Volume 51, Issue 3, September 2011
Kant’s Schematized Categories and the Possibility of Metaphysics
This article considers the significance of Kant’s schematized categories in the Critique of Pure Reason for contemporary metaphysics. I present Kant’s understanding of the schematism and how it functions within his critique of the limits of pure reason. Then I argue that, although the true role of the schemata is a relatively late development in Kant’s thought, it is nevertheless a core notion, and the central task of the first Critique can be sufficiently articulated in the language of the schematism. A surprising result of Kant’s doctrine of the schematism is that a limited form of metaphysics is possible even within the parameters set out in the first Critique. To show this, I offer contrasting examples of legitimate and illegitimate forays into metaphysics in light of the condition of the schematized categories.