Volume 1, 2018
Aesthetics and Philosophies of Art
Kantian Schematism and the Ethics of the Image (Remarks on J.L. Nancy)
In this paper, I defend the thesis that although recent French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy agrees with Immanuel Kant that schematism is the unity of the sensible manifold according to the concepts of pure understanding, he asserts that the schematism lies at the ground of image as ontological force, deforming this manifold rather than simply reflecting already-existing objects. First I show that Kant’s conception of schematism of pure concepts of understanding presented in the “Critique of pure reason” (CPR) explains how categories could be applied to the reality asserting that the representation of the object must be homogeneous with the concept, therefore refuting Hume’s scepticism. Second, I demonstrate that Nancy’s analysis of Kantian schematism is based on postmodernists’ distinction between presentation (Darstellung) and representation (Vorstellung). It allows Nancy to treat the kantian schematism (pure image of all images) as the ‘claw’, the violent act of representation or image that is treated as force. I argue that Nancy, interpreting presentation and representation in ontologically constitutive sense, shows the ethical dimension of Kantian schematism and proposing the ethics of other, although it is a radical interpretation of Kant and far from Kant’s use of schematism.