Critical Appraisal

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“Time must be understood as pure self-affection; otherwise its function in the formation of schemata remains completely obscure”

— Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics

Abstract: As a philosophical problem, schematism has been well known as a Kantian issue. This paper suggests that Heidegger inherited Kantian schematism and has resolved to overhaul it to adapt it to his own doctrine. By reviewing the notion of time since Newton, by showing the terminological and philosophical kinship between Heidegger with Kant, and by reproducing a chart conceived some thirty years ago by Otto Pöggeler, this paper further argues that, unlike the Kantian schematism, which explains how categories are applicable to empirical nature, Heidegger expounded in his magnum opus Sein und Zeit an implicit “schematism of life,” which accounts for how Dasein as original time unfolds itself through 3 × 2 = 6 ecstatical modi to constitute the life world of individual human Dasein. It is from this new angle that a host of conceptual and interpretative issues are raised for critical reflection and reappraisal.

Keywords: Heidegger, Kant, schematism, time, temporality, philosophy of life

Schematism as a Philosophical Problem

As a philosophical problem, schematism has been widely known as a Kantian issue. This paper will try to show that schematism, which was deeply rooted in the Western tradition before Kant, was taken up and further developed by Heidegger, despite his apparent reservation for and criticism of Kant's thematic treatment of the issue.

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