Schemata and semiotic structure
Sandra Rosenthal

Peircešs pragmatic transformation of Kantian schemata takes from Kant the fundamental insight that concepts are empirically meaningful only if they contain schematic possibilities for their application to sensible experience. Further, the imagery which makes possible the application of a concept cannot be abstracted out from sense experience but rather must be provided before meaningful perceptual content can emerge within experience. However, his pragmatic appropriation of these insights radically alters Kant's understanding of the schema. Such a schema is no longer a product of productive imagination as distinct from the understanding as the faculty of judgment. Rather, both understanding and imagination are unified and transformed into a creative functioning of habit, dispositional tendencies, or purposive activity as generative of schematic possibilities. This pragmatic unification, in it biological rootedness, incorporates a lived or vital interactional unity between organism and environment, knower and known, which is manifest in the schematic possibilities by which we perspectively grasp the thick independent universe in which we are embedded, and by which we inform this universe with the meaningfulness that allows for the experimental pursuit of perspectival truths through verifying instances.

Key Words: Kant, imagination, perception, mathematics, analyticity, pragmatism