I am reading Martin Heidegger's Discourse on Thinking. At the beginning of "Conversation on a Country Path About Thinking*, the Scholar remarks: (page 58-9)

But thinking, understood in the traditional way, as re-presenting is a kind of willing. Kant, too, understands thinking this way when he characterizes it as spontaneity. To think is to will, and to will is to think.

The Teacher in this conversation doesn't agree that thinking is willing. In order to understand this better, I want to read what Kant has to say about thinking, willing, spontaneity and re-presenting.

Where can I find that in Kant's writings?

Heidegger, M. Discourse on Thinking. Translation John M. Anderson. 1966.

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    Pippin has a very good discussion, with references, in Kant on the Spontaneity of Mind. As for "re-presenting", in Heidegger's use it is a code word for the consciousness-as-reflection theory that he opposes. Frank in What is Neostructuralism p.194ff discusses the divide on this issue, with Leibniz, Kant, and Hegel on one side, and Fichte, Brentano, and Heidegger on the other. To paraphrase, there is a way to grasp one's own thought without turning it into intentional object.
    – Conifold
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 22:42
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    Frank I am not very knowledgeable of Schopenhauer or Heidegger, but this short blurb on Schopenhauer may be of some help to you; in other words perhaps to compare and contrast Schopenhauer and Kant. cambridge.org/core/journals/kantian-review/article/…
    – Gordon
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 23:02
  • @Gordon Thank you. I have been wondering what "Will" means to Schopenhauer. Commented May 23, 2019 at 0:03

1 Answer 1


Maybe the best place to start is Heidegger's own commentaries on Kant :

(1) What is a thing?

(2) Kant and the problem of metaphysics.

(3) and also Phenomenological interpretation of the Critics of pure reason.

Sure there are explanations in these references about thought as representation. Not absolutely sure Heidegger explains there in which way ( according to Kant) representation can be identified to willing.

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